A Customer Success Story

Qlik: Transition to Continuous Performance Development

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Qlik understands that organizational agility is essential to growing its business and operating efficiently. That’s why the company recently underwent a complete performance management transformation. This case study explores how Qlik worked with Workhuman, its human applications partner, to realign its people process to the pace of business.

This is not an exercise in HR. This is fundamentally a business process which enables the sustainability and performance of our business and our people.

Vikki Sly
Vice President of Talent Development at Qlik

A leader in the visual analytics market, Qlik was founded in Sweden in 1993 on a strong belief in human intelligence – that data and analytics are only effective as the collective intelligence of people. Today, its world headquarters is in Radnor, Penn., and it employs more than 2,000 employees worldwide.

Qlik understands that organizational agility is essential to growing its business and operating efficiently. That’s why the company recently underwent a complete performance management transformation. This case study explores how Qlik worked with Workhuman, its Human Applications partner, to realign its people process to the pace of business.

98% of employees say they value feedback as support for their learning

The challenge

The desire to transition away from traditional performance management was felt at all levels of the organization. “Our CEO and executive team got behind the need for change, but also recognized that, for us to be successful, we needed to listen to the organization,” says Vikki.

With this support, the team conducted in-depth interviews of senior leaders and fo- cus groups representing 950 employees across geographies and functions. Employ- ees felt the current annual review process was a “tick in the box,” solely to support pay and merit decisions. Key needs for the new framework were:

• Ability to adjust goals as business needs change
• More frequent, authentic conversations that are two-way, not top-down
• Crowdsourced feedback

Additionally, Qlik needed a solution that could be used by a global workforce in which 30 percent of people managers have direct reports in different time zones.

78% of employees agree their direct leader has a clear understanding of Qlik’s priorities and how they relate to their team’s work

The solution

Based on feedback from across Qlik, the new performance framework, Qlik Con- versations, was introduced in 2018. “Qlik Conversations aims to drive continual and natural conversations so we stay aligned and perform at an optimum level,” explains Michelle Supple, Program Director, Global Talent Development.

It is only fitting, then, that Qlik chose to implement Workhuman’s Conversations® solution to complement this new framework. Conversations draws on the posi- tivity and trust built from Inspire, Qlik’s social recognition program also powered by Workhuman, to enable an employee-driven process. Rather than wait for an annual review, employees initiate check-ins, priorities, and crowdsourced feedback throughout the year.

“It’s a light, fun, intuitive, and flexible solution which allows us to incorporate our recognition culture into our performance process,”
says Vikki.

75% of employees understand how their individual priorities align with their team’s priorities

The result

While Qlik is in the early stages of its performance redesign journey, this year
the team saw the highest ever percentage of employees saying they understand their priorities and 98 percent of employees say they value feedback as support for their learning.

“Conversations works because it’s fueled from a source of positivity,” says Vikki. “It’s changed the conversation from evaluative and backward-looking to one that is future-oriented.”

Data from the new solution is also proving invaluable in helping Qlik make better decisions. “This is intelligent data about how the organization is behaving and how people are networked together. That’s gold dust.”

Qlik sees this rich data, generated by peer-to-peer connection points, as a unique view into Qlik’s culture. Reports show where, when, and how work gets done, creat- ing a lifelog of the company’s history. “We are able to proactively implement learn- ing solutions before a knowledge gap arises,” says Kevin Hanegan, vice president, learning and enablement at Qlik.

Crowdsourcing feedback and recognition also reduces risk of bias. Managers in a matrixed, global organization can’t be expected to see all the work their team is doing. That’s why peer input has vastly improved Qlik’s performance process.

“Workhuman has provided us with a hub for our people to connect to what they need – goals, feedback, recognition – captured in their own dashboard,” says Karin Rossi, Lead Talent Development Consultant at Qlik.

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