Knowledge Center

VP-HR Discovers Net-based Software

When Judy Feasby was hired as the Chief Advocate for People and Culture (a.k.a. VP, Human Resources) at Gold Systems Inc. of Boulder, Colorado, she was pleased to find the company already using a 360-degree model of performance evaluation.

"I was happy that it was an accepted part of the culture but the process was a nightmare," says Feasby. "The managers sent out a Word document, people responded to different categories and the manager then had to collate and condense the information. It took days to complete and was a very cumbersome process."

Feasby needed a more streamlined and effective 360 process and better quality data. She knew what she was looking for because she had developed 360 systems for two companies before coming to Gold Systems.

"I was well schooled in what it takes to put together a valid 360 instrument because I had worked on everything from determining the right questions to deciding how results should be sorted and delivered."

Feasby began searching for solutions to her 360 needs online. "I discovered the Panoramic Feedback 360 on the Internet. The features were impressive, especially the ability to customize both the questions and the reports."

Gold Systems, which creates voice and wireless applications for customer relations management, is now on its third round of 360s. Each of its 94 employees receives 360 performance evaluations from their peers, subordinates and managers.

"We like the fact that you can run reviews using only a numeric scale or with the addition of comments," says Feasby. "We use a 1 - 7 scale and after each set of competencies there is a comment section. We really encourage comments, especially when a rating is particularly high or low because then we can see the reasons for the rating."

Individuals receive their reports directly from managers who have been trained in the review process and on how to provide constructive and supportive feedback. Career goals and skill enhancement opportunities are discussed and, if the review indicates that changes need to be made, an action plan is developed. True to Gold Systems commitment to employee accountability they don't wait for the yearly 360 review if someone is having a performance problem. "We act based on observable change of performance," says Feasby.

Gold Systems managers appreciate the 360 system because it has dramatically lessened the workload associated with performance reviews.

"The process has little impact on the manager's time now, except for the actual time spent preparing for and giving the review," says Feasby. The reports are generated quickly and we are getting quality feedback that is well organized."

The speed of the system leaves everyone more time to be productive, she adds.

Feasby points to ease of use as the number one benefit. "That, combined with the way the vendors stand behind and constantly improve their product, make this a phenomenal tool."

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