Westfield Capital Management automated performance management process further supports its employee's growth and development.
PerformYard was the perfect way to elevate our process. It is exactly what we wanted and we're already very happy with what we're seeing. It's the perfect platform for us.
Kathy Balestrieri and Mary Lyons make up the HR team at Westfield Capital Management. They work together to run the organization’s HR function, including their talent management processes.
Kathy has been with the organization 25 years. She began her career on the financial side of the business, until 2019 when an open role gave her the opportunity to take responsibility for the HR department. Mary started her career with Westfield as a receptionist and quickly moved up the organizational ladder. “Part of my job is recruiting, so I see first-hand that whenever possible, we promote internally. My career growth at Westfield is not unique. We see similar stories replicated throughout all departments in their own way,” Mary shared.
Westfield Capital Management is a registered investment advisor providing investment management services to institutions and individuals. This 60-employee organization is based in Boston, MA and manages $16 billion in investments. The firm is organized into departments for investments, trading, compliance, operations, marketing, finance and administration.
When Kathy and Mary formed the new HR team they went through their first employee review cycle together, managing an outdated process Mary shared one of the many issues with their old approach, “the forms were in Word documents. Anytime we tried to add or move something, it changed the whole dynamic of the document. It was just very antiquated, very old school.”
That process included an annual review and mid-year check-in. The annual review used rating questions in self and downward appraisals. The original process required team leaders and human resources to email documents back and forth, at times causing files or information to be lost or updated incorrectly. Peer reviews were also possible if requested by managers or employees, however they were not mandatory. “I dreaded every time I had to go into those Word documents, just because I knew it was going to be a pain,” Mary shared.
In the original review forms, employees would list all of their responsibilities which would be rated on a five-point scale. The forms also included open-ended questions that assessed overall performance and a space to set personal and professional goals for the upcoming year. “It was not an efficient process at all, so after that first year, we started looking at performance management systems.”
Kathy and Mary wanted to institute year-round 360 peer reviews, so they looked for a platform that could seamlessly support their vision. Mary shared the reason for this shift, “Peer reviews had only been happening at the end of the year. However, that type of feedback needs to be provided in real time, so it's more accurate.”
Their team evaluated four to five different companies before making a final decision. Kathy explained why they chose PerformYard.
"We wanted something simple with an easy look and feel. And we wanted a platform that could support ongoing feedback, custom reviews and track goals. PerformYard had it all.”
Today, Westfield Capital’s performance management cycles still include annual review and a mid-year check-in, however, its workflows and review forms look very different.
The review forms are now qualitative in nature and focused on goals from the past six months and an employee’s significant achievements. “What were your greatest strengths in the past six months?” and “What areas should you work to develop?” are just some of the questions asked in its revised review forms. Removing the ratings and unique job responsibilities of each employee was a big decision for the team, however, the goal was to provide a more efficient and simpler process. “Getting to the guts of performance was more important than rehashing the past. People know what they do for their jobs,” Mary explained.
360 feedback was also fully incorporated into the process to further support employee growth and development. “Today our employees give feedback all the time. We like the request feedback feature on PerformYard. It's a really nice add-on, because now feedback is definitely given throughout the year,” said Mary. There is also a space in the revised review forms where managers can include the 360 feedback employees received throughout the year.
Kathy shared that having everything in one place and not having to email documents across the organization has been the biggest advantage of automating their performance management process.
Managers also appreciate being able to look at their last review and what was shared with employees. “Now managers can see everything in PerformYard, rather than having to request the forms from the employee file or remember where they saved it on their computer. That has been really helpful.”
Beyond the automation and streamlining of the process, Mary shared that PerformYard also helps support the company’s goal of continuously growing its employees' careers. “One of the reasons why PerformYard is so great for us is that people's journeys are different at Westfield. We always look at promoting our employees first before hiring externally and officially tracking employee growth and development on PerformYard can really help us maintain and grow that even further.”
Mary also shared that PerformYard has made performance management easier across the board. “Everything is more organized, it’s a more seamless process. There is also more enthusiasm around performance reviews, truthfully!”
Moving forward, Kathy and Mary hope to further increase employee engagement with the platform and see growth around goal setting and peer feedback. Kathy concluded by sharing, “PerformYard was the perfect way to elevate our process. It is exactly what we wanted and we're already very happy with what we're seeing. It's just really the perfect platform for us.”