How Spoor Bunch Franz built a process that is both consistent across their organization and customized to departmental needs.
PerformYard helps us increase the frequency of reviews and feedback. Before, we did annual reviews and that’s it, but all the research points towards the next generation wanting more feedback and more frequent reviews. And not only do they want it, but it’s also really helpful for the organization.
Spoor Bunch Franz is an innovative mid-size accounting firm located off Old Tampa Bay in St. Petersburg, Florida. With their multidisciplinary experience, the team works in partnership with their clients to solve complex financial issues and provide deep insight into the numbers.
The firm serves the diverse needs of their clients and that means diverse functional areas within the organization. New employees, audit teams, intern classes, tax and bookkeeping all have performance management processes that fit naturally into their work.
Jessica Espaillat, the Internal & External Relations Specialist, sat down with us to explain how the firm uses PerformYard to increase the frequency of performance feedback.
One of the primary reasons Spoor Bunch Franz chose PerformYard is that they wanted to increase the frequency and volume of feedback. Jessica said “We historically did annual reviews and that’s it, but our research showed people want more frequent feedback, so that was our goal.”
Each month, employees are encouraged to give feedback to two people. The feedback can go to anyone, so upward, downward and parallel feedback is all allowed.
Sometimes feedback takes the form of recognition shared with the whole company or it might be a private note shared with HR. The process is designed to stay lightweight and flexible, and increase the amount of feedback that is being shared across the firm. Everything is collected and stored in the right place, which becomes a fantastic resource for managers 6 and 12 months down the road when they are reviewing performance.
The firm runs two review cycles per year. One they call the annual review and the second they call the interim review. Each consists of a self-appraisal and a manager appraisal. The process is done in stages. First the employee completes their self-appraisal. Then the manager brings together a few sources of data for their review.
First the manager reviews the self-appraisal, second they get input from anyone else at the firm who the employee has worked for during the previous period. Finally they read through the monthly feedback that has been shared about the employee. The manager brings all this information together and writes their review.
The questions focus on aligning performance with the firms expectations and values, especially the five core cultural competencies. There is also space for reviewing progress towards goals and for setting new goals.
After the reviews have been written, management teams for each department get together to discuss them, share notes, and compare for consistency. After these meetings HR signs off on the forms and they are sent back to the manager.
Finally, the manager meets with the employee to share the review, discuss the last year and plan for the next year. After the meeting the completed documents are released to the employee.
Spoor Bunch Franz has done a great job of creating special review cycles for different parts of the organization. Here are a few examples.
Audit Engagement Evaluations
The audit team’s work is project based, and because of that discrete cadence it creates an opportunity to launch reviews at the end of each project. So audit teams do project-based reviews that are focused on competencies displayed during the project period. These short evaluations are done in addition to the annual and interim reviews.
New Employee Onboarding Evaluations
Spoor Bunch Franz does an onboarding evaluation after 30 days of employment where the new employee reviews their onboarding experience. Then at 60 days of employment the new employee does an evaluation of their coach and the new employee's manager does an evaluation of their performance. The multiple perspectives help the team see progress and find opportunities from all angles with a new employee.
Intern Review Cycle
Interns get their own review cycle. It is a great opportunity to give them feedback on what might be their first professional job experience. It also helps Spoor Bunch Franz collect information from those who worked with an intern over the past few months. This can be used to decide whether to extend a job offer before the internship ends.
Additional Interim Cycle
Finally, the firm will also launch additional custom cycles with teams, departments or individuals to serve specific needs or goals.