For 100-year-old organizations, longevity doesn’t just happen. It requires strategic thinking, innovation and agility. Just look at CAA Manitoba.
Established in 1904, CAA Manitoba has a deep-rooted heritage of providing automotive, travel, insurance and other products designed to enhance security, value and assistance to its more than 200 000 members in Manitoba and Nunavut. CAA Manitoba also embraces its long-standing and continuing tradition of responding quickly and effectively to the changing needs of its members.
To maintain this focus and deliver the high-quality service members expect and deserve, the company relies on a talent management framework that includes the Halogen TalentSpace™.
- Build a workforce that’s aligned and focused on achieving its vision
- Increase employee engagement and accountability
- Develop a stronger leadership team and coaching culture
- Eliminate grade creep and more easily identify and reward top performers
- Boost employee appraisal on-time completion rates from 20 to 90 percent
Pre-2006, CAA was using a paper-based process for performance evaluations — it just didn’t work. Managing the paperwork was time intensive and lacked relevancy for managers and employees. Furthermore, given the superficial content yielded by the process, CAA Manitoba’s management team didn’t have the information to put together the training plans and coaching needed to address critical issues or develop its talent. Not surprisingly completion rates for employee performance appraisals were less-than-stellar — only 20 percent were completed on time and only 50 percent were completed at all.
Results from the company’s first-ever employee survey provided further indication that the performance appraisal process was broken. “We learned that employees did not feel valued and recognized, and that they wanted more consistent feedback,” says Kim Bilcowski , Vice-President, Human Resources, CAA Manitoba. “We also discovered that employees didn’t feel appropriately compensated for the work they did or the value they added.”
Putting the brakes on an outdated process
Recognizing that the current system couldn’t deliver the data, feedback capabilities or other criteria the company needed to take them into the future, Bilcowski began to research talent management vendors. Her criteria were clear — the new system needed to be user-friendly, customizable and affordable. She also wanted a solution that would be dynamic in terms of enabling the organization to easily integrate value-added functionality such as pay-for-performance. “I wanted a system where I could feed information into one program and come up with salary recommendations at the other end,” says Bilcowski.
After rigorous research and analysis of all the options available, Bilcowski chose Halogen Software. “I was impressed by the demo and the level of support I received from the Halogen team from the get-go. It was difficult to consider any other vendor afterwards,” she says.
Convincing the CAA Manitoba executives that Halogen was the ideal fit wasn’t difficult for Bilcowski. “When I showed our executive team how seamlessly the Halogen Performance module integrated with the Halogen Compensation module as well as our other business tools, it was an easy sell,” says Bilcowski.
Halogen’s goal management capabilities also helped to seal the deal with the executive team. “With Halogen, every employee is connected to the company’s operating and strategic plans and initiatives,” says Bilcowski. “Everyone understands why they’re doing what they’re doing and how it ties into achieving the organization’s objectives — which has led to greater accountability and higher engagement.”
An ineffective performance evaluation system hits the road
CAA Manitoba’s legacy employee appraisal process didn’t distinguish the top performers from the poor ones. “Everyone received a five — the top rating,” says Bilcowski. “There was no room for improvement because everyone was a star.”
Through Halogen Performance the organization has been able to reset the bar in terms of what acceptable performance looks like and what superior and unacceptable performance look like. Now employees understand where they need to develop and managers can provide clear examples of expectations. Grade creep and the perception of bias have been eliminated through a rating system that differentiates performance. And since the system completely integrates with Halogen Compensation, salary increases can be determined fairly based on employee ratings.
“Halogen Performance has also led to more meaningful dialog between managers and employees,” says Bilcowski. “There are very positive discussions going on about not only where employees need to improve, but also where they’re doing well in terms of achieving goals and demonstrating competencies. These conversations are feeding career progression discussions.”
The CAA Manitoba leadership program gets a boost
The Halogen solution is also helping CAA Manitoba develop stronger leaders who know employees better. Performance management and Halogen training is now an integral part of the company’s leadership program — an in-house initiative that provides managers with the tools to become better coaches and more effective appraisers.
Everyone onboard with Halogen
Employees and managers have been quick to embrace the easy-to-use Halogen solution. Through the system, managers are able to write more accurate reviews, and provide richer and more relevant feedback to employees. Employees receive the feedback they need to facilitate training and development discussions, and to stay focused on CAA Manitoba’s vision.”
Since implementing Halogen, on-time completion rates for employee appraisals have gone from 20 to 90 percent. Now that appraisals are tied directly to compensation, there’s an excellent incentive for everyone to complete the process.
What does CAA Manitoba’s executive team think of Halogen? “They love it because it’s one easy solution that integrates everything and ensures we’re all on the same page,” says Bilcowski. “It doesn’t matter which business line you work in, where your branch is located or who you report to, we’re all aligned and working from one system towards a common mission — to continue to enhance security, value and assistance for our membership.”