Aeroplan takes paper out of employee performance appraisals

Aeroplan, the company that handles Air Canada’s air miles loyalty program, has moved its paper-based employee performance appraisal systems to a hosted solution from Technomedia Training Inc.

All 220 of Aeroplan’s employees, from senior executives on down, use the Web-based software, TM Sigal, to track their performance and submit to routine appraisals.

“This is a way for us to see where the areas of strength are and where the areas of weakness are within the company. Who’s our best and who’s our . . . not as best,” said Caroline Cyr, manager of organizational performance and development at Aeroplan. “(It helps us determine) what we can we do to help these guys out. It’s really a talent management tool.”

The company has been using the product since November and, so far, has essentially replicated its paper-based approach in an electronic format.

“Their performance management process was well-defined, except it was a mix of Word forms, Excel spreadsheets and so on with all the difficulties associated with that. They wanted a software tool which could mimic their forms. We had to adapt 100 per cent to their current process,” said Jacques Gaumond, vice-president of sales and marketing at Montreal-based Technomedia.

“Being a pretty aggressive, performance-driven organization in loyalty marketing, they wanted a tool that could support their process and get their people to adopt the process,” he added.

The employees have got behind the solution and find it preferable to shuffling papers between departments, said Cyr. Both employees and management are able to read the entire contents of their files, and where appropriate, make amendments.

“At the end of the year, a person who is an underachiever will be flagged. I will see the managers and meet with the employees and build a development plan,” said Cyr.

Aeroplan’s call centre agents are not currently reviewed by the software — employee management and training in those areas is handled by Aeroplan partner Air Canada. However, the airline is currently in the early stages of a pilot program with the same TM Sigal suite, said Cyr, and will consider a wider rollout in the future.

The solution was sold to Aeroplan by Bell Canada, a Technomedia partner who uses the TM Sigal product internally. The software is entirely hosted by Technomedia. The company also houses its clients’ employee data on a Microsoft SQL database.

Other companies that use the Technomedia suite include Alcan and Dejardins.

Starting later this year, Aeroplan will add a succession management module to its existing TM Sigal rollout, said Cyr, and possibly take advantage of its capabilities as a training tool.

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