Employee Experience

Socialcast and the Annual Performance Review

by Inna Fabrikant, Sr. Client Development Manager, Socialcast

With 2014 in our rearview mirrors, many workplace conversations are turning to performance reviews.

Employees are racking their brains trying to document all of their accomplishments over the past 12 months, while managers have the equally daunting task of acknowledging the successes of all direct reports.

At VMware, we’ve developed an integration between Socialcast and Workday that is helping us to alleviate these very real pain points, while simultaneously saving countless man hours in the process.

Inna 1By integrating our 18,500-member Socialcast community with our HR platform, we’ve made it easy for both employees and people managers to account for all of the hard work performed across the organization over the course of the year.

Socialcast comes built with a feature called Thanks, which allows members of the community to publicly recognize others for exemplary work by sending them a personalized badge. On average, about 700 Thanks badges are distributed to community members each month in the VMware community.

There are many different kinds of Thanks badges, including 5 that align with VMware’s company values — execution, passion, integrity, customers and community — and others that recognize innovative thinking, problem solving skills, and leadership. Each time a VMware employee exhibits one of these traits, his or her colleagues will publicly recognize that individual in the community for a job well done.

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Our custom integration allows us to then take these badges and import them into Workday, making it very easy for employees to recall their company-wide contributions and incorporate that feedback into their self-reviews. For managers, these Thanks badges provide insight into how their direct reports have gone above and beyond the call of duty that year, often assisting with projects unrelated to their job description.

The integration process is very straightforward. Socialcast has a Thanks API that provides an output of all the Thanks badges shared in a given community. We also provide the option to set a time range for the response. For example, you can request an export of all Thanks badges received in January 2014. In our case, the VMware IT team performed a one time mass upload of all “Thanks” badges sent in the VMware Socialcast community on or after 1/1/2013, and we officially launched the integration in February 2014.

From an operational standpoint, the team that manages the integration receives a weekly “Thanks” file by email that is then uploaded into Workday on Fridays. The employee can then view the Thanks badges that they’ve received on the Career > Professional Profile and Feedback pages in Workday.

Inna3As a manager, you can view Thanks badges given to your direct reports by going to the person’s Feedback page. This allows you to gain insight into your employee’s company-wide contributions without needing to conduct 360-degree reviews, which — as every manager knows — can be very time-consuming. Having this type of feedback at your fingertips enables you as a manager to be that much more thorough and effective in the annual performance review process.

In a very short amount of time, the impact on the VMware organization has been considerable. Senior HR Director Amy Gannaway stated, “By integrating this data into our core HR processes, we encourage a culture that reinforces recognition and strives for ongoing conversations around contribution.” This wouldn’t be possible without Socialcast and Workday working in concert with one another.

We believe that simply checking the “Enterprise Social Network” box at your company is not enough. It’s clear that with approximately 80 percent of companies using ESNs today, this type of technology has become an integral part of annual budget conversations. The real challenge is leveraging an ESN to simplify existing workflows or increase operational efficiency, which is what we help our customers do every day with integrations such as the one with Workday.

Contact us anytime for more details at services@socialcast.com.