City in Texas Moves Beyond Annual Performance Reviews with emPerform | Quisitive
City in Texas Moves Beyond Annual Performance Reviews with emPerform
Explore how Quisitive helped revolutionize employee management in local government with emPerform.
Texas State Icon

In this case study:

Industry: Public Sector, State & Local Government

Products and Services: emPerform

Country: USA

“Our employees love that development and career planning are part of the process in emPerform. They fell heard and seen. This change has boosted employee morale and engagement levels,”
City Director

The Challenge: Moving Beyond the Annual Review Process

Prior to implementing emPerform, this prominent City in Texas faced significant challenges with its existing performance review tool. The system was difficult to manage due to its lack of configurability and user-friendliness, making it challenging for supervisors to communicate with employees about their performance and provide feedback that could facilitate growth and development.


The City’s Council recognized that they needed a more comprehensive performance management solution that would help increase the quality and frequency of performance discussions. The once-a-year performance review process was not sufficient, and they needed a better tool to support their goals.

The Impact of emPerform at the City

After launching emPerform, the City has experienced significant benefits for HR, employees, and managers.

1. Improved Performance Review Process

emPerform has greatly improved the performance review process at the City through the implementation of more regular check-ins. The upgraded process has increased communication frequency between supervisors and staff, simplifying the process for both parties and improving efficiency.


Their primary goal was not to reduce time spent on the process but to provide more opportunities for feedback. emPerform helped the City achieve this balance, leading to motivated employees and a clear path to success within the organization.

2. Consistent & Frequent Feedback and Discussions

By using emPerform, the City has facilitated more frequent feedback discussions between employees and their supervisors. This has resulted in better clarity and understanding of job expectations, leading to improved employee performance and experiences.


“With emPerform, we have experienced a significant improvement in our ability to have frequent and meaningful performance conversations, it’s a substantial shift from our previous review process and the benefits are undeniable.”

3. Targeted Employee Development Planning

The City leveraged emPerform’s flexibility and configuration options to enable development-focused questions in both employee check-ins and end-of-year assessments. As a result, managers can create and track targeted development plans for each employee.


By focusing on the future and development, employees and managers are having more productive discussions, employees are getting the tools and guidance needed to achieve their goals, and the organization is able to better align and retain key performers.

4. Improved Team Communication

Using emPerform, the City has strengthened communication between employees and supervisors by introducing more frequent opportunities for feedback and discussions.


As a result, the workplace has become more collaborative and supportive, fostering greater engagement, motivation, and alignment among employees toward the organization’s objectives.

The City is dedicated to continuously improving its performance management process so it can effectively manage its growing workforce. As part of their efforts, the City Council plans to explore integrating a 360-review component.

By providing regular feedback and opportunities for development, the City is committed to equipping its employees with the necessary tools and support to achieve their goals.

Watson Clinic Feature Image
Watson Clinic Coaches and Retains Talent with emPerform
Learn how Watson Clinic will be able to coach and retain talent with emPerform, Quisitive's talent management software.
watson clinic

In this case study:

Client: Watson Clinic 

Industry: Healthcare

Products and Services: emPerform

Country: USA

“emPerform has made performance reviews quick and easy and helped us make strides towards ensuring our valuable staff have the feedback and coaching needed to grow and thrive in their roles.”
Julie Kovencz
HR Manager, Watson Clinic

About Watson Clinic

Since 1941, Watson Clinic has worked to create a rich healthcare experience centered around patients. Based in Lakeland, Florida, Watson Clinic provides comprehensive medical services to all residents. With over 300 physicians and 40 medical and surgical specialties, regional patients benefit from the area’s largest team of experts, which serve all physical, emotional, and behavioral care needs. In 1969, Watson Clinic was the first medical clinic in the United States to achieve accreditation by the American Association of Medical Clinics and continues to prove its excellence in cost-effective and high-quality patient care.

Employee Performance Management In Healthcare

Effective performance management in healthcare is critical. Healthcare providers rely on dedicated staff to ensure organizational effectiveness and deliver the highest possible care across the healthcare continuum. The industry has been facing significant challenges with rising costs, a shortage of talent, and overall burnout. HR in healthcare must also ensure they meet accreditation standards by evaluating staff on position-specific competencies. Achieving the organization’s mission of patient-centric quality care means effectively assessing, developing & retaining staff.

The Challenge: Manual Performance Reviews At Watson Clinic

Before implementing emPerform, Watson Clinic used a manual review process that was administratively time-consuming, resulted in inconsistent performance data across the organization, and did not allow the organization to track performance results and progress throughout the year. Watson Clinic’s HR team managed almost 300 versions of job-specific competency-based reviews to meet accreditation standards. Review forms were individually routed to employees and managers based on hire date, were manually tracked and signed, and the final versions were collected by HR for scanning into the employee’s file. Watson Clinic needed a more consistent and structured process that would allow them to eliminate paper and continually develop and engage talent. The organization’s HR team began looking for a standalone performance management platform.

Getting Started with emPerform

After evaluating several performance management vendors, Watson Clinic chose emPerform due to its flexibility, ease of use, and experience in the space.

“emPerform has made performance reviews quick and easy and helped us make strides towards ensuring our valuable staff have the feedback and coaching needed to grow and thrive in their roles.”
Julie Kovencz
HR Manager, Watson Clinic

emPerform began working with Watson Clinic’s HR Team to plan a smooth launch of their new performance management platform. “We had a dedicated resource to help us review changes to our process and offered guidance for optimizing our forms and communicating the changes to staff,” said Julie. ‘We felt like we got more than a new software tool – we had a team of performance management experts behind to help us succeed.”


“The emPerform implementation team was very patient and helpful during the process. The team was always willing to jump on a call and walk me through something or respond to my questions,” said Julie.

The Impact of emPerform at Watson Clinic

After launching emPerform, Watson Clinic is reporting better consistency and structure in reviews, improved visibility into goals and performance, and better employee feedback and accountability.

1. Elimination of Paper and Manual Tracking

emPerform allowed Watson Clinic to eliminate paper in the review process. As a result, the HR Team spends considerably less time managing, routing, collecting, and filing performance reviews.


emPerform manages our entire performance management cycle and keeps everyone on track,” said Julie. ‘We no longer have to worry about managers saving and using different versions of reviews or missing a key due date.”


“With emPerform, managers can enter comments and document check-ins online year-round and easily route final reviews to employees for questions and sign-off,” said Julie. “Employees feel it is easy to access and easy to follow. The process overall is quicker for them. This self-service wasn’t possible before with our manual process and has ensured reviews are completed on time.

2. More Frequent Checkpoints & Feedback to Coach & Retain Talent

emPerform allowed Watson Clinic to extend its performance management program beyond a once-a-year event. Watson Clinic’s HR team added goals, a mid-year check-in, and stay interview questions into its review process in emPerform to help managers evaluate whether employees are meeting objectives and address any barriers to progress.


“We added stay interview questions during our mid-cycle process, which helps us keep a pulse on employee needs and feelings throughout the year,” said Julie. “emPerform has allowed us to expand our review process with these key actions that help us engage & retain talent. These more frequent touch points also allow managers to be better performance coaches and to more easily check in with employees to ensure they are on track with goals and get the feedback they need to succeed.”

3. Better Consistency, Quality & Accountability in Performance Reviews

Using emPerform for centralized online performance management has resulted in a consistent review process that is fairer and more accurate than before. “emPerform allowed us to reduce hundreds of versions of reviews into one dynamic online form that automatically populates goals and core competencies based on job title,” said Julie. “This automation has drastically simplified our processes and allows us to ensure proper accreditation reporting, a better understanding of job duties, and more accountability across the organization.”


Watson Clinic’s employees are now more involved in the review process and can contribute their input and feedback year-round. “emPerform has given our employees an active role in our performance management program. Employees feel more comfortable writing comments and giving feedback, and this has led to great discussions that might not have happened,” continued Julie.

4. Easier Management of Employee Data

Watson Clinic uses Paylocity® for payroll and central HR records. By leveraging emPerform’s data integration from Paylocity, employee data and fields are automatically synchronized and kept up to date. Integrating data between systems reduces the time spent on data management and ensures the correct reviews are launched at the right times without manual tracking.

“emPerform offered a level of usability, configurability, and experience that was not available with other solutions. We knew we would have the flexibility to customize everything to suit our needs and would be able to augment reviews with things like ongoing goal management and frequent check-ins.”
Julie Kovencz
HR Manager, Watson Clinic

Watson Clinic will continue to refine its reviews and performance management processes with emPerform. They plan to build out additional review processes like 30-60-90-day new hire assessments and will continue to evolve their performance management program to develop and engage its valuable talent.

As the year’s halfway mark passes, many companies with formal performance evaluation processes will be launching or in the midst of completing mid-year performance reviews and meetings. Even if your company does not conduct formal mid-year reviews, we encourage managers to take it upon themselves to establish a set time when they can devote their attention to employees in order to recharge and regroup for the second half of the year.


The mid-year review meeting is an excellent opportunity to formally sit down with employees and:

But HOW managers approach mid-year review meetings can make or break everything. Just going through the motions and ‘winging it’ is not enough to ensure employees are on track and receiving the proper feedback and support they need to succeed.

4 Steps to Rocking the Mid-Year Performance Review Meeting: Book, Prepare, Meet & Follow Up.

1. Book:

 Bad managers: never book mid-year meetings themselves – they wait for HR or the employee to ask or skips them altogether.

Most managers: book meetings a few days in advance and provide little information about the meeting goals.

Great managers: are consistent with their check-ins and formal mid-year meetings and provide employees with meeting objectives and ample time to prepare.

How to rock this step:

2. Prepare:

 Bad managers: step into a meeting and ‘wing it’.

Most managers: take 15-20 minutes before the meeting to skim goals and make mental notes.

Great managers: understand the importance of showing the employee that they are as invested in their success as they are. Great managers start preparing a week in advance by collecting peer input, gathering all notes, doing a detailed review of job goals and responsibilities, and planning discussion points to structure the meeting in a positive yet constructive manner.

What great managers do to prepare before a mid-year review meeting:

3. Meet

Bad managers: spend the meeting doing most of the talking or discussing items unrelated to the employee or their role. Use the meeting as an opportunity to ‘surprise’ the employee with points on what they could be doing better.

Most managers: spend the meeting doing most of the talking, providing good feedback and/or constructive criticism however losing the direction of the meeting to the point that key discussion points are missed or rushed.

Great managers: are prepared to solicit employee input, keep an eye on the time, and allow for a good mixture of acknowledgment and coaching. Great managers understand that employees should leave the meeting armed with what they need to deliver on expectations while also feeling refreshed and motivated to face the next 6 months.

Tips for executing a great mid-year review meeting:

4. Follow Up

Bad managers: never follow up after the meeting or deliver on promises made.

Most managers: do not follow up after the meeting and deliver on promises if and when they can.

Great managers: understand that employees are waiting for confirmation of items discussed and follow up promptly after the meeting.

Here’s how great managers communicate after the mid-year review meeting:

Overall, the formal mid-year review meeting is a great time to give employees your full attention, discuss any ups and downs and plan for what’s next. Mid-year meetings should not replace ongoing feedback and informal check-ins, but they are a great way to formally re-group so employees are equipped with the motivation and support needed to succeed.

Want help rocking mid-year review meetings?

Explore emPerform’s easy & complete performance management software with tools like journaling, feedback, task alerts, goal tracking, and 100% automated meeting reminders.

Ready to make a change?

Contact us to see how we can help you transform performance management to better align, develop, engage & retain a world-class workforce.

Book your demo today!


Mid-Year Evaluation Steps: Duke Human Resources. How to Make the Most of Mid-Year Reviews By: Tanya Hall It’s Performance Evaluation Time: Three Steps for Preparing Your Mid-Year Review By: Caroline Ceniza-Levine

emPerform Case Study: NCSA, employee management software
NCSA FUELS Team Member Performance with emPerform
See how Quisitive helped the world's largest collegiate athletic recruiting network leverages emPerform for meaningful check-ins, online performance reviews, and more.
Next College Student Athlete (NCSA)

In this case study:

Client: Next College Student Athlete

Industry: Education

Products and Services: emPerform

Country: USA

“As we thought about progressing and modernizing our performance management process, we knew we wanted to put more emphasis on goal alignment and relevance, continuous feedback, and meaningful conversations with team members.”
Meredith Norbrook
Director, Organizational Development, NCSA

About Next College Student Athlete

Based in Chicago, IL, Next College Student-Athlete (NCSA) is the world’s largest and most successful collegiate athletic recruiting network. Founded in 2000 to help educate student-athletes and their families on the recruiting process, NCSA works with families, clubs, high school, and college coaches to help hundreds of thousands of student-athletes find their best college fit. With a network of 35,000 college coaches and more than 1,000 team members, NCSA assists student-athletes in 34 sports find their best path to college.

The Challenges

Before using emPerform, Quisitive’s employee performance management solution, the NCSA HR team relied on their existing HRIS system to administer performance reviews. Their performance management process included goal setting at the beginning of the year, mid-year reviews halfway through the year, and year-end reviews. The HR team was also using an advanced performance improvement plan (PIP) process but because their HR system could not accommodate a custom form, users had to complete and submit PIPs manually.


“As we thought about progressing and modernizing our performance management process, we knew we wanted to put more emphasis on goal alignment and relevance, continuous feedback, and meaningful conversations with team members,” said Meredith Norbrook, Director, Organizational Development at NCSA. “In today’s work environment, goals often shift significantly or even become irrelevant over time, and our more traditional goal-setting/mid-year/year-end approach didn’t provide an agile approach to keep up with the changing needs of the business.”

The Search for a New Performance Management System

The NCSA HR team set out to update their performance management process across the board. They called this initiative the FUEL Program. “As we developed our new FUEL Program, we recognized that our current performance management system did not effectively offer what we needed to execute the more modern approach. Our HRIS system was limiting and rigid, and we needed something that provided more flexibility,” said Meredith.

“We needed a system that could accommodate our multi-step PIP process in an intuitive and streamlined manner.”
Meredith Norbrook
Director, Organizational Development, NCSA

Getting Started with emPerform

The NCSA HR team took a phased approach to their emPerform implementation, focusing on developing their online PIP program before tackling the annual review process. NCSA worked closely with their emPerform implementation consultant to plan and execute a quick and smooth launch of emPerform to the company.


“The implementation team was very thorough and walked us through every step of the way, including initially helping us understand how to navigate the system, helping us translate our vision into reality, and helping to configure every minor detail of our forms. Those we worked with were patient, knowledgeable, and readily available,” said Jeralynn Makaiwi, Director of HR at NCSA.

“After considering many options, emPerform proved to be the best fit for us. The form configuration was flexible enough that we could implement our PIP process without having to compromise anything. The ability to set everything up in the configuration, from complex workflows and approvals, made the system stand out as the clear frontrunner.”
Meredith Norbrook
Director, Organizational Development, NCSA

The Results

Since launching emPerform, NCSA has been able to fully automate its custom PIP process and introduce quarterly check-ins into its annual review cycle. Its entire FUEL Program is now centralized and accessible to users year-round and has resulted in better tracking and more valuable discussions with team members.

  • Reliability and centralization of performance data
  • Real-time status tracking of reviews, PIPs, and development plans
  • Increased frequency and quality of feedback

Reliability & Centralization of Performance Data

Since using emPerform, NCAS’s HR team and managers have enjoyed the peace of mind of knowing all performance data is secure and accessible from one place and available anytime to users. “As simple as it sounds, emPerform is very reliable,” said Meredith.


“We had some challenges with our previous system where data would disappear or work would not be saved, and we have not run into any of these issues since using emPerform.”

Real-Time Status Tracking of Reviews, PIPs & Development Plans

“Implementing emPerform has allowed our HR team to have direct oversight over the status of all PIPs and EVPs that were issued, which was previously a blind spot for us,” said Meredith. “With emPerform, HR and managers can manage and track annual performance reviews, quarterly check-ins, and PIPs all in one place.”


“From an administrative perspective, emPerform has made a tremendous difference to our HR Team,” said Meredith. “emPerform has a great reporting tool that allows us to track the status of reviews and understand where everyone is in the process at any given time. emPerform keeps our performance management processes on track with targeted notifications and reminders and useful status dashboards.”

Increased Frequency and Quality of Feedback

“One of our primary goals in designing the FUEL Program and moving to a new system was to increase the frequency and quality of developmental conversations with our teams,” said Meredith, “emPerform has allowed us to incorporate quarterly conversations into our annual process seamlessly. These “light” check-ins allow teammates and managers to discuss our company’s core values, and they prompt great discussions around motivation, goals, and career aspirations. We’ve received positive feedback and heard that these quarterly conversations have been valuable to our teammates.”


NCSA plans to leverage the additional tools in emPerform to build out their FUEL Program, including getting started with emPeform’s integrated 360° reviews for multi-rater feedback.

Employees are the most valuable asset a company has. With the current talent crisis reducing the pool of available workers and the exodus known as the Great Resignation, business growth is at risk. To ensure continuity, organizations must focus on retention and improving the employee lifecycle to accomplish their goals.  

Performance management programs are critical to supporting this effort. The ultimate goal is to keep employees engaged and happy, which requires more than just a decent salary and benefits. We don’t always know why our best talent leaves, and we can’t prevent them all from moving on. Still, there are strategies and tools we can apply to improve the situation and create a more sustainable lifecycle for employees at any stage of their journey.  

What is Employee Lifecycle Management? 

Employee lifecycle management has six distinct stages. Each area can be exploited individually to ensure an employee’s time at the company is positive and fruitful. A holistic and thoughtful lifecycle process results in higher levels of employee satisfaction, increased productivity, and better retention. 

Managing each of these stages requires clear goal-setting, repeatable processes, and systems for measuring success. A performance management program delivers on all points, ensuring consistency and continuity while providing the data you need to define success.  

Here are the six steps for effective employee lifecycle management, along with insights and tips to guide you through each of them. 

  1. Outreach 

Your employee brand, how you attract and communicate with potential candidates matter. The outreach stage is their initial engagement with your organization and will make a lasting impression. It’s your opportunity to build trust and establish the foundations of a mutually beneficial relationship.  

  1. Recruitment 

A structured hiring process builds on the trust you’ve already formed with the candidate. Build repeatable processes and consider outcomes to see how you can enhance future efforts. Using software to track tasks and activities ensures nothing slips through the cracks, and it also helps you identify areas that need improvement. 

  1. Onboarding 

The first 100 days on the job are easily the most critical—and the riskiest. It’s here where missteps are most likely to happen. By the end of this period, your new hire will know whether they want to stay at your company or not. Should they decide to go, it could cost the company up to three times the employee’s yearly salary.  

To mitigate this potential, your onboarding program needs to provide them with all the tools they need to feel supported and set up for success. While many companies see onboarding as something that takes place in the first couple of weeks after the hire, extending the process to encompass the first 100 days or more ensures the support continues until the new hire is fully comfortable in their role.  

Performance reviews (30-60-90 day reviews or new hire assessments), feedback, goal management, and surveys contribute to onboarding success as your hire, their managers, and your HR team will have the data they need to keep the process on track.  

  1. Development 

Training is undoubtedly part of development. But when we talk about development in the employee lifecycle, it’s more about learning and advancement. Development should be more than just an afterthought—it ought to be a part of your employee lifecycle strategy. Your employees are looking for the next stage in their careers. If you can provide the vehicle that gets them there, rewards will follow.  

Development improves retention, boosts employee engagement, and results in long-term benefits for the organization.  

Goal management is a vital aspect of performance management and employee development. SMART goals align employee interests with company goals, so you’re effectively encouraging them to explore the possibilities while maintaining a clear path to achieving the results you want.  

emPerform simplifies goal-setting, development planning, and career planning, ensuring your entire workforce is aligned to common objectives and that employees always have what they need to succeed.  

  1. Performance 

Employee performance is highly indicative of engagement levels and happiness. But performance is more nuanced than simply tracking one’s ability to do a job. It’s about quality, efficiency, aptitude, attitude, and effectiveness. If you view your employees as an investment, tracking employee performance is about nurturing that investment.  

If you ask the right questions and monitor the right metrics, you’ll see that investment grow and flourish. Every aspect of their engagement with your company has value and can be tracked.  

Employee performance management software provides you with a centralized tool from which you can manage and track all facets of the employee lifecycle. It is fully configurable to your organizational needs, helping you track what matters most without additional complications. 

6. Offboarding 

Offboarding is the final stage in the employee lifecycle. It could come at the end of a long and productive career or as the employee transitions or moves into a new position at another company. These segues are as critical as the initial phases of engagement and should not be treated as a negative.  

When employees leave, for whatever reason, you should use it as an opportunity to learn, grow, and improve. The insights you gain at this juncture could be massively valuable, even if the situation with the employee was not ideal.  

When employees leave happy, they will continue to sing your praises. They may refer their friends and colleagues or potentially return to work for you again. Maintaining good relationships reduces the potential for reputational damage, lawsuits, and financial loss.  

If you view your employee performance system as a cycle rather than a linear process, even closures will inform the way forward. In the effort to achieve continuity throughout the employee lifecycle, EmPerform delivers the data and insights you need to improve processes and enable better decision-making. 

Performance Management Begins Before Day One 

When employees have clear expectations from the start, they are more likely to give it their all and be 100% engaged in seeing things through. When they can visualize a path to success, receive regular feedback, are aligned with the company’s mission, and have a transparent rewards structure from day one, the benefits resonate throughout the organization.  

Get started with emPerform today.