At Instructure and Bridge, we love to build great software. Further, we love to build great software for people that have suffered bad software for far too long.
A little over two years ago, we first brought the Bridge Learning Management System (LMS) to market. This allowed companies to deliver a beautiful and engaging experience not just around things like compliance training, but also to help grow the skills and careers of their employees by utilizing an LMS.
When I first joined Bridge some 14 months ago, I inherited a great product along with the directive to go build more. Early on, we had a seed of an idea, taken from our own frustration, and the frustration of employees everywhere, with the annual performance review. In theory, this isn’t a bad idea – every year you review an employee's performance and increase their salary or title assuming they did a great job. Unfortunately, this is often the only time when employees receive any kind of feedback related to their performance. It’s not hard to see how this process is broken. Imagine going a full semester at school without ever receiving a grade until your report card came out. You would spend the entire semester wondering where you stood. That is exactly what we are asking employees to do when we don’t provide more continuous feedback related to their performance.
With this as motivation, I set out with my team of product managers and product designers to pull together concepts for what this new product would look like. We sequestered ourselves for three days in a cabin outside of Salt Lake City and worked around the clock to bring these product ideas to life. A cabin in the mountains of Northern Utah might sound glamorous, however, three days spent in close quarters with a dozen coworkers quickly burst that notion! Fortunately, we came away with a beautiful prototype, ready to share with a handful of our customers. Over the next six weeks we hit the road, visiting 30 customers to show how we intended to disrupt and fix a fundamentally broken performance management process. To do so, we must first enable employees and managers to do 3 important things:
- Have more frequent and meaningful interactions by creating a great framework for conducting productive 1:1 meetings.
- Collect frequent feedback from peers on how an employee or manager is performing around the skills associated with the job they were hired for.
- Take the concept of company goals and enable employees to contribute to accomplishing them in a much more tactical manner.
We quickly found many customers had already started to embrace these philosophies; however, they didn't have a suitable technical solution for tackling them. Feedback from the product validation tour was so overwhelming positive that we quickly spun up a new office and hired a group of talented designers, engineers, and product managers and asked them to accomplish the impossible -- bring this product to the market within a year. Fast forward 12 months later to today: I am thrilled to announce general availability of Bridge Perform, the best product that I have ever been a part of building. Bridge Perform allows organizations to focus on the most important thing; developing, retaining, and promoting the top talent within their organization.
Over the next days, weeks, and months, you are going to see lot coming out of Bridge, including a brand-new product, brand-new website, and materials that show the value you can bring to your company and the service you can deliver to your employees with Bridge Perform. Perhaps the thing that resonates most with me is the new tagline for what has now became the Bridge Suite of products – “People Matter Most.” With that ideal in mind, Bridge Perform can help employees maximize their potential through a highly adoptable product that allows them to get better at their jobs, build more meaningful relationships with their manager, and become more engaged and happy at work. Happy employees make for successful companies.
A proud day for all of us at Instructure as I am thrilled to introduce Bridge Perform, now available as part of the Bridge Suite. It’s my hope that you love it as much as we do.