Universally practiced but disliked with a passion. Inefficient and ineffective employee reviews are a drain on any organization.Learn more
- One size does not fit all
Cliché indeed, but very relevant here in many many ways.
Every cliché at one time was a new and original idea. It caught on because it was exciting, effective, and compelling in the niche. But it became a cliché because it was generalized and overused. The solutions we replace are products of large companies with thousands of customers. In the desire to be applicable to all, the attention to the needs of specific customer or a narrow segment gets puts on the back burner.
Our approach is to always think about every customer as unique and provide a solution for their particular situation and on their timeline. We also like engage with customers on a longer time horizon. We have seen that the true benefits manifest fully after a few iterations. We In geek-speak, every customer is a N-of-1 and we are built from the ground up to service customers that way.
- Custom built vs forced fit solution
An inventory management ERP solution used for employee performance management - sounds feasible? optimal? Cost effective? Just because something works does not mean it works well -- or you should continue using a sub-optimal, friction laden solution.
Admittedly, we have our first customers to thank in this regard. They took a risk on us, because they saw the potential in our team when no product existed. They had specific needs that were not addressed by their in-house "enterprise solution" provided by an "analyst approved" best-on-the-planet class vendor. We worked with them iteratively to first understand the issues, then explore the alternatives, and then develop a solution that the customer had full ownership over the functionality and timeline.
It is not a question of reusing software components. But fundamental design paradigms often get overridden by the overwhelming need to re-use what's already in use and deployed at many other installations. Reviewing a product is not the same as reviewing a team member. Assigning a rating for a coworker's skills is not the same as assigning a rating for a recent flight or a hotel stay. The subject of an employee evaluation is a sentient human being. It's time more people treated the subjects with the respect they deserve!
- Focus on a very narrow niche
Two key words here - focus and niche.
Niche means we are a good choice in a narrowly defined habitat. We always end up augmenting existing solutions in the customer's eco-system. Our goal is to direct our attention
Focus means we do not have a laundry list of features and we don't have a solution for everything.
- Small and nimble -- by design
- Small and nimble -- by design
Why does Employee Performance Appraisal leave a bitter after-taste for everybody involved? Is there a solution that uniquely caters to our specific needs and culture and not think of us as one of many? Is there a way to iteratively enhance the employee experience without upsetting the organization culture?
Employee Performance Appraisal is as common as payroll in modern organizations. Some might confess that defensible changes to payroll is the primary reason behind doing and documenting appraisals. However, for the larger majority Performance Management is an investment in developing and building a better team. But regrettably, it leaves a bitter after-taste for everybody involved -- year after year.
A good bit of time and money is spent planning and executing Performance Management. Consultants and experts are seen making the rounds in the hallways. Executives and leaders are involved in messaging the process out to the employees. Yet, the overall experience for everyone involved in the process is far from enjoyable. The negative impact on employee engagement and morale is frequently an undesirable side-effect. Without exception, the process drains managers of their valuable time and energy and there is no lasting benefit for them. And above all, the Human Resources team feels frustrated and trapped in a no-win situation as they are the colloquial messengers and the "face of the process".
At the behest of one of our customers, Insight Magnet stepped in to help. With years of experience in Customer Analytics and Feedback Management Insight Magnet had its own proven infrastructure to target, collect, and, analyze complex atomic data to distill actionable insights. With our early customers' thought leadership, their treasure trove of experience based on lessons learnt from several iterations of unsatisfactory executions, and, a very clear set of executive goals that needed a decision support framework, we set out to eliminate the pain they had endured for years. We worked collaboratively with the leaders and their teams. Small incremental steps, frequent validation, and, field testing enabled us to always question ourselves and proceed only if the payback outweighed the effort.
In about 3 iterations, we had the core components of a Employee 360 Performance Management system that managers started relying on even where no reviews were actively done. Once a baseline dataset of capabilities and skills was captured using atomic data from within the organization, the logical next step of tracking the improvement followed. The ease of use of the platform, made it easy for managers, team leaders to start using the same infrastructure to poll their teams, survey their direct reports or otherwise collect feedback not just for periodic events but also for one off events. Similar to the customer centricity of the Customer Analytics and Feedback Management, data collected from any interaction with the team members was always available and stored in the context that could be easily re-used.