Managing Human Assets Using Technology

Jennifer Walzer of tells me that her number one corporate interest is her employees.
On the other hand, her employees’ number one focus is customers. This is powerful.
Unfortunately many company executives don’t think this way and pour all their prime energy into customers, instead of working to ensure their employees are first and foremost taken care of. Of course you have to have some balance but pay attention to customers at the expense of employees.
If you have great employees, who feel empowered, challenged, loved (is that too strong a word for 2008) and overall happy – they’ll work hard to ensure the company is growing.

Yacov Wrocherinsky, founder of Infinity Info Systems has instituted a variety of awards and activities to ensure his employees are committed, motivated and overall happy as well. Brooklyn based Norm Brodsky, serial entrepreneur, and his wife have instituted a number of policies and procedures to ensure their human assets are hired right, from the start and continuously perform as best as possible.
A few weeks ago I sat down with Paul Albright, General Manager, SMB and CMO for SuccessFactors, who helped me understand the power of technology in managing and building a team of employees who are motivated and dedicated.
There’s many components to building the right pool of talent, much of it does not involve technology. However, technology can and should aid in retaining and keeping employees.

Let’s take a look at the process of performance reviews. If the performance reviews are scattered in a variety of paper files, even if they are in nice and neat folders, you can’t get a transparent and global view of your employees if your employee data is not anchored in a cohesive structure.
As your company grows, from 5 – 50, or from 55 – 230 (as in the case of their SuccessFactors’ new customer LifeLock) you’ll need a tool that can help you keep up with growth and manage the performance of your employees.
Using technology to help you manage your employees means that good employees rise to the top and are clearly visible – you know who to promote. While employees that are not so good are also clearly visible and you know who needs more training, needs to be reassigned or let go.
With project management tools you ensure each project is on time, profitable and of course before you even start the project, aligned with corporate goals. Employees are, in a way, no different than well managed projects.
You need to ensure that your corporate goals and vision for the future are aligned with your hiring policies. You’ll only know if the employees you have newly hired and those who have been with you for 12 years are aligned with those goals if you have a systematic way to track their progress and development over time.
Part of ensuring that great employees are acknowledged and rewarded is giving other employees the ability to praise and/or acknowledge their peers. An employee management tool, like SuccssFactors , makes this not only possible, but easy to do. Imagine any employee being able to tell management what a great job (or not so good job) an employee has done.
As a company grows, its important to move away from paper files and folders and Excel spreadsheets (which you should minimize using in the first place) to a system, aided by a technical tool that can bring together the various aspects of an employee that go into getting a better view of how they contribute to a company and vice versa.
According to SuccessFactors, performance and talent management provides a holistic approach to maximizing your company’s potential by helping your employees realize theirs. It encompasses a set of technological solutions and processes that help you:

  • Identify your talent needs, your best applicants, and your star players.
  • Align employees’ goals with the organization’s goals.
  • Evaluate performance, coach people to improve over time, and reward excellence.

Outperform the competition with the right performance and talent management program, which helps you:

  • Align team members’ goals with organizational goals, and productivity skyrockets.
  • Eliminate favoritism and politics from the compensation process, increasing employees’ commitment and engagement.
  • Build motivation by giving employees responsibilities and challenges that spur them to higher levels of performance.
  • Link succession planning with career planning and create a shared vision of an exciting future with your employees.