ista Energy Solutions is using on-line HR software solution Cezanne HR to help raise standards of performance throughout the business and streamline HR administration

A focus on performance management

ista was aware that there was room for improvement in the way it managed performance and wanted to get the issue higher on managers’ agendas. “We tended to do performance reviews only once a year, but we didn’t really have a set way of doing it,” explained Head of Account Management Rachel Johnson. “Everyone was doing it a bit differently, some people weren’t doing it at all and the resulting information wasn’t always recorded accurately.”

The business looked at a number of HR software solutions but could see that Cezanne HR would help it tackle the task of performance management more consistently – as well as bring all its HR data together in one central place.

The system went live in May this year, after a series of short on-line and telephone training sessions, and has already had a significant impact. Managers are now able to set monthly objectives for their teams and can review and adapt goals as the needs of the business change.

Rachel has seen the effectiveness of this first hand in her own team. “It has helped us to be really clear about what needs to be done, both as a team and individually,” she explained. “For example, we had masses of data on our main system and some of it was really out-of-date. We knew it was a job we needed to tackle, but it just kept getting pushed aside. Since we’ve been using the Performance Management module, however, it’s been much easier to focus on what needs to be done as each month comes along and we have started to make real progress with what had previously seemed like an insurmountable task. It just feels like we’ve been much more efficient all round this year.”


Engaging with employees

Individual employees have also welcomed the opportunity to get more regular feedback from their managers. “People want feedback, even if it’s not necessarily good. They want to know how they are doing and if they could be doing anything better. The system has prompted us to have more inter-action with people and the increased attention is helping to make them feel valued,” said Rachel.

Having everything properly recorded has also helped eradicate misunderstandings about what has been agreed. “The information that comes out of performance reviews goes straight onto the system and everyone has access to it.

People can see what’s been recorded and have a chance to respond to it or challenge anything they don’t feel is correct. It has just made everything much more open,” explained Rachel.

This increased focus on performance has also helped ista to improve the fairness and cost- effectiveness of its annual bonus scheme. Now that proper objectives are being set and monitored, it is much easier for managers to make judgements about how well people have done and to make recommendations about what level of bonus should be awarded at the end of the year.

Cezanne HR has also helped ista significantly reduce the admin previously associated with managing key HR processes such as holiday and sickness absence. These had previously been managed across a series of Excel spreadsheets, which had become unwieldy and difficult to keep up-to-date.


Benefiting from self service

The self service element of the software means that employees are now able to input their own holiday requests for example, and can keep a regular check on how much annual leave they have left. It has also given managers a running overview of planned absence in their team.

“Being able to see the calendar for the whole team is really useful,” explained Rachel. “There are certain areas where we always have to have at least one person covering in the office. It’s much easier to keep a check on that now as we can just see it at a glance.”

The business is also benefitting from the availability of better quality data about sickness absence – an area it had been concerned about. “The ability to run regular reports on sickness absence means we can now see trends emerging and pinpoint areas where we may need to take some action,” says Rachel.

We’re really happy with what we’ve been able to achieve with Cezanne HR”, Rachel concludes. “Having all of our HR data in one central place has improved reporting and helped cut down on admin time, and the system is enabling us to manage all our processes much more efficiently than was possible before.”