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Summary

USI rolled out the process in phases and gathered feedback as they implemented different elements of the new performance management solution. The team welcomed suggestions and made improvements, keeping in mind optimization and future progress, while prioritizing adaptability and flexibility.

About USI Insurance Services

Headquartered in Valhalla, New York, USI is one of the country’s biggest consulting and insurance brokerage firms, with more than 200 offices and 8,000 employees across the United States.

The organization provides employee benefits, personal risk and retirement solutions to small firms, clients and middle-market companies. It has over 150 years of experience, combining industry-leading national capabilities with a commitment to local service teams.

The Phases

USI kept stakeholders at the forefront during their phased implementation approach. These phases translated into a feedback-friendly process that promoted better adaptability by end users.

Phase 1

The first phase lasted three months and entailed automating their archaic manual process. Focusing on the first implementation of a performance management system would move the organization from a spreadsheet into a more flexible and transparent digitized process.

USI wanted to provide HR and leaders with useful data, also prioritizing driving employee and manager engagement through their new approach. While the new system was a significant step forward from spreadsheets, employees provided extensive input on improving it.

“We heard from many employees that the process was confusing; they didn’t know where to click and they were unsure of the overall timeline and process.”

Francesca Di Mattia
Corporate Senior HRIS Analyst at USI

Di Mattia sought feedback from various stakeholders at the completion of the first phase in an effort to support the new performance management system’s success. USI discovered that stakeholders required a simplified process and improvements when it came to searching for information and portal branding, thus building a solid system foundation.

“Employees—our direct clients—were very vocal in how to make it better and we took their suggestions and implemented them in the system.”

Francesca Di Mattia
Corporate Senior HRIS Analyst at USI

Phase 2

With the insights garnered from the initial implementation phase, the second phase allowed better navigation of the performance management system  Stakeholders could focus more on goal setting, evaluation and providing feedback. The HRIS team also created guides and training materials, partnering with HR to offer live demos and webinars that allowed for a better understanding of the system and processes in place.

“Our partnership with HR, allowed us to do live training and demos to help support their teams. Our support really enables people to do their part well.”

Francesca Di Mattia
Corporate Senior HRIS Analyst at USI

Phase 3

The pandemic didn’t stop USI! Its agile goal-setting approach was beneficial, given the shift in priorities and focus that accompanied such a challenging time.

One key enhancement introduced during the third phase was the ability to roll over existing goals into the following year, saving employees and managers a lot of time.

Phase 4

Check-ins are the main focus during this ongoing, final phase. Through the Avature platform and the performance management system that is now in place, USI can strive for a more seamless check-in process, though the specifics are still to be determined.

A “one-size-fits-all” approach doesn’t apply anymore. This phase, which USI is currently overseeing and implementing, is all about the flexibility that supports managers and employees and adapting accordingly to their needs is critical.

“We are planning to use the system to drive and enable a much more supportive check-in process. It’s easy for managers to get busy with their own work and assume their team members are okay─and forget to check in more consistently.”

Helen Keating
HRIS Director at USI

To Conclude…

Implementing a new approach to performance management from scratch is no easy feat. With the help of Avature, USI established a partnership that brought its vision to life, making gradual implementations and prioritizing stakeholder feedback.

As the team continues on this journey, USI prioritizes flexibility, agility and configuration. Their vision for the future of their performance management is just a phase away.

This story was originally published in Josh Bersin’s 2021 report: “Post-Pandemic Performance Management.” Download your copy here.

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