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Accountancy Firm strives for meaningful appraisal process

Hazlewoods is one of the UK’s Top 40 independent Chartered Accountants and Business Advisers and wanted to create a more meaningful appraisal process that would add more value to the business and support growth. With over 250 staff in two offices across Gloucestershire, they operate on both a national and international level.

As a rapidly growing professional services company working in a highly competitive market, it is imperative to have clear performance management practices in place, that add value and develop staff in a time-effective manner. To do this they wanted a slick but more meaningful appraisal process. Adopting Actus Software was the result of a strong desire to move away from an overcomplicated, paper-driven appraisal process towards a simple, objective-led, adaptable, all-year-round process which saves time and provides management information at the touch of a button. The idea was to use the software as a sort of catalyst, encouraging more regular conversations throughout the year. This means that year-end performance conversations are more familiar and comfortable, effectively using the software to embed a more meaningful appraisal process which would be more valuable as a result.


Implementing the performance appraisal system

In the early stages of implementing the Actus performance appraisal system, the main focus to date was on training staff on how to use it. Due to the number of staff, and the nature of their work, getting all employees into a couple of training sessions was never an option so the HR team rolled out the training themselves, following a ‘Train the Trainer’ event run by the Actus Learning Team. This approach worked very well as it enabled them to successfully stagger the implementation process in line with business activities and adapt the training schedule with client demands and staff availability. The HR team collectively at Hazlewoods have developed a high level of confidence using Actus Software and are therefore able to support their employees quickly and easily, improving the appraisal process.

“We are much more than just accountants. For our partners and employees, we are continuously working towards our goals of Driving Lifelong Prosperity by creating a secure working environment in which we can all continue to learn, grow and enjoy success”

– Jon Cartwright, Managing Partner

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The benefits of moving to online appraisal software

Hazelwoods have been using Actus for a while now. The biggest advantage of using the online appraisal software in the early stages was the better use of staff time as they no longer were required to use paper. Staff feel that the new year-round focus means that they can use the software to make a more meaningful appraisal process, yet is less time-consuming. The idea is that it is more about ongoing conversations and review and less about the paperwork.