Webcrafters gets multiple perspectives on employee performance and saves time

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Webcrafters, a leading full-service printing company, selected a web-based talent management system to improve the impact of employee performance reviews, while reducing the labor required to complete them. Halogen Performance™ and Halogen 360 Multirater™ enable Webcrafters to:

  • Reduce the labor required to complete the employee appraisal process;
  • Improve accountability;
  • Gather multirater evaluations to provide greater insight into employee performance; and
  • Generate the necessary forms to accommodate various positions simply and quickly.

Customer profile

Based out of Madison, Wisconsin, Webcrafters is a leader in pre-press, printing and binding services. More than half of its 400 employees have been with the company for more than ten years with many employees serving for more than 20, 30 and even 40 years. Webcrafters' loyal and long-serving employees are an extension of the company family, and they bring a commitment to their work.

Challenge

The performance management process at Webcrafters was highly labor intensive. Completing the organization's annual performance appraisals meant using several different systems that were not well integrated. Additionally, there were a number of manual tasks to be executed, including printing and mailing over 400 paper evaluation forms to managers.

Another challenge with the existing system was a lack of accountability when it came to completing performance appraisals. Some reviews would come in late; some managers would insist they were sent in when HR had not received them. When performance issues arose there wasn't always documentation to support assertions of an individual's strengths and weaknesses.

"In the printing industry many companies have been bought out, have merged into larger companies or have outsourced production globally," said Nora Brendler, HR Manager with Webcrafters. "It is an industry that has seen a lot of changes. Because of this it is important that we can objectively determine if an employee is a good fit, in the right position and getting paid correctly."

For Webcrafters gathering feedback from multiple sources was a vital component in the appraisal process, but only some people within the organization had begun doing them using the paper system. The organization wanted feedback from crews on how lead operators were performing. In addition, not many departments had set specific, time-bound goals for employees. If someone was to receive a special increase in compensation it was difficult to justify because there was no formal record of that employee's goals.

Solution

Webcrafters evaluated several web-based employee performance and talent management vendors. After discovering Halogen Performance the selection committee was immediately unanimous in agreeing that this was exactly what the organization needed. "Only Halogen enabled us to easily generate more forms that encompassed a greater number of positions," explained Brendler. "In some departments, we now have forms for each position, which has made the appraisal process much more valuable."

The organization also appreciated Halogen 360 Multirater, which significantly improved the quality and the impact of employee appraisals. The Multirater module streamlined the process of gathering and analyzing feedback from peers, direct reports, or other supervisors on particular competencies — or on the overall performance of an employee. This functionality provided employees with more detailed insights into their performance and any areas where improvement may be needed.

After only three days of training, Brendler implemented the solution across half the company. While this was planned as a pilot, it went so well that just six months later the rest of the company was using Halogen Performance.

Results

Webcrafters quickly started to recognize the benefits of its new employee performance and talent management system. The organization's press department is a good example of how the new solution is being used successfully. The department has used the multirater process several times and it has improved the quality of the evaluations each time. "We have seen that as a result of the multirater process, several employees who were having difficulties have turned their performance around," said Brendler. "Employees are definitely getting higher quality evaluations and any performance issues are being addressed early on."

Having the Halogen 360 Multirater module in place has also helped the organization to enable employees, who may not have had the chance in the past, to provide feedback about other team members. Additionally, HR has used Halogen 360 Multirater twice and found it helpful to have people outside the department provide feedback. For Brendler's own evaluations, she received multirater feedback from all over the company.

The new web-based system for managing and developing employee performance from Halogen has provided Webcrafters' HR team with a clear picture of who in the organization is completing their employee evaluations in a timely manner. In the past, this information was not being monitored, but it is now all automatically tracked by the solution.

Finally, it was important that managers be able to complete employee evaluations at home. Because of the nature of the organization, many managers found it hard to complete the evaluations at work. "Managers are usually located in an office in the middle of the plant and they are often unable to close a door and focus on the appraisals," said Brendler. "To correct this it was important for the appraisals to be accessible on-line. Now, managers are able to choose when and where it is most convenient to complete their teams' appraisals."

In the end, after successfully implementing Halogen Performance and Halogen 360 Multirater, Webcrafters was able to improve their employee performance appraisal process, making it simpler for all involved. Employees, HR and managers now have the information they need to be effective. As an organization that has thrived in an industry that has experienced a great deal of recent change, Webcrafters is able to objectively determine if an employee is the best fit, fill skill gaps and further strengthen its corporate family.