Case Study: Radical candor transforms once-hated process at Hootsuite

The Challenge

Hootsuite was planning for exponential growth. Already employing a large millennial, STEM talent pool, every year they spent thousands of hours on a universally hated process—the annual performance review. Yet there was no indication that this was helping the company reach its goals. Instead, there was mounting evidence to show that:

  • Formal reviews were not inspiring better performance
  • Employees focused too much on what was “wrong” vs. what was going well
  • HR was acting more as police than process enablers
  • Performance ratings were demotivating
  • Pay rewards were not leading to higher performance
  • Employees craved more structure and guidance to help them grow

Hootsuite tried several times to redesign their performance management processes, with poor results – but this time was going to be different. Late in 2016, they launched the PM Reboot with PeopleFirm with a go live in January 2017.


Our Solution

aerial view of woman on laptopTogether with HR functional leaders and Hootsuite executive leadership, PeopleFirm formed a project design team made up of diverse employees from multiple functions and teams to help address the problem of performance management. With full autonomy and accountability, the design team was tasked with collecting “radical candor” from team members and leaders across the company. This invaluable feedback and insight provided a unique view of key issues and inconsistencies, as well as the cultural needs that would ultimately drive better performance at Hootsuite. Using PeopleFirm’s proprietary PM Reboot methodology along with a series of structured, hands on workshops and interactive focus groups, the design team conceived and created a new performance management experience for Hootsuite called CADENCE. This new, internally driven performance process anchors itself in Hootsuite’s business rhythm, and enhances #hootsuitelife through three simple steps…



hootsuite owl

PeopleFirm is a strategy and execution consulting firm dedicated to helping you achieve that ultimate win-win: inspired people driving inspiring performance. We focus on effective tools, measurable outcomes, real results, and getting your people out of their seats and engaged in your company’s growth.

We use best-practice techniques across the five spheres that drive high performance to help you partner with your people to build an organization that excels in today’s new world of work. And, to ensure your organization can effectively embrace and support our solutions, we weave change management and leadership capability into everything we do.

Your people = your success.

Want to learn more?