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Real-time employee feedback can be a snap

By: Kerry Feltner KERRY FELTNER March 17, 2017

One year cannot fit into a day. That is essentially the problem SnapEval LLC is addressing with its products as the firm seeks to end the imprecise tedium of annual performance reviews.

“The idea formed around the concept of: people need to do these annual performance reviews, but when you get to the end of the calendar year you can’t remember all the details,” said David Yeaple, co-founder and business development and product manager of SnapEval.

SnapEval is the name of the company as well as the name of the firm’s signature continuous performance improvement product.

The product allows managers to give real-time feedback to their employees throughout the year. The feedback is private, generally only shared with senior leadership, human resources leaders and the employee.

The firm’s second product is Spotlight. It is a cloud-based mobile application and web portal launched in 2015 to track and promote employee recognition within a company. The system allows feedback to be shared with the whole company.

The products are subscription-based and currently free for companies that seek to track teams of up to 10 members.

SnapEval was founded in January 2013. The company graduated from High Tech Rochester Inc.’s Launchpad Program that March.

David Mandrycky, principal and director of human resources for Insero & Co. CPAs LLP, and his team have been using Spotlight since September 2015.

“Spotlight has been very well received in our firm,” he said. “The recognition tool is not only cost-effective, it’s very simple to use. The company reps have been responsive to our questions and have been able to make system adjustments based on our suggestions. They really listen to our ideas and they come through with meeting our needs.”

SnapEval is run by co-founders Michael Pinch and Yeaple. Pinch is the former chief technology officer of Palladian Health LLC in the Buffalo area and consultant with Pricewaterhouse-Coopers LLP. Yeaple was previously part of Odyssey Software LLC.

They are SnapEval’s only employees. Roger O’Brien, president of O’Brien Associates LLC, is an investor in the company.

“This tool has the potential to transform the performance appraisal and employee recognition process to one that is much more relevant, timely and user-friendly,” he said. “This new approach to employee assessment also fits much better with what millennials are seeking from their employers. I think the company has a terrific future and that its business model is very scalable.”

Its customers are mostly in the U.S. split between Western New York and the rest of the country. The target customers are firms with 25 to 2,500 employees.

That market is underserved in continuous performance management, Yeaple said.

“Most of the smaller companies don’t have as rigorous a process for performance management, but they typically will create corporate level goals or organizational goals, and everybody has those goals,” he said. “It can grow with the company.”

Top-Flight Maintenance Inc., a Cheyenne, Wyoming-based professional grounds-keeping company, has been using SnapEval since October 2015.

“SnapEval has provided us a vehicle for 360-degree recognition and performance evaluation,” said Julie Formby, office manager and director. “We hope to replace formal reviews with feedback from this tool.”

Benefits of using SnapEval include increasing employee engagement and performance by giving feedback more regularly and helping the company work towards larger company goals. Snap-Eval allows users to set up groups and to track each group’s progress as they work towards a goal.

Human resources managers can view any feedback a manager has put into the system before it is shared with the particular employee.

DeJoy, Knauf & Blood LLP began using SnapEval for free last November and converted the entire team to the system in January.

“We have found it to be a convenient, easy-to-use software program that provides the necessary tracking that meets HR standards—not to mention just what we were hoping for: real time, in the moment feedback, is happening more frequently,” said Sandi Tucker, human resources manager. “The experience for us has been extremely positive.”

SnapEval’s products also allow companies to protect themselves from lawsuits by documenting an employee’s progression.

“There’s a lot of reasons to give performance feedback, but there are also legal reasons to do so,” Yeaple said. “So being able to capture feedback from day one for that employee gives you not only the ability coach the ability to do a better job, but it gives you a repository of data that you can go to if that employee does leave.” The company’s focus in 2017 is to continue to spread the word about its product lines, Yeaple said. “I definitely see us growing the company significantly in terms of revenue and employees,” he said. “It’s really going to unfold as we acquire more customers and see what the needs are.”

3/17/2017 (c) 2017 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email rbj@rbj.net