accesso Formalizes Feedback Across Distributed Teams

accesso's unified process connected employee performance, managerial expectations, and organizational goals across borders.

Meet Cristina

Cristina Valle is an HR Manager at accesso. Since joining accesso in 2015 as an HR Generalist, Cristina has seen accesso grow from 200-500 employees, and her own HR division bloom from three employees to eight dedicated HR professionals. She is passionate about finding creative ways to positively impact employees through HR; from implementing new systems to sponsor employees for H1Bs and green cards to improving the employee engagement survey process, Cristina is always focused on helping accesso help its workforce.

“We have a passion to do the best that we can for our employees.”

About accesso

accesso is a cutting-edge ticketing and virtual queuing company that provides ticketing software and payment processing solutions to top venues and attractions like Six Flags, Lincoln Center, The Washington State Fair, and many more. Half of their employees work out of their Lake Mary, Florida headquarters, and half are divided between Fresno, CA, Twiford, UK, and Australia. A large portion of their workforce is focused on software engineering (creating the best ticketing solution on the market), while another large wing of the company is devoted to operations. 

The Challenge

When Cristina first started out at accesso, performance reviews were not standardized. “We had a culture of continuous feedback. We were doing one-on-ones weekly, but the continuous feedback wasn’t being recorded.” 

accesso needed a system for performance management that kept track of these conversations, both to establish a baseline of employee performance and to ensure employee development was being carried through. 

“Many times, managers and employees would lose track of these informal conversations about job growth and training. We needed a review process that would help us develop our employees.” 

This led accesso to try out performance management features that they already had access to through their payroll system. But this solution didn’t prove fully effective. 

“We are a global company,” Cristina said. “We needed a solution for a global workforce -- one that was user friendly and easy to access.” 

Why PerformYard

“With PerformYard, everyone had access to it.” 

That was the first major benefit that PerformYard had to creating performance management cohesion at accesso. With a global workforce, accesso needed a system that could capture performance review data no matter whether the employee worked in California or Australia. 

The second major improvement over accesso’s previous software was PerformYard’s ease of use. Cristina said, “we wanted something that was a little bit easier to use. PerformYard was easier.” 

How is PerformYard easier? Cristina called out some examples. “With our old system, employees had to log in to complete the reviews. Now, with PerformYard, employees get an email for their review, click the link, and go to that review immediately. It’s an important improvement.” 

“I also love PerformYard’s dual view feature,” Cristina added. “Managers can see their employees’ self-assessments while completing reviews for those employees. The information is a lot easier to find.”  

The Process

accesso wanted to create a trackable, actionable performance review system that still maintained the conversational and additive feel of their previous, continuous feedback process. 

They decided upon a quarterly system. Each quarter, there is a conversational-style manager-led review, along with an employee self-assessment.

“We keep it simple. Three questions that the employee and manager complete, then they discuss, and then it’s done. For the next review, it’s a different set of questions. We try to align our reviews with what the organization is prioritizing.” 

This revolving slate of questions keeps the reviews from becoming stale. “When we moved to PerformYard, we took the opportunity to revamp the process for our conversational reviews. We wanted to keep it simple, but add value for employees. It’s all about keeping the conversation going through this continuous review approach.” 

These simple, frequent reviews also formalized employee development, taking conversations about development and codifying actionable next steps. 

“We’re adding questions for managers to move those informal conversations into the review space. ‘What projects do you want to work on?’ ‘I see your goal was to complete this training. Where do you want to go from there?’ It’s simple, but it really helps drive specific employee development.” 

accesso typically adds a rating question for the last review of the year to add a quantitative element to their largely qualitative approach. This system continues to evolve as accesso partners with employees to determine which is the most helpful synthesis of performance review and employee development. 

“It’s a fine balance. It is important to evaluate what’s working and what’s not working in order to maximize the value of these conversations. Ultimately performance reviews have to evolve along with the changing organization.”   

The Results

Shifting to PerformYard has given accesso a unified approach to reviews and employee development. “Previously, a manager in the US had no way of getting reviews of their employee in the UK unless I emailed them over. Now, managers automatically get the reviews of all their direct hires, regardless of country.”

“It’s given us a message of, ‘we’re unified. We’re all following this.’” 

Cristina also cited PerformYard’s user-friendly interface as a time-saver. “You get the alert, you click, and you're working on your review.” she added, “I can also go in and quickly assign the review to anyone -- even if they change managers. That’s not an issue. Now their new manager is up to speed on their goals and career development right from the first day.” 

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