Looking for a better way to run our performance reviews and discovering Small Improvements happened simultaneously. It was December 2011 and we were tearing our hair out at the inflexibility of our ‘best-in-breed’ enterprise solution. This one-size-fits-all ‘best-practice’ approach compromised our beliefs about great people and performance management so we knew there had to something better. Enter Small Improvements and their super friendly team.
ansarada’s approach to building our own data room software is based on the mantra of ‘sophisticated simplicity’ and we love nothing more than finding solution providers who share that thinking. Small Improvements is incredibly simple to configure, customise and get users onboard. Within three months of meeting Linda we had users entering their goals for the April-June quarter.
We didn’t even bother training users and still don’t for new hires. We just issue a simple guide that explains ansarada ‘s approach to using Small Improvements, the rest is so intuitive and there are plenty of self-help screens along the way.
Our performance management schedule aligns with the quarterly rhythm of our business. We initially set out using the objectives module for employees and managers to track their quarterly goals and priorities. We’ve always used a simple traffic light system (red, yellow, green) to track goal status on a weekly basis and, whilst this wasn’t available in the standard options, the SI team was quick to customise this solution for us which works superbly. We can now see at a glance how our most important objectives are tracking right across the business helping keep us focussed and aligned.
We’ve also just completed our fourth quarterly performance check-in using the performance review module. We’re big believers in the importance of the 1:1 meeting in performance reviews, it’s where the real feedback and coaching takes place. The simplicity and speed of the 2D chart and our 3 focus questions ensures the balance between a lightweight process and those high-valueconversations is right where it should be. Feedback from our managers and employees alike has been highly positive and we’ve now put our own development planning process and tools in place to capture development goals identified during the check-in.
The collaboration and transparency of the messaging module is another popular feature. Whether its announcing a new employee or delivering some praise and kudos, enabling everyone to leave a comment or simply ‘vote up’ provides awesome real-time feedback.
The Small Improvements team are constantly seeking feedback on ways they can improve our experience. You just need to look at the many enhancements, new user interface and other features such as single sign-on that they listen and, more importantly, actually deliver. Keep up the good work guys.