Based in Lancaster, PA, Ecore International transforms reclaimed materials into unique flooring solutions. Since 1989, Ecore has been delivering safe and ergonomic surfaces to meet the needs of various sports and recreation facilities around the world. Ecore’s staff of over 500 employees is committed to excellence, empowerment, innovation, trust and compassion in everything they do and these core values have driven company success and fueled growth. In 2016, Ecore International replaced their in-house IT performance review system with CRG emPerform. Since then, Ecore has realized greater flexibility and efficiencies in their performance management and compensation planning processes, reduced time spent on HR administration, and better reporting across the entire organization.
Prior to using CRG emPerform, Ecore relied on an in-house IT system to manage employee performance reviews. The system offered the convenience of being electronic, but did not incorporate compensation planning tasks and HR was heavily involved in re-opening forms if updates to goals needed to be made throughout the review cycle. As Ecore continued to grow and its needs evolved, it became clear that their in-house system was not able to scale effectively. Ecore’s IT department set out to evaluate systems that would support their long-term performance management objectives.
Ecore’s IT and HR teams worked with their dedicated Implementation Consultant to plan and configure emPerform to suit their needs as well as provide custom training to end-users to ensure adoption. “We pre-planned our process several weeks before we began actual implementation,” said Erika. “We then followed our plan through implementation. The initial system set up took about four days after which we began building our evaluation forms, assigning employees, conducting focus group testing, and finally training our managers and employees. With each step of the process, emPerform was by my side to assist with any questions I had.”
Ecore setup multiple performance review forms in emPerform to reflect the content and processes unique to the different positions in the organization. “Since we have the ability to create multiple types of performance forms, we are able to customize our performance management process for different layers of the company including hourly employees, salaried employees, and the executive team,” continued Erika. “The rating scales can also be setup to allow managers to score only applicable items. This saves time of administrative tasks for the manager and employee when new goals are established for a new role. These tailored forms and processes gives us the flexibility to measure the appropriate performance metrics across the organization.”
Ecore took advantage of emPerform’s flexible workflow capabilities to set open access and security throughout the review cycle. This allows managers and employees to update goal progress and edit objectives as needed, without relying on HR. Ecore also uses emPerform’s tag™ functionality for journaling and feedback to ensure notes and feedback are centralized and available for use inside performance reviews.
“emPerform allows our employees and managers to track progress and input comments throughout the performance year. Employees can provide feedback on how they were able to accomplish their goals and managers are able to enter comments on key performance that would affect the rating during the performance review. Feedback from employees has been very positive on this functionality,” continued Erika.
emPerform’s reporting functionality has allowed Ecore to monitor review status, on-time completion, and compare ratings between locations, managers, and departments. Additionally, managers have greater efficiency to ensure performance reviews are completed on time. “Not only have we gained more time, but also better ways to measure performance across the organization,” said Erika.
One of the biggest challenges that emPerform has helped solve at Ecore is how employee review forms transfer when employees move to a different role in the organization. “With the click of a button, we are able to allow transfer to automatically flow from your HRIS into emPerform,” explains Erika. “The employee information moves to their new supervisor without having to manage two separate systems.”
Being able to automate and streamline compensation planning is where Ecore noticed the greatest impact of emPerform. After completing the performance review, Ecore managers are required to recommend an appropriate merit increase based on the overall performance rating of their employee. In the past, this was completed manually via paper forms and data entry.
“With emPerform, we are able to provide a much-improved method of merit increase administration”, said Erika. “After the manager has completed all of the performance reviews, the performance scores are fed into the compensation model and based on our merit matrix, a merit increase recommendation is entered. The manager can see all of their employees on one screen and compare the system recommendations. If they choose to accept the system driven recommendations, they simply submit to HR. If they wish to override the system recommendation, they have the option to do so.”
“We have seen a significant decrease in the time it takes for managers to complete their merit increase recommendations. I would estimate the timesaving to be 80-90%,” continues Erika. “For HR, the compensation management functionality has saved approximately 60-70% of the time it takes to pull the manager recommendations and submit to our Executive team for approval.”
Ecore plans to further expand its performance management efforts with the rollout of emPerform’s nine-box talent matrix in the near future. “The nine-box feature will be especially helpful to identify employees who not only have strong performance, but also the potential to development into leadership roles,” continued Erika. ”We anticipate that this program will allow us to continue to cultivate our employees into future leaders of our organization.”
“Change is difficult for most; however, our employees found emPerform to be very user friendly so it did not take long for them to understand the system. emPerform also helped me put together the training for our team and supplied us with a customized training video based on how our system was built. I could not have asked for a better team to work with than emPerform. From proposal, to implementation, to continued support, I feel that I have a team behind me making sure that I am able to provide the best, most efficient performance and compensation management system to my organization.”
– Erika Rieker, Sr. Human Resources Generalist – Ecore
“From an admin perspective it is the easiest software that I have worked with. It is very intuitive-once you understand how to set something up in one module, that knowledge can be transferred to any aspect of the system.”
“We found emPerform extremely user-friendly and were able to easily set goals, create forms, make quick changes and build professional reports without considerable technical knowledge.”