Effective performance management post COVID-19
An employee engagement survey at The Ironman Group in 2020, highlighted how much people wanted clear visibility of the company's goals, more direction and more feedback and recognition. It also prompted senior leaders to move from a paper-based approach to performance management.
While performance reviews had been introduced shortly before Iwona’s arrival in the organisation, they were far from ideal. They were paper-based, which made them slow and time-consuming, as each template needed to be uploaded separately. They were difficult for line managers and the HR team to keep track of. While employees knew they were important, reviews were often the first things to fall by the wayside at busy times of the year.
Founded in 1978, The Ironman Group has grown to operate a global endurance sports portfolio with more than 230 triathlons, trail running, cycling and mountain biking events across 57 countries and more than a million participants. It also offers market-leading virtual options.
Employee demand - the catalyst for change
An employee satisfaction survey carried out in 2020 underlined the need for change. Employees said:
- They lacked visibility of the company’s goals
- They wanted more direction
- They wanted more feedback and recognition
Senior leaders realised how important this was for employees and that they needed to introduce an easy to use, consistent approach with a system employees could use wherever they were working. This feedback persuaded them the time was right to invest in a solution.
Cape Epic, another company in the Ironman Group, based in South Africa, were already using Appraisd. They have around 40 employees who were being integrated into the Ironman Group bonus system and timelines. They provided really positive feedback about Appraisd – especially on how well it had helped them to raise the status of reviews and how much their employees liked it.
On further inspection, Appraisd provided almost everything that Iwona and the leadership wanted to introduce in the Ironman Group. The decision was taken to roll out Appraisd to the EMEA region.
Appraisd was launched in June 2021 and the first midyear reviews have just been completed, with full reviews scheduled for the end of the year.
The experience of Cape Epic showed us how well Appraisd works in practice and the confidence to introduce it to other parts of the group. We knew it could do what we wanted and came with excellent customer support.<div class="author">Iwona Kozak, Regional HR Manager EMEA at The Ironman Group</div>
<h2 class="hide">Centralised information that benefits all</h2>
The reaction so far has been positive and there is a genuine sense of interest and enthusiasm about reviews from managers and employees.
- Employees love the digital solution, and especially appreciate the single sign-on
- They like how everything is in one place and very easy to find
- They are excited by the Teams integration and can see how it will help them build timely feedback, and eventually, recognition into their working day
For the business
- Much greater visibility of reviews and who is completing them
- Provides a solid base to build reviews and feedback into the DNA of the organisation
- Data is now available to show who is performing well and highlight areas of development
The Ironman Group are taking a step-by-step approach, introducing small changes at a time to make sure everyone is comfortable with the process and understands what they need to do.
The next step is to train line managers on how to give and receive feedback to build it into the fabric of the organisation. At the moment HR is driving the performance agenda but Iwona really wants managers and employees to take ownership of it and view it as part of their everyday work, not something to be remembered when reviews are on the horizon.
Working with Appraisd
Our customer success manager Rosalind and the development team have been amazing right from the beginning. They have helped us to customise the system to our needs and found the best solution for nearly anything we’ve wanted to do. They made it so easy for us, which has really helped with adoption. They understand what we want to achieve, and I know they will do everything possible to make our partnership a success.<div class="author">Iwona Kozak, Regional HR Manager EMEA at The Ironman Group</div>
<h2 class="hide">Planning ahead with 360 feedback</h2>
In the next year, Iwona would like to introduce 360 feedback for the leadership team.
The Ironman Group has already introduced a new remote/hybrid working policy for all employees. These new working arrangements make it even more important for employees to know what their objectives are and how they are performing against them.
In the long-term, she is working towards measuring the ROI on performance management, but this is for 2022 and beyond as their small HR team has been very stretched over the past year and a half.