How Craneware Achieved Organizational Alignment

by Saba Software | Posted | Performance Management

How Craneware Achieved Organizational Alignment

At Halogen, we really enjoy the opportunity to share customer success stories on the TalentSpace Blog. Craneware is a great example of an organization that overcame HR burdens - such as inconsistent performance ratings and a manual talent management process - to create a more aligned and engaged workforce.


Headquartered in Edinburgh, Scotland, with U.S. offices in Atlanta, Boston, Tennessee and Arizona, Craneware plc is a leading provider of automated revenue cycle management solutions that improve financial performance for healthcare organizations.

Simply put, Craneware is focused on helping its clients identify, address and prevent revenue leakage. And the organization is really good at it. So good, in fact, Craneware has experienced tremendous growth over the past several years.

However, Craneware's legacy performance management process was very basic with incomplete and inconsistent results. The organization's approach to managing and engaging its employees was reactive rather than proactive. There was little investment in people, tools and resources to support the high-performing and engaged workforce required from a high-growth business. Indeed the pace of growth had started to create issues with retention, and managing change within the business was increasingly difficult.

To support its continued growth Craneware needed to:

  • align organizational and employee goals to create a focus on key strategic objectives
  • build bench strength in management and decrease turnover, with a focus on employee development
  • align pay and performance and remove inconsistencies in performance-related decisions

Sharon Cuming, Executive Vice President HR for Craneware explains:

"We're a technology leader in a highly competitive industry where healthcare, IT and finance meet. Since our company's IPO in 2007, we've experienced tremendous growth but our existing performance management processes weren't keeping up. We needed to shift our entire approach to managing and developing our workforce, and we knew that automating would simplify this all considerably."

Automating talent management process to support strategic priorities

In late 2012, Craneware selected Halogen Performance™ and Halogen Compensation™ to support its strategic priorities.

Says Cuming:

"Using Halogen has eliminated business or people decisions being made in isolation, outside of our performance management processes. Corporate goals are cascaded through the organization and employees can see how they're contributing to Craneware's success."

For example, Craneware's sales-specific competencies are imported directly into the performance review form to provide consistent performance standards for employees - standards that are linked to Craneware's culture, values and business objectives. As a result, employees understand what they're being evaluated against and how they're compensated.

"We've been able to set guidelines to allow for clarity in benchmarks and the opportunity for HR coaching; Halogen makes all of this visible for our employees," says Cuming.

A higher level of employee engagement in the performance management process

Since implementing Halogen, Craneware has dramatically improved the rate of completion for their performance management cycle. One hundred percent of employees are now engaged in the self-appraisal process, and the overall process completion rates have gone from a meagre 50 percent to 80 percent in the last review cycle. But even more important are the ongoing performance management improvements. Managers and employees are regularly engaging in performance discussions, employees know what is expected of them and how they are accountable to supporting the organisation's vision.

Cuming explains what the new process offers:

"The fundamental objective is to gain greater alignment between our employees and our business objectives. The key means of achieving this was to put in place a robust and intuitive performance management process that engaged our employees in the process. We also wanted to communicate Craneware's business objectives and the role everyone plays in achieving them."

The results have been outstanding, with a close to 100 percent completion rate on performance objectives and 80 percent participation rates in performance feedback. The output has led to greater clarity on expectations within the business and improved engagement with employees.

Focusing on management strength and employee development

Creating bench strength in managers was also a key strategic objective for the organization. This was critical to achieving the organizational alignment Craneware needed to drive performance.

"Halogen Performance is providing the infrastructure for our managers to manage their teams effectively, and giving them insights into where inconsistencies in performance lie. Our managers now have the tools and information they need to coach and support their teams effectively. This in turn has led to our employees becoming more engaged in the process itself," says Cuming.

The process is also used to identify the development needs of Craneware plc employees so that they grow with the organization and see that career progression is a possibility.

"Learning is an integral part of our culture; we want to help our employees reach the highest possible levels of achievement as individuals and as a team," says Cuming. "This means providing training and development opportunities that address skill gaps or expand on our people's existing skills. With Halogen we can tie development plans and activities directly to competencies for greater context, or set them independently to support career aspirations."

More effective linkage between reward and performance

With clear performance standards that now align to Craneware's corporate values and business objectives, performance and compensation can now be more directly tied, with HR overseeing the pay review decision-making process.

Cuming explains:

"We now have an optimal view of organizational performance, how compensation decisions are made, and how these decisions impact the business. We have also clarified expectations to employees on the linkage between reward and performance. This equity and transparency is reflected in feedback from employees."

Benefiting from robust and interdependent talent processes

Cuming sums up the benefits Craneware is experiencing through Halogen:

"Before we undertook this project, our HR processes were weak, and disparate. They didn't reinforce each other, and lacked the rigour to ensure a consistency of message to employees. All that has changed."

Craneware now has the technology infrastructure to support its talent processes and align employees to the business.

"We've bridged the geographic hurdles of our business, closing communication gaps between managers and employees," says Cuming. "Everyone knows what's expected of them; they see value in the process. This is a significant culture shift for us."

Attending the CIPD HR Software Show?

Craneware's Executive Vice President Sharon Cuming is presenting at the CIPD HR Software Show in London on June 18th.

If you're attending the show and would like to learn more about how Craneware has successfully aligned its workforce using Halogen's solutions, come and check out Sharon's presentation:

  • Wednesday, June 18th at 12:45 p.m.
  • CIPD HR Software Show at the Olympia London
  • Booth number H245

If you're interested in scheduling a live demo of our solutions, visit us at the Halogen booth during the CIPD HR Software Show or contact us another time, let us know!

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