How CSL Group uses Workleap Officevibe to reinvent the future of performance management

Jean-Luc Plante, Director of Talent Management at CSL Group, shares how they leveraged Workleap Officevibe to revamp its performance management process.

CSL Group offices

CSL brings highly-efficient, gravity-fed, self-unloading capabilities to bulk shipping and transhipment markets throughout the world.

Location Montreal, Canada

Company size 1,500 +

Industry Transportation

Like many companies, CSL Group used to have a traditional approach to how it managed performance.


Performance management process missed the #1 goal

The company would set goals at the beginning of the year and give employees a performance rating during their year-end reviews. Incentives, like salary increases and bonuses, were tied to their rating.

While the system mostly worked, it wasn’t long before CSL realized that they were unwittingly undermining the primary goal of the performance reviews: employee improvement.

Jean-Luc Plante, Director of Talent Management, explains, “We were fighting against our own system. The conversation that should be around growth, development, coaching, and feedback became more about justifying how much salary increase or bonus payments you were going to get.”

Employee dissatisfaction with the performance program

Tethering performance rating to salary had another major downside: while a few employees left their reviews in good spirits, the majority did not. Any positive takeaways about things they had done well during the previous year were lost or overshadowed when salary and bonuses came up.

As a result, many people were dissatisfied with the program — a system that was meant to promote growth was actively disengaging employees instead.

“Employees felt like the performance management program wasn’t engaging and the rating system created a lot of frustration. For example, if 20–25% of our workforce received a high-performance rating, that meant 75–80% of employees walked out of the process feeling neutral or frustrated.”

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Tying employee performance to company growth

The final issue with this type of performance management is that it’s inherently reactive. The whole program was focused on the previous year — what went right or wrong and how those actions affected upcoming salary changes.

However, CSL Group wanted to grow as a company. And the leadership team quickly realized that sustainable growth required more emphasis on employee betterment.

“We thought, ‘Why are we not looking forward into what we can improve and how we can continue to grow and develop our people?’ Not just their compensation or performance, but their personal growth and career paths.

Headshot of Jean-Luc Plante, Director of Talent Management at CSL Group.

We realized that we needed to rethink how we see performance, because we were looking at it backward.

Jean-Luc Plante, Director of Talent Management, CSL Group


Introducing a shift in philosophy

CSL’s leadership team created a new strategic plan to align their long-term company growth goals with how they engage employees in the performance management program.

As part of that plan, they implemented Workleap Officevibe. It had the features they needed to keep teams connected, address personal growth goals, and monitor performance.

“Workleap Officevibe for us was a solution to have up-to-date, constant information on our employee’s engagement and satisfaction in the work environment — not just in HR, but in the hands of our leaders as well.”

Frequent employee updates enable CSL to keep a finger on the pulse of engagement and satisfaction. They’re now able to report on results, update the leadership team, and act on new insights on a weekly basis, instead of annually.

“Having the right information in the right hands at the right time has enabled us to improve our work environment.”

Acting on timely employee feedback

Promoting personal employee growth and well-being was at the heart of CSL’s strategic shift. They put tremendous effort into preparing their managers and employees for the change, including a lot of information and training on how to have important conversations and measure personal growth.

Throughout this process, CSL used the Workleap Officevibe Pulse Surveys to gather feedback and improve the program.

“Thanks to Workleap Officevibe, we have these highly thought-out surveys that help us validate that we’re going in the right direction and supporting our employees in a way that’s aligned with their expectations.”

Survey feedback helped CSL leaders understand frustrations around their previous performance management process. As a direct result, they began to disassociate salary increases from performance — and focus more on personal growth.

On average, 70% of CSL employees complete the Pulse Surveys.

Creating a culture of recognition

CSL also implemented the Good Vibes feature, because Jean-Luc and other leaders know that receiving recognition instills a sense of pride and purpose in people. But he admits that they didn’t really promote that feature internally.

To his surprise, employees began using it on their own, and it quickly became one of the company’s favorite tools.

A screenshot of Good Vibes prompts in Officevibe.
Good Vibes, Workleap Officevibe's recognition engine

“Good Vibes is really popular at CSL. Employees started sending and receiving Good Vibes on their own. I regularly hear, ‘Hey, I got some Good Vibes this morning and it really made my day," said Jean-Luc.

Good Vibes is a peer-to-peer recognition tool that empowers employees to highlight positive efforts that they appreciate. It’s a simple way to create a strong culture of recognition.

In the last three months, CSL employees have sent and received 189 Good Vibes.

“Workleap Officevibe has been so helpful. We’re looking at and acting on these results. We’re changing the way we do things based on the surveys and feedback we’re getting every week,” said Jean-Luc.


Improved engagement and well-being

CSL is now writing a new chapter in employee engagement and performance management. Alongside their traditional performance objectives, they’ve implemented the People Growth program, which tracks developmental aspirations, career goals, and personal interests and opportunities.

Managers regularly connect with employees about their growth. They do a fantastic job of keeping them engaged and using Workleap Officevibe insights to prompt meaningful conversations.

“Now, our conversations are about employee career paths, their growth, what they want to accomplish, and how we can support them. They’re walking out of these conversations engaged and excited about their future at CSL.”

Employees and managers alike are already noticing a strong increase in overall engagement and related KPIs.

Pioneering the future of people growth

Jean-Luc is excited about the immediate improvements to CSL’s company culture and the ongoing investment in employee growth and betterment.

“We’re making good progress toward improving our results because we have the tools in place to enforce change. These conversations are now embedded in our HR lifecycle — they’re happening, they’re positive, and they’re engaging.”

He’s also excited about further exploring Workleap Officevibe’s performance management features, which will enable CSL managers to collect even more feedback and connect with employees on a more granular level. These features augment:

  • Performance reviews via flexible cycles
  • Continuous employee development via regular 1-on-1s
  • Ongoing feedback and recognition
  • Goal alignment and clarity

“The performance management features will help support our People Growth program. They seem future-focused, flexible, and aligned with our current processes."

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