As with any journey, it’s often those who travel with the best equipment and most skilled companions who reach their destination successfully. Appalachian State University (App State)–on a recent mission to improve its talent management processes–is no exception. After upgrading to the HigherEd Platform, the university turned its focus to Performance Management—partnering with PeopleAdmin just in time to help lead the way in implementing a new performance management initiative across the University of North Carolina multi-campus system.
“Once all the professional development coordinators across the university system came together to discuss the initiative, we realized how vastly different all of our processes and systems were,” said Emily Wilson, Professional Development Coordinator for App State. “It was interesting to see how far ahead our university’s technology was.”
When App State first began the upgrade to the HigherEd Platform, however, Emily wasn’t quite as confident, due to the fact that she had just joined the team. “I had no experience, but I was ready to learn.” she said.
“There were a few bumps in the road,” Emily said. “But it wasn’t the fault of the product. Any time you have a new system, some people will resist the change. After showing them how quickly they could accomplish their tasks with [the HigherEd Platform], however, most of them came around.”
Inspired by the new capabilities available from the upgraded solution, university leaders decided to also improve performance management processes by adding the Performance Management module to help simplify workflows and improve effectiveness.
“We wanted to look at Performance Management at a higher level,” Emily said. “Instead of just looking at the day-to-day tasks our staff was responsible for, we wanted to focus on setting meaningful goals.”
After successfully navigating the HigherEd Platform upgrade, Emily knew how to build support for Performance Management implementation across campus. “I learned a lot from the upgrade to [the HigherED Platform]. To get buy-in during implementation, I made sure to highlight all of the benefits of Performance Management during trainings.”
Though implementation went smoothly and users were excited about the new processes, App State faced further challenges when the University of North Carolina’s systemwide initiative tasked its 16 universities with developing consistent performance management criteria statewide. The new initiative required App State to use a paper form in their performance management process. “That really shocked me,” said Emily.
Fortunately, App State’s partnership with PeopleAdmin meant Emily and her team had the resources and support they needed to work the new requirements into their performance management processes. “At first, I thought I was going to go through this process by myself, but that wasn’t the case at all,” Emily said. “I don’t think we would have developed what we have without the support we got from PeopleAdmin.”
The ability to quickly ask questions online also helped her navigate the new processes. “I blew up the chat feature—which I love, by the way,” Emily said. “To be able to talk to someone live… to me that was great. They were always very responsive and willing to go the extra mile and search for an answer. That was very encouraging.”
App State’s positive experiences implementing the HigherEd Platform and Position Management has encouraged the university to continue to embrace technology for HR activities, including upgrading to a mobile-friendly applicant portal in 2015.
“The collaborative relationship I’ve developed with PeopleAdmin has definitely allowed me to explore new avenues for process improvements,” Emily said. “We’re constantly growing as a university, and PeopleAdmin has done a great job supporting us.”