VECA Unlocks the Power of Past Employee Review Data

Moving away from spreadsheets and into PerformYard helped VECA's managers access past performance data and make better decisions.

Meet Laura: 

Laura Rannow is the Chief Administration Officer at VECA Electric & Technologies. She has worked for VECA for over twenty years, in a variety of roles, from project manager to Director of HR. She brings ten years of HR experience to her position at VECA, and has a passion for helping the people of VECA grow and succeed in their roles. 

“I started working on our project management side, then moved over to the HR world,” Laura explained. “Our HR department really is an advocate for our employees. We want to make sure we help them grow and develop.”

About VECA: 

VECA is the premier Pacific Northwest electrical contractor. They specialize in a variety of electrical installations for a host of different industries including commercial, healthcare, educational, laboratory, and mission-critical. 

Founded in 1946 as the Veterans Electrical Contractors Association, the organization has grown to employ hundreds of employees, completing major electrical installations at the Washington State Convention Center, UW Life Sciences Building, and the Seatac North Satellite Extension. 

“Once you know an employee and you know their values and you know their work ethic, it's much easier to move them up and give them the tools to do that rather than to try and hire from outside,” Laura said. “So that's where our focus is.”

The Challenge: 

“For a long time, it was the way we did things: a legacy thing. We’ve been in business since 1946!” 

For decades, VECA had been logging annual reviews through Excel spreadsheets. This manual process proved to be a hindrance in helping develop their employees by both slowing the process down and making it harder to track growth over time. 

“Every year, we’d have a different spreadsheet, and no real way of tracking metrics,” Laura lamented. “It was painful.” 

The HR team had a hard time managing this process – keeping track of who had filled out their reviews and who was falling behind.

“All the nagging and tracking fell on us,” Laura said, “we had to come up with different spreadsheets for different job descriptions, and make sure managers were using the right spreadsheet – and not the one from three years ago!” 

Managers were equally frustrated. They needed help locating their historical data to see how employees had progressed over time. 

For both sides, this manual process was “a big burden and a challenge to manage.” 

The challenge, therefore, was to find a performance management solution that: 

  • Stored all performance data in one easily accessible location
  • Automated and streamlined performance cycle 
  • Employees found it intuitive and easy to use
  • Scaled with the business. 

Why PerformYard: 

“We realized that software was the answer,” said Laura. “But we had no clue what was out there.”

The HR team at VECA realized that building a new, internal solution was not feasible. Instead, they needed to find a performance management solution that could support their commitment to helping employees develop within their organization while also providing data transparency and simplicity. 

Ultimately, PerformYard’s ease of use for employees and admin was the deciding factor. 

“PerformYard was the most user-friendly. We felt like it was going to help us.” 

Additionally, Laura believed that PerformYard’s additional functionality would allow VECA to create a more robust performance framework in the near future. 

“We wanted to be able to do quarterly reviews and all these other things we had in mind for down the road. PerformYard met our immediate need for tracking and managing our annual reviews, but we saw it had future potential as well.” 

The Process: 

Today, VECA uses an annual review along with goal-setting and quarterly check-ins. This process is complemented by their growth culture initiative. This new initiative is comprised of training tracks to help employees grow and transition within the company. 

“Say you’re a project engineer, and you want to move to be an associate project manager,” Laura explained. “You’ll enter this growth track that has all these trainings. We realized that, through PerformYard, we could pair these processes together. Managers can have more frequent check-ins, and document their conversations and employee progress through PerformYard to help them go along that growth track.” 

“With this new growth culture initiative, we’re going to really develop our quarterly check-ins into quarterly reviews, and we’ll use PerformYard to do that.”

The Results: 

Thanks to partnering with PerformYard, VECA has transformed its annual review process from a patchwork of spreadsheets into a seamless, unified process. 

“For HR, it’s great! I don’t have to track down people and remind them to fill out their reviews.” 

Laura and the HR team can create customized performance review templates to reflect job functions, and then deploy these review cycles companywide. HR can then track their completion rate from within the platform. Managers no longer have to worry about filling out the right Excel spreadsheet; they immediately see the right form whenever they log in to PerformYard. 

That’s not the only benefit that managers have seen. “For managers, the biggest benefit is their ability to go back,” Laura said. “They can go in and see exactly who all their direct reports are. They can click into any of those employees to see, ‘Oh, did we have this conversation at our last check-in? How are those goals progressing?’ Everything is right there in PerformYard.” 

This ability to set goals and track progress has made it much easier to help guide employee development. 

“For employee management, HR needs to know what conversations managers are having with employees,” Laura explained. “Especially if there are performance issues. With PerformYard, I can go in and see all those conversations. It’s also easy to see where we need to develop employees who are having those performance issues. ‘This has been a problem for a bit. Let’s see how we can help this person develop in this area.” 

Across the board, PerformYard has helped VECA employees and management streamline their review process and progress employee development. 

Laura summarized the takeaway: “Overall, PerformYard has really helped empower people to move forward in their careers.”
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