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 perspective, 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 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.
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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’.