With a progressive organizational culture and an autonomous, self-driven team of more than 400 employees, iQmetrix needed more than just an out-the-box solution to deliver their new Career Planning and Compensation initiatives. With PeopleGoal they've been able to seamlessly roll out their initial strategy and more! From onboarding to professional development, feedback and recognition, PeopleGoal is now the go-to platform for all employee processes.
iQmetrix’s intelligent retail management software is designed to power the telecom industry. For 20 years they've been passionate about helping the leading brands in telecom to grow by providing retail management, omnichannel, and point-of-sale solutions that help retailers to maximize operational efficiency, deliver a unified experience, and enable customers to buy anywhere. They're now trusted in 20,000 retail locations.
iQmetrix's People and Culture team engages over 400 employees in offices across North America, as well as remote teams. The company is on a self-management journey: building collaborative, peer-based networks where decisions are distributed to the people who are best able to make them - which means more freedom for individuals to contribute at their highest levels and connect to the meaning in their day-to-day work.
We spoke with Allison Cribbs - People & Culture Specialist, and Vanesa Cotlar - Director of People Operations, about their search for a software solution that would give iQmetrix's employees autonomy in their development and provide data-driven insights to support the company strategy.
iQmetrix takes a progressive approach to People Ops, encouraging self-direction and learning support in every individual's career path. Says Vanesa:
Our culture is one of creating a space where people can function as really strong individuals that contribute to a broader purpose. We're a little bit non-traditional, striving to be a self-managed company and a learning organization. To be self-managed means to create an environment where every person is an expert in what they do. They show up every day; they lead their work; and they have support systems and other teammates that they can turn to for feedback and guidance. The idea is that people really get to drive the direction of what they do, which is very empowering, and we aim to have that at all levels of our organization.
When it came to their people processes, however, it was a constant struggle with everything being held in different systems. As Allison describes:
Whether it's compensation, personal learning plans, one-on-ones, awards; they'd go into this form in SharePoint and just disappear. We didn't have anywhere to track these things. A lot of the time employees wouldn't even have access to what they'd submitted, and so we wanted to create more transparency and clarity on all of these processes. We could always sort of do these things but they were so much more complicated. They required a lot more programs and storage areas; different files in different places.
With a growing organization that encompasses three companies at different stages of maturity, having one place for all team members to track and manage their own development was vital. The need for an all-in-one employee portal to manage their people processes became clear.
At first, iQmetrix was looking for two different products to deliver their new Career Planning initiative and Compensation system. According to Allison:
We needed software to help us keep organized, ensure we were able to stay on track and make sure we're following the new principles. Ideally we were looking for a tool that could do both Career Planning and Compensation, but these were the first two of many things that could potentially then be included. We thought if we can move as much into one software as we can then it really simplifies things and employees are aware of where they go to for so many aspects of the services we (People and Culture) provide.
We realised we were looking for something quite flexible. Instead of having set processes and flows we needed to do a lot of the creation ourselves.
After exploring at least seven other systems, the People and Culture team knew that PeopleGoal was the right tool to bring their unique people development processes to life.
The app and workspace approach of PeopleGoal was really effective for us because right at the onset we were able to build processes from scratch. You have the templates for the apps, but also the ability to build them yourself and it's not super complicated. Something that us as non-technical folk can pick up easily and customize to our heart's content.
We were told it was do-able with PeopleGoal and we believed it. We would bring ideas together, work collaboratively and say, "OK, I think we should do this, this is how we do it, and then we just did it." There was this attitude of no matter what we needed it was possible to build it. PeopleGoal helped us see our vision.
And so the P&C team was able to start designing not only their ideal Career Planning portal - encompassing Skill Mapping, Development Plans and Learning Resources - they also created an Onboarding program for new hires and a Compensation data-gathering exercise; and the solutions just keep growing. As Vanesa describes:
We've been able to put a lot more into PeopleGoal than just those two functions. We started using it for our onboarding, employee recognition, feedback and awards we do every quarter. When we initially were seeking a new software, we never said, "We're looking for this for Onboarding", but PeopleGoal lends itself so well to continue to build and develop. It's been really interesting to be able to see the different potential uses because of how flexibly it's built. There's this feeling that you can do almost anything in there.
Before PeopleGoal, the ability to bring other colleagues into a workflow was a major challenge. Sharing static documents just didn't work, and keeping the right people informed at the right time was an admin headache. PeopleGoal's workflow builder allows you to set different participants at each stage of your process and configure the visibility they have over every field. For Allison this was a simple solution to a complex problem:
Having so many different components in one place. Being able to take one document, like for Compensation, and share it between multiple parties at different stages, but also respect the confidentiality between them.
And for Vanesa:
Being able to submit something to your lead, but also get it back and be able to continue editing and create a shared working document. The flexibility of creating things like that was really important to us.
Through the design phase and even after launching, iQmetrix was able to quickly adapt their processes to respond to employee feedback.
It's super helpful to know what is working; what isn't working; how we can improve; and be able to make those changes faster rather than waiting until the end of the process to realise, "OK, we should have done this." There was never a feeling of, "We tried that but it didn't work out so we just let it sit there for a while."
A new obstacle we've all faced during the pandemic has been how to efficiently translate our in-person operations online, as fast as possible. For Allison, PeopleGoal quickly became the simplest solution for so many P&C tasks.
We ask that question about everything now, "Can we put this in PeopleGoal?", and we can! For example, a new issue we face now being fully remote is how to give employee recognition gifts. We can't just hand it to them in the office; we need their address, we need to share that with a third party, keep this info up to date, give our team the ability search for who signed the consent form and things like that. The ability to see if this is an option and try it out on our own in PeopleGoal is a very organic process.
The team has now gained visibility over all of their people processes - something they just didn't have before PeopleGoal. As Allison puts it:
The main success has been reducing chaos. Creating processes that we can track, instead of just assuming someone's followed it. We know that people are clicking through these states and are following through these apps we've created. Going from a place where, "It's written down in the Wiki" to a place where you can physically interact with the process has been one of the biggest successes.
And when it comes to helping employees take charge of their own development:
PeopleGoal provided us the means to do so; for us to be able to track the processes but also for the employees themselves to self-manage more. Now they can actually see what they're doing, they can go into PeopleGoal and find the right apps and workspaces without forms just floating around.
Vanesa describes how the Career Planning and Compensation processes have delivered the insight needed to shape new strategies:
It enabled us to level roles across our company. For people to be able to submit information around their current role as they see it, and then to work with a group within our business to understand where people are at and where they're going, and what are the steps that are needed to get there. Being able to get access to data that we really couldn't before, especially on the Career Planning side. Now we can see what skills people have in our business, what skills they're looking to learn, who's open to mentoring, and we're using that data in a number of ways. The transparency is so important.
And for Onboarding, Offboarding, Recognition and Development, PeopleGoal's reporting tools combined with easy integrations means not only receiving all of the data, but actually being able to use and share it with key stakeholders:
Before we didn't even have metrics. Now we have metrics! Having access to data is something that's really become more and more useful. We've been able to have lots of different dashboards that we've made with our BI folks.
For such a dynamic organization, another benefit has been how easy it is for employees to keep track of their own plans, conversations and tools as they move through the business. As Vanesa says:
The best way I can describe it is like a Digital Passport, so that when any employee moves to a different team or has a different lead, their information stays with them. When they're planning their career we wouldn't want that information to just be non-transferable. The ability to switch the different accesses and move people around was essential. I think that's super meaningful, and as we start to see the first use cases of internal mobility it's a really cool way to ensure that we make a better experience for our people. If the data is in a place where it's accessible and editable and can be reviewed it really changes that experience.
And for Allison:
PeopleGoal created a space to make that more streamlined. PeopleGoal really simplifies things and we've been able to continue adding more pieces.
Across the board the adoption rates have been fantastic and feedback has been positive. Comments from employees include:
It's been a very intuitive tool to get used to. Very simple, easy to use, easy to ask a question and get an answer.
I appreciate being able to access info about my team in one place. PeopleGoal feels so much better than a document or SharePoint… much more professional.
A particular challenge for People Ops is the ease of adoption with new software, especially when trying to design complex processes. Having the Customer Success resources and team members ready to help made a big difference for iQmetrix's implementation. As Allison says:
We're excited to see where iQmetrix takes our product next! If you want to learn more about how PeopleGoal facilitates customizable People Ops workflows and solutions, get in touch - we'd love to talk.
Industry: Software - Retail Management