General contractor improves workforce and business with performance management

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Summary

J.H. Findorff & Son Inc. is a large general contractor in Wisconsin. The company introduced an automated employee performance and talent management solution with a multirater feature to improve the efficiency and accountability of its employee performance appraisal process. The company has received significant benefits from the solution, including:

  • Overall increase in employee satisfaction with the performance appraisal process;
  • Ability to integrate feedback from both managers and peers;
  • Competitive advantage by offering new recruits a formal performance plan including personal goal setting; and
  • Anytime, anywhere access to appraisal files.

Customer profile

As the first general contractor in Madison, Wisconsin, J.H. Findorff & Son Inc. has been in operation since 1890. The company performs carpentry, concrete, masonry, drywall and steel erection work. Findorff is known for its sophisticated pre-construction capabilities and innovative construction methods. The company enjoys a high degree of repeat business due to its reputation as a reliable, financially strong, price conscious, schedule focused, quality contractor.

Challenge

Historically, Findorff used a paper-based system to conduct and manage performance appraisals for office employees only. It wanted to expand this to include all project managers, office staff, and field leaders. As the company was experiencing tremendous growth, particularly in the under-35 age category, and expanding its HR department, Findorff knew it was time to invest in an automated employee performance and talent management solution.

"Employees were telling us that they wanted more feedback on a consistent basis, and our appraisal process lacked an element of ongoing accountability," said Renee Boyce, HR Manager of J.H. Findorff & Son Inc. "We understood the advantages of a web-based performance management system that could give us anytime, anywhere access to appraisal information for a large number of employees."

Findorff also wanted to respond to employee requests for 360 degree multirater feedback within the appraisal process. In the construction business, employees can work with a number of project teams throughout the year the members of these teams are the most appropriate ones to contribute to employee evaluations. "Before we implemented Halogen Performance™ with Halogen 360 Multirater™, only our top managers would be responsible for all reviews — which could mean that an employee was getting feedback from someone they may not have interacted with on a daily basis," said Boyce. "We wanted to add more value to the appraisal process, and e360 Multirater was a great way to do this."

Solution

Findorff had a limited ability to install and manage an automated employee performance management system with its own IT resources. So when selecting its solution, Halogen stood out as providing the most flexibility for deployment. "A major deciding factor was the range of choices Halogen offered us. We liked that we could get a fully-hosted solution now, but we could also bring it in-house at any time should our IT resources or needs change," said Boyce.

After completing training and several pilot projects, Findorff rolled out Halogen Performance and Halogen 360 Multirater to its employees and has completed several appraisal cycles with the solution. "Now we can incorporate feedback from the field side, office staff, etc. and can focus on the employees' goals and career paths," said Boyce. "There is much more value in the appraisal process and employees are satisfied — which is very important to us."

Benefits

The Multirater functionality has become a competitive hiring advantage for Findorff. "We find that younger staff really care about employer feedback and a sense of career growth. I think it is really one of the generational differences," said Boyce. "They grew up getting a lot of feedback from parents, teachers, coaches and mentors and the need does not go away when they enter the workforce. Now with Halogen Performance and Halogen 360 Multirater we can let recruits know that they'll get that feedback and have a personalized development plan, so they understand what their career path is and where they are going."

Findorff also uses the Halogen solution to help develop opportunities for training. Halogen Performance offers the ability to track performance trends and competency management issues across the organization so that the organization knows where to invest in training and development. "We can tie training directly to appraisals, so we can send staff straight to training when needed," said Boyce.

The company also finds that Halogen's web-based solution provides benefits in its anytime, anywhere access to appraisal information. "We have a pretty centralized workforce, but it's very busy and some of our employees may not have time during the day to complete reviews or multirater requests," said Boyce. "With Halogen, they can simply log onto the system, and reflect at night or on the weekend. They can also ensure an added level of confidentiality by doing the review off-site, as some employees are located in centralized areas without formal offices."

Overall, J.H. Findorff & Son Inc. has used Halogen Performance and Halogen 360 Multirater to transform its appraisal process from a cumbersome managerial task to a competitive differentiator and a corporate benchmark of success. "Our business is all about relationships and the Halogen solution allows us to carry that through to our employee management," said Boyce. "We feel that has become an invaluable tool in constantly improving our workforce and our business."