When the new Chief Executive Officer at Advanced Procurement for Universities and Colleges Ltd. (APUC) decided to revamp the strategy of the organisation, revitalizing employee performance management became one of the key focuses. Dee Denholm, Human Resources Manager for APUC, recognized the need for an automated solution that would enable goal management, performance transparency, overall consistent and a simplified approach to employee appraisals across the organisation
Initially APUC developed a paper-based process, which involved taking the overall company strategy and attempting to filter it down through the work-stream in an attempt to link everybody's objectives to the overall strategy. Appraisals were hand written, signed-off and filed away. This usually meant that they sat in a file drawer untouched for much of the year. Because the appraisal process itself was not mandatory, the system was not being embraced by the entire organisation and eventually fizzled out.
When we were searching the marketplace for a solution we had particular features in mind. We wanted something that would allow employees to cascade objectives, to assess themselves against the company's competency framework, to create their own training and development plans. When I saw the product demonstration it was almost as if someone had waved a magic wand and said ‘here you are, we know what you are looking for' and it was brilliant!
Goal transparency: using emPerform, APUG goals are now transparent and cascaded down from the top. Executives can now easily view the status of employee performance and development - enabling them to make better business decisions and to recognize and reward the top performers.
Performance accountability & monitoring: emPerform has also helped APUC to dramatically improved internal accountability as managers are now able to easily set objectives and monitor results. This enables them to see how individuals and teams are progressing throughout the appraisal process.
Centralization of data & metrics: With emPerform, all of APUC's performance management processes are now in one place; competencies, objectives, training and development. With the click of a mouse, managers can view real-time employee performance metrics and analytics. Employees are able to instantly view their goals and tasks and set their own training and development plans. In addition, employees are now aligned with the goals of the organisation - improving overall business efficiency and two way engagement.
APUC chose emPerform because it is all-inclusive. APUC was not up-sold for additional functionality. emPerform provided the robust tools that APUC needs for effective talent management; including: automated appraisals, online surveys (including 360° multi-rater reviews), goal management, succession planning, compensation management, and ad-hoc reporting. emPerform's configurable forms and interface also meant that APUC was free to tailor the system to suite their processes.
Knowing that we can expand and use all of the features as and when we need them is so important for HR planning and development. We haven't got a stagnant tool; we've got a system that we can continue to use to build and develop our organisation. Knowing each function is there when we are ready to use it, without having to go through the buying process again and go back out into the market, allows me to be more proactive and move into areas like compensation, performance related pay, surveys and 360 degree reviews in a timely manner.
Ease of use for end-users: Since emPerform includes an easy-to-use interface, employees and managers had no problems adopting and using the system. emPerform's hosted deployment also meant that APUC was free from I.T. burdens and server maintenance.
Helpful implementation & support: APUC was particularly impressed by the smoothness and hands-on approach of the emPerform implementation process. "From the start of the implementation process, it only took a few days to get up and running. emPerform even prompted us to think of doing things differently. The support team was very friendly and told us exactly what was required, enabling us to prepare everything in advance. We found it more like a period of discovery. On-going support is also fantasic. We get an immediate response. Because emPerform has an office here in the U.K., they have a more hands on and personal approach. They will happily visit my office and not try to handle things remotely at inconvenient times of the day!"
As APUC expands as a shared service across Scotland emPerform will be critical to their success. "Overall, emPerform is a really good performance management tool that will play a critical role in the growth and development of our business. As we expand our services over the coming years it will help us to ensure that the right skills are matched to the right position."
APUC provides advanced procurement services for all 60 Scottish Universities and Colleges. APUC Ltd. Was formed in 2007 as a result of John F. McClelland's reform of public spending and following the initiation of the Public Procurement Reform Program in Scotland. In a short time APUC Ltd has changed the face of procurement across Higher and Further Education in Scotland by improving processes as well as providing procurement support and expertise. For more information, visit: http://www.apuc-scot.ac.uk