Resources Case Studies Culture of feedback improves engagement at Karrikins Group

Case Studies

Culture of feedback improves engagement at Karrikins Group

Karrikins Group increases the business value and social impact of their client's community investments through strategic alignment, branded programing and evaluation, and measurement. With offices in Australia, New Zealand and the U.S., Karrikins Group is responsible for delivering programs and services predominantly in schools, touching the lives of nearly one million people each year.

Karrikins Group has successfully used Halogen Performance™ to:

  • Improve employee engagement by 56 percent
  • Facilitate a culture of feedback and employee recognition across its dispersed workforce
  • Reduce employee turnover by 60 percent
  • Align performance expectations to organisational Key Performance Indicators


With inspiring positive change through their behaviour change model as their mission, Karrikins Group needed to align the behaviour of its own employees with its culture so employees had a clearer understanding of what was expected of them at work.

"Improving staff engagement and satisfaction levels, and ensuring our standards are integrated as part of our employee performance management strategy is a really critical part of our business," says Stephanie Carman, Head of People and Performance at Karrikins Group. "We want employees to have everything they need to do their jobs, providing them with tools for developing within their roles and also developing their careers."

Innovation meets innovation

As the organisation began to grow, Karrikins Group began looking for a talent management solution that would help improve employee engagement, retention, and align performance goals to organisational objectives among its dispersed workforce. With future growth in mind, Karrikins Group also wanted a tool that could scale with the organisation in the future with the addition of other talent management tools to streamline other programs and functions.

"In the past, our performance management process consisted of one annual appraisal cycle. We began to experience high turnover, because while people love the culture at Karrikins Group, that only lasts so long when you're not getting regular performance and development," explains Carman. We needed a system that allowed us to better manage employee performance, particularly given we're managing a primarily remote workforce.

According to Carman, the decision to partner with Halogen was based on many factors, including total cost of ownership and their sales experience. But a key capability that drove the decision home for their executive leaders was having the ability to access organisation-wide data and visibility into performance metrics that Halogen offered.

Halogen Performance enables employees to align their performance objectives to company KPIs. The tracking functionality of Halogen Performance has helped create consistency across the organisation, ensuring employees and leaders are on-time with their appraisals and on-track in meeting their goals.

"Halogen Performance allows us to track employee KPIs, performance appraisal scores, and then link KPIs to the company-related KPIs, creating transparency across the entire business," says Carman. "We now have a very clear set of behavioural expectations which align to our standards. Employees know how their individual KPIS connect to the company KPIs and see how their contribution connects directly with the organisation's overall objectives."

One of the most impactful aspects of implementing Halogen Performance was the platform it provided to make it easy for employees to participate in Karrikins Group's popular employee feedback and recognition program. Halogen's solution lets employees provide real-time feedback when they observe each other displaying living the organisation's standards - no matter where they are in the world.

"Having a single system that employees can use really creates that central point for them to connect and give timely feedback," says Karrikins Group People and Performance Coordinator, Kelly Macri. "That type of ongoing communication and coaching has been a tremendous support for our culture of feedback."

Carman adds that Halogen integrates well with Karrikins Group's unique approach to 'values'.

"At Karrikins, we don't talk about 'values'," says Carman, "We talk about 'standards' for two main reasons. First, you can't raise your values, but you can raise your standards. And second, it better highlights the very behavioural, tangible nature of how our standards come to life."

For example, one of Karrikins Group's core standards is "Answer the call". When employees take it upon themselves to go above and beyond in support of a business need or to help a team member out, they are living out one of the organisations standards.

Today, employees are being recognised and rewarded for their efforts through Halogen's centralized tool where feedback can be provided directly, which has had a positive impact on employee performance, engagement and culture.

"Our employees love giving each other feedback and recognition, and having a central location for that purpose which is really transparent," says Macri. "They get the feedback in real-time and it's also used as a basis for recognition at annual awards, which has also been very helpful in terms of collecting information over the course of a year."

Supporting employee performance through growth

Karrikins Group underwent a rebrand and transformation in September 2015, celebrating its growth as an organisation focused on innovation and social impact. During this critical time as a business, its focus on its people and improving employee engagement, retention, and performance remained the same.

In its most recent employee survey, Karrikins Group employees scored in the 98th percentile in the questions related to feedback and recognition. Karrikins Group has also seen dramatic improvements in overall employee engagement and perception of culture since implementing its new talent management processes and tools.

"Our engagement score has gone from 41 percent to 64 percent over the last 18 months," reports Carman.

Perhaps the most telling sign of improved employee engagement and culture is the dramatic improvement in employee retention.

"Our employee turnover was once above 40 percent and it is now down to 16 percent. I would estimate savings in turnover costs partly through our 2015 fiscal year and going back about 18 months equating to roughly five percent of annual revenue," says Carman.

"Halogen Performance allows us to track employee KPIs, performance appraisal scores, and then link KPIs to the company-related KPIs, creating transparency across the entire business."
— Karrikins Group


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