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Case Study: Online Performance Management at Chimes

Chimes is a multiservice agency delivering a wide range of programs, support and services to people with developmental disabilities, including mental retardation and illness. With facilities in six mid-Atlantic states, the organization employs some 3,000 professionals and staff.

To help ensure the development and retention of talented employees, Chimes senior management wanted a more sophisticated performance management system. According to a Chimes director, the existing evaluation process was far too subjective and open ended. Each manager did reviews in a different way and interpreted performance differently. In addition, the system could not accommodate pay-for-performance.

Chimes turned to PSG for an answer. We began by working with senior management and staff to develop the following fundamentals needed in a comprehensive performance management system:

  • Organizational drivers that represent the deliverables of the CEO and cascade down the organization to ensure alignment across all divisions;
  • Performance objectives for all department heads to ensure an effective cascading process in each department through levels of management and down to each individual employee;
  • A set of core competencies for Chimes’ main job family, with progressively higher competency requirements for higher levels of responsibility, as well as a set of competencies for managers, individual contributors and administrative and clerical support;
  • A rating system and formula that combines quantitative and qualitative performance and calculates an overall performance rating for determining merit increases.

The final phase was to convert the first phase, spreadsheet system to an online system. “We initially tried to use the online software from the vendor who had set up our HRIS,” says Chimes’ CFO. “However, their standard product required more engineering time and cost than we expected. We also investigated other major software providers. They could do the job, but at a very high price.”

Chimes contacted PSG again to explore their online performance management system, which was developed in collaboration with PSG’s technology partner, Greater Performances (GPI).

“The principals at PSG and GPI understood our specific needs and knew exactly how to go from spreadsheet to Web to provide the right functionality. With its sharp focus on metrics, the system will unquestionably improve performance and allow us to run our business better.”

Adds Chimes’ HR director: “Our online performance management system is a wonderful tool, but it must support the work of human beings. Our ongoing focus will be better management practices to make the system effective.”

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