Innovapost's rapid growth and changing business needs prompted it to select Halogen Performance™, as its tool of choice for managing employee performance, goals and development. This change has allowed the organization to:
- Address concerns about the process that were identified in an employee satisfaction survey;
- Enable managers to have time to focus their energy on providing quality feedback to employees;
- Meet the stringent IT security and privacy demands required by the organization and its clients; and
- Set the groundwork for an effective learning management system that links performance and training plans.
Innovapost is a leading provider of technology-enabled business solutions. The organization helps clients develop innovative new services while maintaining the value of their existing technology. As one of a select group of companies to earn SAP's Customer Competence Center certification for its work with Canada Post, Innovapost brings proven expertise to bear on its customers' business challenges.
Founded in 2002 as a joint venture between Canada Post and CGI Group, Innovapost builds on the strengths of both companies — Canada Post's national reach and brand, and CGI's breadth of IT expertise.
Innovapost was using a paper-based employee performance and talent management system where employees were required to fill out MS Word documents, then print them off and have them signed. Once signed, appraisals were hand-carried to the HR department. Handling the paper and managing the logistics of the process was a challenge as it was difficult to track where documents were in the process or actually located in the office.
"Managers would come by the HR department at various times throughout the day to drop off appraisals," said Gina Maddalena, Human Resources Specialist with Innovapost. "The managers would leave the appraisals at our desks and it made it extremely difficult to track the receipt."
Upon completion, the data from each appraisal was manually processed using a spreadsheet to log employee performance and competency scores. HR was spending hours logging data, reminding employees to complete their reviews, and tracking those who had and hadn't completed them. Managers were also impacted, finding it difficult to circulate the appraisals to obtain feedback from the right people.
Within a three-year period of growth, Innovapost nearly doubled in size to approximately 750 employees making the paper-based process unworkable. Furthermore, an employee survey indicated that the quality of feedback received from managers was not meeting expectations, and that the process itself was complicated and time consuming.
"It became too hard to manage as a manual process," said Maddalena. "The employee satisfaction survey ranked performance management as one of the key areas that employees indicated needed improvement. This highlighted the importance of streamlining our process and freeing up managers to focus on employee development, not paperwork."
Maddalena led the selection of the new employee performance and talent management tool for Innovapost. The main focus was on finding a system that would link training plans to performance, and had an easy-to-use workflow. Originally the organization intended to purchase a learning management system, but after careful consideration Maddalena realized that the performance piece was the logical starting point.
Maddalena brought in several vendors, including Halogen Software, to give demonstrations to Innovapost's directors and managers. "We had Halogen demo the solution to our executive team and everybody who was there for the demonstration loved what they saw. Our decision was clear after that meeting," said Maddalena.
Security and privacy were major priorities for Innovapost, and the organization had stringent requirements related to deployment and security procedures. The organization needed the system to be hosted externally due to the sensitive nature of the data involved. The organization did not want this information available to anyone in the organization who was not authorized to view it. The Halogen solution was subject to a rigorous review to ensure it would meet the security requirements of both Innovapost, and its clients.
"During implementation, our training was great and Halogen put our minds at ease when it came to addressing our privacy and security requirements," said Maddalena. "With our solution hosted by Halogen we have peace of mind that our data is secure. The Halogen team has always been very responsive and provided us with the very detailed information we required."
Innovapost was looking for a secure employee performance and talent management system that would produce the kind of high quality information the organization needed to drive organizational goals; they found that in Halogen Performance. The Halogen Performance solution is also enabling HR to carefully track where employee performance appraisals are stuck in the process, and which managers may need extra help completing appraisals. Having the employee performance appraisal system in place is giving the organization a real foundation on which to build employee learning and development programs.
The high-quality information produced by the new employee performance and talent management system will help Innovapost identify core and leadership competency gaps. With the previous manual process, this kind of information took forever to collect and report on; now the organization has the data required to create comprehensive development plans to effectively target those areas. Additionally, Innovapost has formed the building blocks to roll out Halogen Succession™ and Halogen Learning™ in the future to further drive succession planning and performance-based learning, and create an environment where employees understand how learning is directly linked to performance.
"So far all I have heard are great things about Halogen," said Maddalena. "The managers really like the fact that they can drill down to see everything they need. I would absolutely recommend Halogen."
Two of the vice presidents at Innovapost, both with very limited time, have expressed how impressed they are with how intuitive Halogen Performance is to learn and use. Additionally, HR has said that from an administrative point of view, the solution was easy to set up, easy to test and very user friendly.
"Halogen has great support staff and I always feel comfortable calling to ask questions. They always provide clear answers and they provide them quickly," said Maddalena. "It has been an amazing experience. We are also looking into the other Halogen modules such as eSuccession, eCompensation and eLearning Manager."