How to prioritize growth in employee performance management

How to prioritize growth in employee performance management

Headquarters: Austin, USA

Industry: Software

Number of employees: 150+

Founded in 2016, Shipwell helps companies scale with a single solution delivering real-time visibility, transportation management, and carrier network integrations. This enables organizations to scale efficiently no matter the volatility of the market. In 2019, Monica Matison, Vice President of People Operations, joined Shipwell to manage the full employee lifecycle. She launched Shipwell’s first performance review process, which was a simple semiannual system to identify areas of success, improvement, and opportunities for learning and development. However, Shipwell’s growth was quickly thrown into overdrive by the disruption of global supply chain and their relatively new and manual performance review process could’t scale.

Shipwell’s performance review practice was time-consuming and manual, and employees were wary of transparent peer-to-peer feedback. Managers needed to use spreadsheets, track reviews on required timelines, and simply make time to undertake a very complex but important task.

Then, during the COVID-19 pandemic the realities of transportation, shipping, and logistics became very clear to those in and outside of the industry. Shipwell’s ability to provide visibility into the location of clients’ shipments was critical during this time, which was a boon to their growth. 

But rapid growth underlined their performance review challenges, and the administrative work to keep the reviews successful became unmanageable for the People team and employees, leading some to simply not do reviews at all. This spurred attrition by individuals who wanted feedback, but just weren’t getting it.

As the company quickly and continuously increased in size, Monica recognized the need for a less manual and easy to implement platform to better facilitate employee growth.

Monica explored well known performance review tools, but their rigid functionality and lack of affordability weren’t aligning with Shipwell’s goals. Her search for a solution capable of meeting Shipwell’s needs while growing with the company’s internal processes led her to Pando.

“We get to work with the people at Pando to shape the platform instead of using a rigid, out-of the box solution” explained Monica. The ability to partner with Pando to help provide training and an understanding of both the platform and the review process was key in her decision-making. Coupled with Pando’s collaboration in customizing the platform to Shipwell’s career levels, terminology, and compensation analyses, Monica felt Pando was the solution for Shipwell’s performance management goals.

Beyond platform functionality, Monica felt Pando’s approach to performance management was the right fit for her vision of a more holistic, well-rounded, and progressive approach to reviews at Shipwell.

“Pando stood out for their innovative approach to career progression…I think peer feedback is just as, if not more, important than manager feedback. Not all solutions capture that 360 feedback feeling. I really like that Pando allows people to give feedback to whomever they want, and allows the individual to request feedback from whomever they want, and their manager doesn’t have to facilitate that,” stated Monica. “It’s self-directed, and that was really important.” 

Since Pando weaves 360-degree feedback into goal planning, actions, and achievements into continuous career progression planning, Pando was a perfect fit for Shipwell’s needs.

Using Pando has significantly decreased the amount of time spent manually facilitating performance reviews, allowing individuals to request, give, and receive feedback in a self-directed manner. This automation is key in solving one of Shipwell’s major performance management-related pain points.

“I enjoy the simplicity; not emailing, sending docs back and forth, losing track of where we are in the process. Everyone has the same process through the platform and there are no rogue steps. Through the interface, I can easily see who to follow up with, versus sending repetitive blanket emails,” Monica reported. The platform’s reduction in manual labor also means they’ll be able to scale the process even with Shipwell’s continued headcount growth.

The ability to visualize and compare side-by-side feedback also is helpful to Shipwell, allowing participants to understand why they and their colleagues are either aligned or misaligned, leading to more productive conversations. Additionally, this process convinced individuals wary of 360-degree feedback of its efficacy and value.

“People said to me, ‘You were right, I was not a believer that this was a good thing, but now I am. It was very helpful to understand who gave me this feedback because it ties into this specific working relationship and this specific project. And it provided me so much more context knowing who it came from,’” recalled Monica.

Above all, Shipwell and Pando now work together to empower Shipwell’s employees to feel engaged and valued in the performance review process, making it a more productive and meaningful exercise for everyone involved.

Monica concluded, “[Our people] hold the keys to their own future in getting this feedback whenever they want. I feel strongly that this tool helps empower people to understand where they’re at and how to move forward in their career.”

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