Customer case study

EMC boosts performance with new review cycle

“There’s got to be a better way.”

EMC transformed its performance review cycle, putting control entirely in the hands of employees.

Customer case study
EMC building

The HR challenge for EMC

Attracting, retaining and leveraging talent is one of the biggest HR challenges of our time. How do you ensure that your employees give of their best to further the success of the organisation, and at the same time enjoy their work and show up with enthusiasm day by day and week by week?

The Management Board of EMC were in no doubt that one thing that wasn’t going to help was their performance review cycle at that time. That’s why they wanted a change of direction.

As EMC director Paul Aartsen explains: “Whereas up to that point we had worked with sales and turnover targets imposed from above, it was clear we needed to move in a completely new direction.”

EMC Performance is a consultancy focused on boosting business performance by making the workplace a place of learning.

EMC works from the assumption that learning leads to better performance if it is embedded in what happens in day-to-day practice. For this reason, EMC always seeks to work in harmony with practices that are already working well in the organisation and puts the workplace at the centre. Gaining an understanding of how they can leverage learning is an essential part of the process. In this way, they help customers to be better and more effective in how they work together through ongoing learning.

“It is nice to write down what progress you have already made”

Esperance Blaauw – EMC

Employees in control with GA!

The new review cycle has been renamed GA! for Geluk & Ambitie (job satisfaction & ambition). EMC believes that getting the right balance between job satisfaction and ambition leads to happier, more enthusiastic employees and better results. So, they have moved away from a focus solely on quantitative targets (which EMC has renamed ambition), towards an emphasis on job satisfaction and customer satisfaction.

Most surprising of all though is the fact that EMC has chosen to put control entirely in the hands of employees! Each employee formulates their plan for job satisfaction & ambition every 3 months, reflects on the plan, collects feedback and then evaluates the results him or herself.

Paul again, “It was a big step, I can tell you! We had all sorts of questions and concerns: Would balancing job satisfaction and ambition really work? Would the quarterly plans be specific, ambitious and realistic? Can you really evaluate your own performance?”

GA! in a nutshell

“With Dialog, I reflect more on my goals and I am more committed to them.”

Corrie Mansvelder – EMC

Dialog as the primary driver of the new performance review cycle

Dialog drives the new performance review cycle

When you introduce change, you want to make it as easy as possible for employees to embrace the new approach. With this in mind, EMC chose to use Dialog’s online platform to digitally facilitate and drive the new performance review cycle. The online platform supports employees in the following ways:

  • Defining quarterly goals and breaking them down into smaller steps or milestones as appropriate
  • Setting when they want to be reminded of their goals, so that they do not lose sight of them
  • Tracking progress on goals and writing up a reflection (if they wish) on them
  • Asking for feedback from colleagues or customers (e.g. on the goals they have set)
  • Writing up an evaluation of the past quarter, where they can instantly see all the reflections, feedback and notes for each goal

Alongside this, the EMC employees chose to make their goals completely transparent and visible to one another, which aligned well with their open culture. It also makes it much easier for colleagues to support one another.

Dialog Platform

A big step forward

Having gone through this process of change, it was important to reflect on whether the new approach was actually having any effect and delivering the desired results. To gauge this, EMC did an evaluation surveying employees over the course of the year. All in all, employees felt a real sense of ownership of their goals and were much more aware of their progress, learning points and successes. This all added up to happy employees and satisfied customers!


Aware of progress

The employees were able to keep their goals top-of-mind thanks to regular automatic reminders.

Focus on learning

By encouraging reflection and asking for feedback, the focus came to be directed towards learning and development.

Self-evalution made easy

At the self-evaluation stage, there was a clear picture of the past quarter with all reflections, feedback and notes at hand.

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