Selecting the right performance management platform

Over the last decade, Ruby Receptionists has doubled their growth year over year—establishing themselves as a leading organization in the telecommunication industry.

In fact, in 2017, Ruby Receptionists, then valued at $11 million, was sold for $38.8 million; triple its revenue.

To embrace their rapid growth and changes, Ruby Receptionists was looking for a performance management tool for over a year. After evaluating a number of different tools, they officially implemented 7Geese in January 2018 because of the great alignment between 7Geese’s and Ruby’s philosophy around performance management.

We spoke with Shawna Shandy, Director of Organizational Development, to learn more about her experience with 7Geese and how our team of HR experts has helped Ruby’s employees truly leverage the tool.

Laying the groundwork for success

In order to further empower the team at Ruby, more light had to be shed on what was being achieved on a regular basis. They were able to do this by showing everyone how implementing 7Geese would help the team achieve more together.

For receptionists, this meant creating a sense of empowerment through setting transparent goals in 7Geese. And for the team at their HQ, it meant conducting regular 1-on-1s to drive feedback —ultimately performing at higher levels more quickly.

But the implementation of a new performance management platform didn’t happen overnight.

Initial implementation of 7Geese was met with positive reception from employees but a lack of clarity before Shawna and Ruby Receptionists’ cultivators (aka managers) were able to show how continuous goal tracking and 1-on-1s contributed to individual growth and performance discussions.

That’s why Shawna made it a priority in the first quarter of implementing 7Geese to educate executives and employees on how to set OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) so they could fully leverage the 7Geese platform.

She was able to do this by clarifying how 7Geese supports what employees are already doing and facilitating it on a more frequent and automated basis.

“What I found was that our receptionist center had really good habits around goal setting and good habits around 1-on-1 check-in’s. They were already doing all the things we wanted them to do under a coaching model but they didn’t have a platform to easily do those things.”

– Shawna Shandy, Director of Organizational Development

Sure enough with this discovery and Shawn’s dedication to educating the team, the receptionist center garnered a 98% adoption rate of 7Geese. Holding a large team accountable for setting at least one OKR within the first quarter of implementation is no easy feat but Ruby surpassed the average adoption rate with flying colors.

This high level of adoption can largely be credited to Ruby selecting a tool that aligned their core values, in this case, it’s the elements of transparency and equality that allows employees to understand where their goals fit in and contribute to the entire company’s growth.

“…some systems lacked elements that enabled managers to share information with their teams, ultimately reducing the transparency that empowers employees, that was a differentiator for us.”

All of this effectively puts feedback into the hands of the employee, and it was no longer only manager driven.

Partnering with 7Geese to maximize success

With high adoption from the first quarter kickoff with 7Geese, Shawna was seeking further coaching for Ruby Receptionists’ executives and employees. The team was setting goals, checking in and requesting feedback but all on an ad-hoc basis. It was time to create a more consistent performance management process.

“From the beginning, it was clear that we were going to get a level of support from 7Geese that was more than just how to use the platform.”

Now with the initial kickoff being a success, they were ready to leverage in-person support from 7Geese’s HR experts.

“I knew we would have a high percentage of early adopters. But within that, I knew that there were still employees that wanted to know more in terms of why we’re making all this change.”

In helping facilitate Ruby’s 7Geese implementation, Robert St. Jacques, Director of Customer Success and Elizabeth Stewart, Head of Professional Services, made on-site visits to help further bridge the transition from SMART goals to OKRs.

To start, a workshop was held with 2-3 Ruby Receptionist executives and cultivators to start setting OKRs that were meaningful for the rest of the company. Often times, executives have goals that make sense from a business perspective, such as increasing profitability or operational excellence, however, these often do not engage or connect with the individual employee. They cannot always make the link between these broader goals and what this means for their everyday work.

Every on-site visit from 7Geese’s HR experts were custom tailored to meet the needs of Ruby’s teams, which allowed for Ruby’s executives and cultivators to take away important examples that demonstrate to them how they can set goals that are more meaningful and empowering to the broader audience rather than setting similar profitability goals quarter over quarter.

“7Geese shared slide decks with us that contains visuals that we continue to use to coach people through OKRs. The material they provided acts as a refresher to everyone each quarter to consider the questions, ‘Why am I doing this?’, ‘How am I going to continue to make more of an impact?’.”

Continuous support from 7Geese HR experts

Shawna can see that the cultivators have become more comfortable with talking about OKRs with their team after the on-site sessions and professional services support they received with 7Geese.

“The cultivators had this information before January’s 7Geese implementation but went a quarter stumbling with their team because they were still figuring things out. After the sessions with Robert and Elizabeth, I’ve witnessed them move to coaching their team vs telling their teams what objectives they need to meet. And I’ve had cultivators tell me, ‘I feel I can talk about OKRs with my team now’.”

7Geese HR experts continue to support Ruby Receptionists with HR expertise both virtually and in-person.

“My experience, especially working with my dedicated 7Geese HR Expert, Kathy, has been on point. I feel supported because of all the attention to detail and her quick turnaround time. We don’t have an HRIS and that’s created some challenges but any issues we have were always addressed by 7Geese. In the past, I’ve had experiences with platforms reducing support post implementation but I’ve never felt like we were floating with 7Geese.”

7Geese helped Shawna unlock the potential of Ruby’s employees by allowing her to look through multiple data points for areas of improvements instead of being anecdotal or relying on a single survey.

Now that 7Geese is up and running with the teams, Shawna is now able to shift her efforts to do more strategic work such as identifying skill gaps with teams and having deeper conversations with Ruby’s leaders and cultivators.