Award-winning Delicato Family Vineyards is known for over-delivering on quality and value. The growing winery selected web-based employee performance and talent management software from Halogen Software, to address the unique challenges of appraising the performance of shift employees working in the cellar and other production departments.
- Significantly streamline and improve the overall performance appraisal process, so the focus is on conducting thorough and consistent reviews, not just completing forms;
- Reduce HR's administrative burden so they can focus on strategic issues related to performance management; and
- Implement a system that enables multiple supervisors to appraise a single individual in an efficient and consistent manner.
Delicato Familiy Vineyards (DFV Wines) is a family-owned winery with an 80+ year winemaking and winegrowing heritage. Three generations of the Indelicato family have overseen vineyard operations and winemaking at their California properties, maintaining the unparalleled standards for which they are known.
DFV Wines' "family farmed" philosophy reflects its unwavering dedication to environmentally sensitive and economically sustainable business practices. DFV Wines answers the consumer demand for enjoyable, thoughtfully grown and intelligently vinified wines, suitable for every occasion.
DFV Wines has received many awards in recent years, including being named the International Wine and Spirits Competition USA Producer of the Year for the third time, in 2006.
Delicato's busy HR team was relying on a paper-based employee appraisal system that was becoming increasingly onerous and time consuming to administer. Supervisors would download employee evaluation forms from the intranet and were responsible for completing them and sending them back to HR.
"We had lots of problems with our old system, from reviews just not being completed, to people using the wrong form," explained Lillian Bynum, Vice President Human Resources, Delicato Family Vineyards. "It was clear to our team that we were spending way too much time on administration and weren't able to focus on what was really important — ensuring that all employees had fair, complete, accurate and timely reviews."
The administration of the paper-based performance management system was complicated because the majority of Delicato's employees work in operations, where there are many different positions and a complicated reporting structure, and where employees typically work shifts.
"As we continued to grow, the logistics of administering appraisals for workers with multiple supervisors, or across several layers of management was difficult," said Bynum. "It was challenging to collect information from multiple supervisors and ensure there was some level of consistency in the information gathered, as it required hours of reading and document comparison."
With these issues top of mind, Bynum learned about Halogen Software and how a nearby company was using the Halogen TalentSpace™ to automate its employee performance appraisal process. "As soon as I saw what Jelly Belly had done, I wanted to take a good look at what Halogen could do for us," explained Bynum. "From there, we quickly identified that there were a number of areas we could improve by automating and streamlining our employee performance appraisal process."
For Bynum and her team, the Halogen offering provides specific talent management features that address a number of key issues beyond simply streamlining the administration of the process. Halogen Performance provides the HR team with an up-to-date and accurate snapshot of where reviews are in the process, enables them to drill down to any problem areas, and helps to ensure supervisors are consistent in the way they review employees.
"Like any organization, we need to execute disciplinary actions from time to time, and in one particular situation I was able to intervene in the appraisal process, as specific issues had not been included in a review," stated Bynum. "For us to be effective in all aspects of performance management, we need things to be accurate. The Halogen solution gives us the opportunity to catch an error before it became a much bigger issue."
Delicato's new system includes the ability to have multiple contributors to reviews, an important feature given the structure of the vineyard's operations department. Halogen 360 Multirater allows Delicato to collect 360 degree feedback from multiple sources, to create a complete view of the employee's performance over the course of the year.
"More than 50 percent of our employees work in operations, where shifts rotate, there are multiple layers of management, and a given employee may have several supervisors during the year," detailed Bynum. "Having multi-rater assessments enables us to simplify the process of getting information from the right people and putting it into a single review. The end result is an accurate view of how an employee is performing, and better management of employees, since all supervisors are accountable."
Often appraisals at Delicato are subject to a secondary review by a senior manager, executives or HR. "The workflow in Halogen Performance enables us to get appraisals to the secondary reviewer without delay, and ensure that reviews happens in a timely manner," explained Bynum. "Also, for our sales team, with managers who are very busy and not always in the same location as the individual they are assessing, HR can do a quick review to ensure the process is on-track"
"We now have the information we need to connect the dots and get a clear picture of the process," said Bynum. "We are growing as a company, moving to more second-shift operations and expanding our sales team, both of which further complicate the process of completing appraisals. The Halogen appraisal software enabled us to significantly improve our performance appraisal process so we are focusing on what really matters, the actual review."
With the old paper-based system, the person on the team handling payroll had to manually log all reviews. "Now she knows where things are, and isn't spending a ridiculous amount of time on data entry. This year, she spent less than an hour checking that everything in the process was running well," elaborated Bynum.
In addition to streamlining the administration of the system, Bynum and her team focused on taking performance management to the next level at Delicato. A primary goal was to make supervisors and managers accountable, so that employee appraisals become a strategic tool.
Delicato employees, supervisors, managers and executives have embraced the new Halogen Performance and Halogen 360 Multirater modules. The vineyard has already realized a number of benefits, including the improvement of the overall quality of employee appraisals across the company.
"Our goal is to move performance management from being just another task on the list to something supervisors think about on an ongoing basis," said Bynum. "Moving to web-based appraisals is helping us achieve this, as there's less paperwork, everyone is accountable, and we have the tools available to encourage supervisors to manage performance week over week."