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GISinc: Increasing visibility into employee performance and having more frequent feedback

An employee-owned company headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, GISinc delivers customer-driven location technology solutions to federal, state and local, and commercial organizations.

For more than 27 years, GISinc has provided cutting-edge location services to thousands of clients. Yet the software the company used to track employee development was anything but cutting edge. “We’d implemented the software to replace a paper process. But the system was super clunky and very limited,” said Bridget Perry, culture and services curator at GISinc. “Employees could only enter their goals near their anniversary date—nothing could be changed throughout the year.”

The software also didn’t enable ongoing performance reviews. In fact, it didn’t enable reviews at all. “It was strictly an employee development planning tool,” said Perry. “We decided we needed to do things differently. We wanted to facilitate ongoing conversations between employees and supervisors, be able to track those conversations, and provide a record of performance feedback.”

Why PiiQ by Cornerstone

GISinc did an in-depth review of six performance management platforms. “We discovered that most products were either too rigid or too clunky. We’d just come from a clunky system, so we wanted a nice look and feel that would appeal to tech-savvy employees,” said Perry. “I knew Cornerstone had a talent management solution for large companies. Then I learned that they also offer a solution, PiiQ by Cornerstone, that’s designed for smaller businesses like us.”

Unlike many talent management solutions for small business, PiiQ is very flexible and easy to configure. “With PiiQ, we can use the content template as a starting point and then configure everything the way we want to. All the questions, the ratings, the competencies—those are all customizable,” said Perry. “Above and beyond that, the Cornerstone staff has been receptive to all sorts of feedback. They’ve solicited feedback on the application itself. Working for a company that does a lot of application development, I know that user feedback is really important in the development process. We’re always looking forward to new features in PiiQ.”

The Results

Saved time. Prior to PiiQ, employee yearly merit reviews were managed via Excel. “Spreadsheets were consolidated at each level. And then ratings still had to be calculated, salaries loaded, and increase recommendations made,” said Perry. “By managing our merit reviews through PiiQ, we’re saving so much time—days and weeks that used to be spent consolidating old spreadsheets.”

Enabled more meaningful conversations with new hires. With PiiQ’s Check-ins feature, employees and supervisors can schedule topics for discussion and track and manage conversations. “In the past, our week 1, week 4, and week 12 meetings with new employees were recorded on paper and emailed back and forth,” said Perry. “Now we use the Check-ins feature instead to keep track of and record those conversations. It’s a much better way to monitor new employee progress than with Post-Its or emails.”

Facilitated continuous performance management. Before PiiQ, GISinc had a clear vision to have quarterly check-ins with employees to discuss their careers. “PiiQ could deliver on this vision via the Goal Setting and Review features. Now, we have a streamlined feedback process that enables supervisors and employees to have quarterly syncs,” said Perry.

More easily identified high potential employees. PiiQ’s 9-box talent matrix and performance reports gives managers increased visibility into employee performance and future development needs. GISinc understands how important it is to have proactive and meaningful conversations with employees. “With PiiQ, we have more access to data about people. I now have a full 9-box,” said Perry. “PiiQ is helping increase visibility into our high potential employees to make sure they’re positioned and ready for the next step.”

Empowered employees by introducing frequent goal setting and self-review. Previously, employees could only set goals once a year. Today, employees can manage their own goals during the year within PiiQ, which GISinc has rebranded internally as Pathfinder. In addition to PiiQ’s continuous goal setting feature, PiiQ offers a self-review. “It was so important for us that employees be able to set and monitor their own goals and drive their careers. With PiiQ, goal setting is open all the time, for anybody,” said Perry. “Lastly, our employees are more invested in the process and appreciate the ability to submit a self-review.”

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