Fortech Switches to iGrow – Our New Performance Management Approach
14 October 202114 October 2021 | News
Starting this quarter, Fortech is switching to a new performance management approach called iGrow. We are taking a step forward from measuring only our team’s results and current knowledge to a more integrated approach that recognizes the strategy, effort, focus, perseverance, and progress put in place to reach individual and company objectives.
This new approach strengthens our commitment to building a performance-driven culture that supports and energizes our team of software crafters. Nurturing a culture of ongoing learning has been and will be our fundamental instrument in delivering quality software services for our clients.
Redesigning our Performance Management Approach
We started the redesign of our performance management approach by questioning the ‘why’ behind our decision. We realized that we needed a process that is more in tune with the fast-changing industry we operate in (IT) and is also calibrated to the challenges brought by the coronavirus pandemic.
The project took two years to develop and included the following milestones:
1. The Research Stage
During the research, we carefully analyzed the feedback from different roles in the organization about the existing process to identify the gaps and opportunities for improvement. Together with Stand for Development, a consultancy firm, we addressed these issues and designed the new framework. It was essential for us to ‘start with the why’ and outline the fundamental principles of this novel approach before moving on to the next phase.
2. The Pilot Stage
We tested out the new approach, iGrow, in three of Fortech’s engineering departments. Fortech’s HR Talent & Training team worked closely with Unit Managers and their teams. Besides attending training sessions with direct managers, the team hosted several dissemination sessions explaining ‘the why’ and ‘the how’. They were also observers and offered feedback and support in real-life situations where the new approach was being implemented.
3. The Training Stage
Throughout the training sessions, we focused on helping people in direct management roles to build out the necessary skillset to implement iGrow. Our aim at this stage was to build key competencies before introducing the process company-wide. Throughout this journey, the HR Talent & Training Team worked closely with our management team and focused on the “practice” step of the learning process.
4. The Rollout Stage
We are currently monitoring the adoption rate of the new process, offering feedback and support to direct managers who are actively using iGrow. We are also developing a tool that will help us automate the steps of the process, freeing up time to focus on further developing the skills of the management team.
Our new approach, iGrow, aims to help us adapt and grow fast in a constantly changing industry. We set out to support this by:
- Nurturing a culture of growth and learning;
- Being more flexible and goal-oriented;
- Empowering our team to take ownership of their professional development;
- Offering our team the support they need to explore new perspectives in their career by develop their technical, soft skills, or leadership skills.
What’s Different in iGrow
Compared to our previous approach, with iGrow we aim to measure and recognize our team members’ performance and their progress on professional growth objectives, the strategy, and the effort they put into reaching goals. This new approach offers us a more holistic view.
We are stepping away from the top-down way of setting objectives, encouraging a more collaborative relationship between managers and team members. Everyone is empowered to set their growth objectives and has full ownership in reaching them.
To support that, we are introducing a more flexible framework that aligns with one’s role within the company, the project they are working on, and their growth trajectory. Direct managers focus more on identifying each person’s strengths and work towards sustainable progress, helping each team member to solve blockers along the way.
“The three main things I like about iGrow are: the focus it brings to individual growth perspectives, flexibility, and the ability to plan and measure my progress. iGrow helps me a lot in my professional growth.” – declared Simina Ignat, Software Developer..
“I enjoy my coaching discussions with my manager, as well as the ongoing feedback that I receive. This has helped me better understand expectations and the improvements I need to make to adapt faster and better in different project setups.” – said Alexandru Morariu, Software Developer..
The iGrow Framework at a Glance
The concept behind iGrow is ‘Growth Based on Strengths,’ which we portrayed in the form of a tree. With strong roots, the tree will grow a rich crown full of fruit.
Direct managers have an essential role in growing these strong roots. Through frequent coaching sessions, they guide team members in achieving their professional growth objectives. A vital element of this relationship is setting up a safe environment where mistakes are considered part of the learning process. This way, we are encouraging everyone to try new things and step out of their comfort zone.
Staying true to one of our core values – Striving for Excellence – we see ongoing learning as a critical skill of a good professional, especially in the IT industry. It’s the foundation of our commitment to remaining a reliable tech partner for our clients, where we continue to respond to the industry’s changing needs.
We developed an ongoing framework with essential steps that take place within a one-year period. We used existing models to set up the Framework. Here is a closer look at each step of the new process:
Rolling out iGrow
After two years of carefully developing the Framework, we are in the process of rolling out iGrow company wide.
“Designing a performance management process that not only sustains our organization today but also prepares it for the future was a true challenge for me both personally and professionally. There was a lot of effort involved, both from a very dedicated HR Talent & Training Team and from the managers who pitched in a lot in validating and promoting iGrow. What I like about iGrow is the flexibility of the Framework and the fact that it actively promotes a learning culture and empowerment, and I genuinely believe it will be a good model for the challenges and years to come.” – declared Nicoleta Colopelnic, Talent & Training Manager.
“iGrow is going to significantly change the source and scale of the added value we bring to our clients. Our impact will no longer be powered just by our strive for excellence and performance, but it will be the result of our intrinsic thirst for evolution. iGrow will help us craft a solid foundation boosting the number of partnerships that recognize our team’s exceptional work.” – said Marius Vanca, VP of Software Engineering.
While we aim to increase the number of active iGrow adopters, we focus on making sure everyone entering the process has the necessary skills to implement iGrow and starts seeing this new process as an added value. We are also preparing to launch a performance management tool that will further ease the company-wide implementation process.