Achieving foolproof performance management in just 6 weeks

How Madison County ‘removes human error and frees administrators to focus on providing good feedback’

Faced with a paper-intensive performance management process that got in the way of meaningful evaluation conversations, Madison County Schools in Kentucky knew something needed to change — fast.

“We were in the market to find something that would really streamline the process,” said Dustin Brumbaugh, Ed.D., director of human resources at the district. “If we can make things clearer for the administrators, then they can focus on providing the right feedback as opposed to trying to make sure they’re coordinating everything correctly.”

Based on his experience with Hire — the K-12 education-specific applicant tracking system from TalentEd — Dustin quickly set his sights on Perform, TalentEd’s performance management solution.

“As long as I’m directing HR, we won’t use anything other than Hire for applicant tracking. It’s just flawless,” he explained. “So I thought, ‘If Hire works this well and TalentEd is willing to stand behind this performance management solution, it has to be pretty good.’”

His faith in TalentEd proved well founded during the implementation process.

“We were implementing Perform at the end of June or beginning of July and had employees reporting back mid-August, so we had an aggressive timeline because we wanted to use it for that school year,” Dustin said. “We actually got it off the ground a lot faster than I anticipated, and it met all my expectations.”

To ensure successful implementations, TalentEd works with customers such as Madison County Schools to set appropriate expectations and learn about the districts’ unique needs and processes.

“We had a kickoff webinar where we sat down and our implementation specialist educated us on what the process would look like and how the system works,” Dustin said. “But he took just as much time to learn about us so he could correctly configure the system to fit our processes.”

After the kickoff meeting, Dustin worked with the TalentEd implementation team as well as his district’s own internal implementation team to get the system up and running.

“All of us would have our assignments. Then we’d meet back together, and our TalentEd implementation specialist would review everything,” Dustin said. “There were a couple of times he noticed something we did and would say, ‘I think you’re trying to do this, but that’s not exactly how it’s going to work.’ He really put out some fires before we even went live.”

Thanks to the successful Perform implementation, Madison County Schools overcame many of its biggest performance management challenges.

“We set it up so it’s foolproof,” Dustin said. “In our district, we have different processes for tenured and non-tenured positions, so we built Perform to ensure teachers are assigned the correct evaluation process — which removes human error and frees administrators to focus on providing good feedback.”

Perform also allows Dustin to more easily monitor each school’s progress.

“Before, there was no way of knowing if a principal at such-and-such school was keeping up with the evaluations and professional growth plans,” Dustin said. “Now, I’m able to see what’s been completed and proactively address any issues.”

The increased visibility Perform provides is also a hit among teachers.

“When they go in the system, they can see the list of all the steps in the evaluation process, and they can see when an administrator takes action on one of those items,” Dustin explained. “That transparency really removed a lot of the negativity that’s often associated with teacher evaluations.”

And because Hire and Perform have single sign-on integration, administrators can seamlessly move between tasks in each solution.

“Once you log in to one, you can toggle back and forth,” Dustin said. “That makes things very easy. One username. One password. Everything you need is right there at your fingertips for both systems.”

While implementation has long since passed, Dustin knows the TalentEd team is always available to offer support and help Madison County further improve use of their solutions.

“Anytime I need help, they’re quick to respond,” Dustin said. “It’s definitely a valuable partnership.”

Madison County Schools

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