Gerald Eve Case Study

Gerald Eve moves from annual appraisal to coaching and feedback model

With Sarah Draper HR Director at Gerald Eve

Company info

Gerald Eve is a firm of international property consultants based in the UK. Gerald Eve operate a national network of nine offices and an international alliance of independent real estate advisors covering Europe and major US markets.

  • Industry

    Property

  • Headquarters

    London

  • Company Size

    500

Sarah Draper

HR Director at Gerald Eve

For over eight years, Ger­ald Eve had relied on an employ­ee appraisal sys­tem that includ­ed a review in April each year, and then an inter­im check-in six months lat­er. The process was man­aged using paper forms, which cre­at­ed time con­sum­ing admin for the HR team. This mod­el ini­tial­ly had a high com­ple­tion rate, but year by year engage­ment start­ed to drop away and it was clear it was time to reassess the whole approach. 

Ger­ald Eve’s man­agers also found the appraisal process pro­tract­ed and, to a large extent, painful. In many parts of the busi­ness there was an exist­ing cul­ture of reg­u­lar devel­op­men­tal con­ver­sa­tions, but man­agers voiced their feel­ings that the lega­cy process was hin­der­ing and not sup­port­ing this more effec­tive mod­el of performance. 

From the employ­ee per­cep­tive, Ger­ald Eve’s tal­ent were feed­ing back that they want­ed more devel­op­men­tal engage­ment, more clar­i­ty and trans­paren­cy on goals, and more reg­u­lar feed­back – the lat­ter was par­tic­u­lar­ly felt by the mil­len­ni­al pop­u­la­tion. Again it was not a case of try­ing to ignite an already moti­vat­ed and engaged work­force, it was a case of doing a bet­ter job of sup­port­ing and opti­mis­ing pro­duc­tiv­i­ty and pro­gres­sion and giv­ing clar­i­ty to employees 

The organ­i­sa­tion also strug­gled with vis­i­bil­i­ty in terms of who was and wasn’t engag­ing mean­ing­ful­ly with their teams. The annu­al mod­el gave no indi­ca­tion of fre­quen­cy of dia­logue and sim­i­lar­ly there was no sense of which parts of the busi­ness did and didn’t have real-time feed­back cul­tures. Sarah and the team want­ed to have a much bet­ter under­stand­ing of per­for­mance engage­ment in order to offer bet­ter sup­port, while also being able to present mean­ing­ful data to the Board. 

Sarah had been on the look­out for an alter­na­tive for some time and gen­er­at­ed inter­est and buy-in from senior stake­hold­ers and the man­age­ment pop­u­la­tion at large. She dis­cov­ered Clear Review via a webi­nar where a cus­tomer was unpack­ing in detail their jour­ney away from a tra­di­tion­al annu­al approach. Start­ing to zero in what a new approach was going to look like for the busi­ness, Sarah engaged with Clear Review and was imme­di­ate­ly struck by the sheer sim­plic­i­ty of the user expe­ri­ence, as well is it being a clear depar­ture from tra­di­tion­al tech­nol­o­gy with a strong focus on reg­u­lar con­ver­sa­tion and feedback.

There were sev­er­al ele­ments to the new mod­el that Sarah want­ed to have in place:

  • Focus on cul­ture and men­tor­ing which empow­ered both man­agers and employees
  • Dri­ving a real-time feed­back culture
  • A mod­el that was sim­ple and did away with any of the his­toric and con­trived aspects of per­for­mance management

Clear Review fit the bill on all these fronts by pro­vid­ing a tech­nol­o­gy frame­work which both nudges and sup­ports coach­ing-style’ dia­logue with help­ful prompts for dis­cus­sion. The platform’s inten­tion­al removal of the annu­al appraisal focal point, ful­ly sup­ports the mes­sag­ing of a more engaged and ongo­ing approach to tal­ent development.

Since Clear Review’s imple­men­ta­tion in May 2018, Ger­ald Eve’s employ­ees have set over 986 objec­tives, have received 665 pieces of feed­back and cru­cial­ly, have 78% engage­ment in terms of quar­ter­ly check-in con­ver­sa­tions. Sarah comments: 

Clear Review’s tech­nol­o­gy has enabled our peo­ple to receive instant feed­back in an inter­ac­tive and time­ly set­ting. Man­agers and employ­ees can now have a pro­duc­tive con­ver­sa­tion, with Clear Review prompt­ing the essen­tial ques­tions. For us, employ­ee appraisals are not a tick-box exer­cise — it’s all about the con­ver­sa­tion and their devel­op­ment. Clear Review has helped us to achieve this in a cost-effec­tive way.”

The new mod­el also been well received by Ger­ald Eve’s senior lead­er­ship, and Clear Review’s pre­sen­ta­tion to the Board helped with buy-in at the crit­i­cal ear­ly stages. Sarah continued: 

The tech­nol­o­gy is extreme­ly sim­ple, so we didn’t need to pro­vide any train­ing, just a brief overview. Even though train­ing wasn’t pro­vid­ed, adop­tion rates have been very high through­out the busi­ness. Clear Review has sup­port­ed us in mov­ing towards a feed­back style that embraces coach­ing and men­tor­ing. This allows us to engage with our employ­ees and bet­ter under­stand our people.”

With its peo­ple now able to use both the online and mobile expe­ri­ence, Ger­ald Eve’s employ­ee engage­ment and cul­ture has been pos­i­tive­ly impact­ed, and employ­ees are able to con­tin­ue their career devel­op­ment with clear objec­tives and con­tin­u­ous feedback. 

Ger­ald Eve’s focus towards improv­ing diver­si­ty, employ­ee engage­ment and well­be­ing has been cel­e­brat­ed with a win at the EG Awards, with the com­pa­ny win­ning Employ­er of the Year’.