For most firms, performance reviews present some of the most stressful and time-intensive tasks for the year. This was no different for Ratio Consultants, a 60+ employee town planning and urban design firm based in Cremorne, Victoria. For Managing Director, Peter McKelvie, performance reviews added extra stress to both Ratio's staff and his own busy workload.
“Performance Reviews can be a mad rush at the end of the financial year as we consider salaries, promotions and rate rises ahead of new budgets and planning. It can be a stressful time of the year for leaders.”
Ratio's performance review process was not unlike many other firms. They run two reviews per year; a major review across May and June to inform salaries and promotions, and a minor review in December to check on goals and targets. In between these, managers aim to check in with employees monthly to make sure their people are on track.
Before using Everperform, Ratio's review process was manual and time consuming for both managers and employees. Data collection was done in word documents, opening the process to inconsistencies as managers structured templates and collected data differently from others. The documents were also time-consuming to complete, taking approximately 1 hour per employee, while manually collecting data made it difficult to consolidate results into reports for conversations and to measure compliance.
For Peter, having efficient performance reviews is core to keeping their people engaged.
"Apart from saving time, it's important to keep people engaged. People lose interest if the process takes a long time, it's not something everyone loves doing, so you need to do it efficiently and effectively to keep people engaged."
Reducing review time while increasing feedback by modernising the review process
Utilising a combination of Everperform's review templates and their own questions, Ratio looked to streamline their review process, making it easier for employees and managers to provide 360 feedback and access results quickly.
By streamlining the process, they were able to collect more feedback from more people, going from around 1 or 2 reviewers per person, to 2 or 3, improving the accuracy and relevance of feedback used during conversations.
"We were able to open the review to more reviews, now we could get 2 - 3 reviewers per person, without it being a significant burden."
This modern approach to reviews saved them a significant amount of time per review, around 1 hour per person. For the 45 people being reviewed, this was equivalent to an entire working week recovered to focus on value-adding tasks. By getting a better range of feedback while cutting down time spent on reviews, managers were able to accurately assess people's performance and have more structured conversations.
"We can get a better assessment of someone's performance because we have a broader range of feedback."
Minimising privacy risks and keeping the process consistent
One of the problems of Ratio's previous review process was risks around data storage and privacy. Because reviews were word-based, they had to be stored on their servers, with a lot of work going into permissions and directory set up to ensure only the right people could see the data they needed.
Moving to Everperform, they were able to reduce risks around privacy and data integrity, going from manual data collection to digitised and automated feedback. Collecting data through Everperform meant they didn't have to worry about storage, and the privacy settings in the platform meant the right people had access to the data, mitigating the risk of data leaks and losing feedback.
“The everperform platform gives us the critical security over this sensitive data we must have. It gives us options around permissions that we didn’t previously have.”
Modernising their reviews also meant that every employee and manager went through the same process, ensuring consistency between different managers and teams.
Going carbon-neutral with paperless reviews
Ratio is a carbon-neutral firm, and review time came with a lot of paper being wasted. Their previous process of collecting feedback manually meant that results and reports had to be printed before and in preparation for the conversations.
By using Everperform, Ratio was able to cut their carbon footprint during review time, using 90% less paper through digitising the entire review process.
"The review process was 90% paperless, which is important to us because we are a carbon-neutral office."
Next steps with Everperform
On the back of their more efficient performance reviews, Ratio is looking to extend their usage of Everperform to include more data collection and analysis. By utilising dashboards and reporting, Ratio intends to embed Everperform into their admin and management processes, while improving the quality of their monthly check-ins by collecting more timely and accurate people data.