TPC Group Flies High with Employee Performance Software

All Resources

BACKGROUND

TPC Group is the leader in providing highly specialized lines of chemical products to major chemical and petroleum-based companies worldwide. As North America’s largest producer of finished butadiene and the largest producer of butene-1, companies around the globe rely on the company as their dependable supplier for hydrocarbon processing and other specialty chemicals. The company is the sole producer of chemical grade diisobutylene in North America and the second largest active merchant producer of high purity isobutylene in North America.

TPC Group’s products are sold to a wide range of performance, specialty and intermediate markets, including synthetic rubber, fuel additives, plastics and surfactants. The company makes the products that go into making the world’s tires, carpets, gasoline additives and many other essential items used in daily lives.

TPC Group operates manufacturing facilities in the industrial corridor adjacent to the Houston Ship Channel, the heart of the world’s largest chemical processing center. In addition, they operate facilities in Port Neches and Baytown, Texas, as well as a product terminal in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

THE CHALLENGE

TPC Group was using a paper-based system to handle its performance reviews, and found the system was outdated and inefficient for their needs. Employees and managers were having difficultly determining the most up-to-date version of their many documents, and managing all of the different files. The process became very overwhelming. The company wanted a system that could handle and track goal-setting, mid-year reviews, and yearend reviews, as well as store the information in one place, and eliminate the large number of paper and digital copies being exchanged.

“There were many, many versions of these documents going back and forth. It was very inefficient and cumbersome,” said Maria Korn, Director, Learning and Development, TPC Group. Neither the managers nor the employees were really ever certain of which version of the document they were on.”

TPC Group found it was time to start the search for a solution that could handle all of its performance management needs.

We liked the way the system was configured and all the flexibility we had with it.
– Maria Korn, Director, Learning and Development, TPC Group

TPC GROUP’S SOLUTION

TPC Group wanted a system that would provide a consistent and organized review process throughout the company. After reviewing several options, the company found SilkRoad Performance to be the obvious choice for them.

The company liked SilkRoad Performance’s user interface, and found it to be easy to navigate, and enjoyed the product’s flexibility, especially with the compensation module. Korn added, “We liked the way the system was configured and all the flexibility we had with it.”

As an added benefit, the company already had two of SilkRoad’s products and had very positive experiences with those and felt confident in the SilkRoad team.

“We felt that selecting a product out of that same suite would benefit us, and would provide some familiarity for our employees. We had such great experiences with the other products, SilkRoad Recruiting and Onboarding, it really influenced us to stay with SilkRoad for our performance management solution.”

Using SilkRoad Performance

Initially, the company focused its use of SilkRoad on full-time salaried employees, and used three different forms to handle its employee performances, including forms for administrative professional employees (i.e. administrative assistants through accountants or systems administrators in IT), for technical ladder employees (including technical professionals who are typically engineers or scientists), and a third form for managers. Most of the employees at the company have a mid-year review and a year-end review, and its extended leadership team, which includes all managers, also has quarterly reviews.

TPC Group found they were able to easily adapt the system to fit its review needs. “Our implementation consultant was very creative in working with me to help design a process and workflow within SilkRoad Performance that allowed us to do quarterly reviews in a very simple, streamlined kind of way.”

During the review process, each employee does a self-appraisal and then sends it to the manager to review, who then does their own appraisal of the employee. The two then meet to go over the complete review and discuss goals for the upcoming months. SilkRoad Performance documents everything, helping TPC keep a full and comprehensive record of employee reviews.

Glowing Performance Review for SilkRoad

TPC Group recently surveyed employees on SilkRoad Performance to find out how they felt about the system. Across the board employees felt:

  • The new electronic process made reviews much easier, provided easier editing, and they enjoyed not having to send documents back and forth.
  • Employees also found the automated process to be a major improvement over the previous form and paper transfer process. They felt this lead to quicker response times from management as well.
  • They also enjoyed the ability to copy over continued goals or similar goals from previous years to the latest review.

Since implementation, the company has had noticeable cost savings and time savings. “It’s a hard thing to quantify, because you never realize how much time you were putting into something, but we have definitely noticed that we have been able to save both time and money since implementation,” said Korn.

She went on to explain that one of the biggest benefits for the company has been the time savings and the “hassle factor.”

“You just can’t measure that, but it’s just far less of a hassle, whether you’re the employee doing your own self-appraisal, or you’re the manager with the large group of employees. Either way you are saving yourself so much time and stress from our old process.

The company has found SilkRoad Performance to be especially helpful for their higher-level managers (directors and VP’s), because they can now track how their direct reports are progressing through the appraisal process.

“The feedback on this has been great. The senior managers have found it makes it easier for them to make sure their direct reports are getting all of the appraisals done on time.

SilkRoad Performance’s ease-of-use has also been a great benefit for the company. “Our employees can get up to speed with the system pretty quickly. It’s so easy to use. Not to mention, the system is intuitive as well. People can figure it out on their own. The ease of using it and the user interface make it a real plus for a company of our size.” 

TPC Group’s employees also said they benefitted from the ability to access their goals after the reviews, and using the journaling feature, which has provided them a space to make notes throughout the year, and link those notes back to individual goals.

“The journal has been a convenient place for our team to jot down something in real-time and then be able to forget about it. When the year-end or mid-year review comes around, the employees can go back to that data and review it.”

Additionally, TPC Group found the web-based portal extremely beneficial. “Like most companies today, our employees sometimes work long hours. And, as you may have guessed, appraisals and goal setting aren’t always everyone’s favorite process. SilkRoad Performance’s flexibility of being able to access it from any computer that has Internet access was a plus. Our employees can access it from wherever they are and get everything in on time. As an added bonus, we don’t have to support it on our servers.”

The company has plans to expand the use of SilkRoad Performance moving forward. They are creating additional forms where they plan to do some added appraisals for different positions including shift operators, maintenance crafts, and lab technicians. TPC Group also believes in the future they will see real benefits from archiving reviews and allowing employees to go back into the archive and look over their previous reviews and the goals set in the last review.

Previous Resource

Share this Resource: