Case Study

Protective Life Establishes Employee-Manager Alignment With Check-Ins


The traditional performance management model, with goal-setting in January and an evaluation at the end of the year, was not meeting the needs of the modern workforce, which has shifted from production to knowledge work.

Protective identified three business needs:

  1. Enable coaching and development of talent through continuous feedback
  2. Streamline and simplify the performance review process
  3. Transition from annual process to quarterly check-ins

“We were HR police — managers spent an inordinate time just getting through the process instead of having a real, genuine conversation with the employee,” Wendy said.


After running interviews, an employee survey, looking at outside research and doing a design workshop, Protective identified quarterly check-ins as the program that best fit its needs. Now, the company needed a technology solution that could deliver on the requirements of its forward-thinking program.

Program requirements:

  • Simple and lightweight
  • Continuous communication
  • Future-focused, strength-based
  • Ownership of performance
  • Pay for performance

Protective eliminated their beginning-of-year goals and annual review, and implemented quarterly goal-setting and check-ins, with an end-of-year rating, through Reflektive.

“When we started redesigning our performance management process, we decided to do quarterly check-ins, and found Reflektive,” Wendy said. “The system didn’t need a lot of training because it was very intuitive.”


Protective’s new program drives alignment between managers and employees, and helps employees know they’re working on the right things. Using Reflektive’s lightweight, intuitive solution for real-time feedback and check-ins enables managers to focus on the conversation, not the technology.

In turn, the company is poised to meet growth goals, knowing employees are being developed all year long.

  • Managers are spending 10 minutes in the tool and 20-30 minutes with the employee, having a conversation — the right balance
  • Protective increased by 40% the number of people who say they understand exactly what they should focus on in the next 90 days
  • 92% of employees agree with statement: “I know where I stand with my manager”

Protective Life Insurance Company was established in 1907 and now markets its products and services in all 50 states. With a market capitalization of $5.48 billion as of September 2014, Protective is listed in the 2012 Fortune 1000 list. In 2015, Protective Life was acquired by Dai-Ichi Life Holding, Inc. The new parent company set out an aggressive growth plan for the Birmingham, Ala.-based insurance company. With a tenured workforce, Protective needed a performance management plan that would optimize retention and employee development.


Year Founded

Birmingham, Ala.


Protect tomorrow, so people can embrace today.ValuesDo the Right Thing, Serve People, Build Trust, Simplify Everything

“We recognize that the talent people bring to us is really going to be the sustainable competitive advantage.”

Stephen Owens
VP of Talent Acquisition and Leadership Development

“Our customer demographics are changing, the needs of our customers are changing, we’re seeing HR evolve to meet those needs. We’ve got to be focused on talent — how do we coach and develop people — how do we give feedback? It has to be something that’s happening every day.”

Wendy Evesque

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