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Aberdeen Report: Empowering Managers to drive Employee Success


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This report from the Aberdeen Group dives into the manager’s role in employee engagement and the importance of manager tools in driving success in the workplace. Through an aggregated view of research, surveys, interviews, and data analysis, Empowering Managers to Drive Employee Success examines the new role of technology in talent management.

Published in: Business, Technology
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Aberdeen Report: Empowering Managers to drive Employee Success

  1. 1. This document is the result of primary research performed by Aberdeen Group. Aberdeen Groups methodologies provide for objective fact-based research andrepresent the best analysis available at the time of publication. Unless otherwise noted, the entire contents of this publication are copyrighted by Aberdeen Group, Inc.and may not be reproduced, distributed, archived, or transmitted in any form or by any means without prior written consent by Aberdeen Group, Inc.March 2013Empowering Managers to Drive EmployeeSuccessToday’s workforce is in a state of constant change. Organizations both largeand small struggle with global expansion, the retirement of Baby Boomers,and the shortage of key skills. As a result, the practice of Human CapitalManagement (HCM) is no longer an HR initiative but a critical businessendeavor. Yet, according to Aberdeen’s HCM Trends 2013: It’s a Brave NewWorld report, only 38% of organizations align their talent and businessstrategies. One way that organizations think more strategically about theirHCM efforts is by empowering managers with the data and tools they needto drive employee success. In order to improve business results, managersneed solutions to help them understand activity within their team andhighlight areas to manage and optimize top talent. Unfortunately, mostmanagers lack the competencies needed to develop and engage employeesand most technology providers fail to deliver in this area. Achievers is oneprovider that understands the critical role managers play in driving businessoutcomes. Through its latest product release, Einstein, it has made acommitment to improving both employee performance as well as businessresults.The Business of Employee EngagementEmployee engagement is a top priority for todays managers. It is nowembedded in corporate brand strategies, communication from seniorleaders, and organizational value statements. Yet, despite this enthusiasm,engagement levels are still dangerously low for many organizations and mostmanagers lack the insight and resources to tackle this challenge. Accordingto Aberdeen’s 2012 The Rules of Employee Engagement: Communicating,Collaborating and Aligning with the Business report, the top pressures facingtoday’s organizations all have a direct impact on managers more than anyother role in the organization including productivity, retention, and agility(Figure 1). In order to overcome these challenges, organizations need torevamp their strategies and directly involve managers in employeeengagement efforts.Analyst InsightAberdeen’s Insights provide theanalysts perspective on theresearch as drawn from anaggregated view of researchsurveys, interviews, anddata analysis.
  2. 2. Empowering Managers to Drive Employee SuccessPage 2© 2013 Aberdeen Group. Telephone: 617 854 Fax: 617 723 7897Figure 1: Pressures Driving Employee EngagementSource: Aberdeen Group, July 2012When managers are responsible for employee engagement, they are morelikely to link these strategies to performance. Engagement becomes morethan a buzzword and instead, an initiative that is directly tied to employeesuccess and the bottom line. Too often engagement and performance aredisjointed strategies without a vision to align them. Aberdeen’s 2011 TheEngagement / Performance Equation report found that when engagement islinked to performance, many other critical, company-wide metrics areimproved as well, including hiring the best talent, bench strength, overallorganizational performance, and customer retention (Figure 2). Clearly,managers are the key to linking engagement to performance in order to giveorganizations a competitive advantage.Best-in-Class DefinitionIn Aberdeen’s July 2011 TheEngagement / PerformanceEquation report, the followingkey performance indicators(KPIs) were used to distinguishthe Best-in-Class (top 20% ofaggregate performers) from theIndustry Average (middle 50%)and Laggard (bottom 30%)organizations, with meanperformance among the Best-in-Class as follows:√ 71% of employees rated“exceeds expectations” ontheir most recentperformance review√ 62% of employees ratedthemselves as “highlyengaged” in the most recentengagement survey√ 11% year-over-yearimprovement in employeeretention
  3. 3. Empowering Managers to Drive Employee SuccessPage 3© 2013 Aberdeen Group. Telephone: 617 854 Fax: 617 723 7897Figure 2: Impact of Engagement and PerformanceSource: Aberdeen Group, June 2011Managers Make a DifferenceMost organizations focus on how HR will identify, manage, and optimizetalent yet ignore the role of the manager in this process. Additionally, fewtechnology providers offer solutions that target managers when consideringworkforce and talent initiatives. Achievers is focusing on managers and thecritical role they play in driving employee success. With the launch of theirEinstein product, Achievers links engagement and performance by offeringmanagers greater analytics, integration, and transparency.AnalyticsWith the right analytics, managers will have the right information to makedata-driven decisions around their team, such as identifying high-performers.Despite a high demand for better data, analytics in HCM remains incrediblycomplex and complicated. Few HR professionals and technology providershave been able to simplify the process in a way that organizations can collectdata, assemble it into useful information, and deliver reports to seniorleaders. As HCM professionals look to become more strategic for thebusiness, analytics is only useful to the point of decision — to help managerstake action and drive business results. According to Aberdeen’s 2012Analytics in Action report, one way that organizations simplify analytics isthrough dashboards provided to both senior executives and managers. TheBest-in-Class are 70% more likely than Industry Average and Laggardorganizations combined to provide these dashboards.Best-in-Class DefinitionIn Aberdeen’s March 2012Analytics into Action report, thefollowing KPIs were used todistinguish the Best-in-Class(top 20% of aggregateperformers) from the IndustryAverage (middle 50%) andLaggard (bottom 30%)organizations, with meanperformance among the Best-in-Class as follows:√ 87% of organizational goalsachieved in the past year√ 52% of employees receivedan "exceeds expectations" orbetter rating in their mostrecent performance review√ 73% of key roles have atleast one ready and willingsuccessor identified
  4. 4. Empowering Managers to Drive Employee SuccessPage 4© 2013 Aberdeen Group. Telephone: 617 854 Fax: 617 723 7897Figure 3: Visibility of DashboardsSource: Aberdeen Group, April 2012Improving and simplifying analytics is a key objective of Achievers’ Einsteinrelease. Through easy-to-use, customizable dashboards, managers get theinformation they need to identify team and individual performance based onrecognition information. Managers have different options for viewing thesedashboards, and the entire solution is self-service, which means thatmanagers can pull the reports whenever they need them. In addition tocustomizable dashboards, Einsteins reports can be exported in any formatand also shared through social media.IntegrationThe current HCM technology space is incredibly fragmented. A majority oforganizations operate with disparate solutions for areas of talentmanagement, workforce management, and core HR. Even many of thesolution providers who have acquired new products over the years havefailed to integrate them. In fact, according to Aberdeen’s 2013 HCM Trendsreport, integration is a top criterion for technology selection in 2013 (28%)after price (41%) and ease of use (38%). As Figure 3 below shows, thissystems integration between talent and workforce management payssignificant dividends. What is even more telling of the benefits of integratingworkforce and talent management systems is their impact on readiness.Organizations with an integrated view across workforce and talent data aremore likely to have engaged employees as well as to be focused ondeveloping their employees and ensuring that they have the right successionplans in place to power future business results. Seventy-one percent (71%)of organizations with integrated systems have employees that ratedthemselves as engaged compared to 58% of organizations with nointegration.Best-in-Class DefinitionIn Aberdeen’s January 2013Human Capital ManagementTrends report, the followingKPIs were used to distinguishthe Best-in-Class (top 20% ofaggregate performers) from theIndustry Average (middle 50%)and Laggard (bottom 30%)organizations, with meanperformance among the Best-in-Class as follows:√ 81% of employees ratedthemselves as “highlyengaged” in their mostrecent engagement survey√ 71% of key positions have aready and willing successoridentified√ 13% year-over-yearimprovement in hiringmanager satisfaction
  5. 5. Empowering Managers to Drive Employee SuccessPage 5© 2013 Aberdeen Group. Telephone: 617 854 Fax: 617 723 7897Figure 4: Impact of Integration (Year-over-Year Improvement)Source: Aberdeen Group, May 2012Einstein can serve as the integration point between various HR systems andthe point of entry for employees and managers. It integrates with everyhuman resource information system (HRIS) system and can help connectthese systems with various talent management and workforce managementsystems in place. Deloitte Canada is an example of one company thatleverages Achievers and its “Stand-Up” employee recognition program tobring together various social enterprise solutions.TransparencyTo make the most of HCM, talent and business leaders must work togetherto achieve shared objectives and create greater transparency. Currently,73% of Best-in-Class organizations in Aberdeen’s 2013 HCM Trends reporthave key business stakeholders involved in HCM strategies compared to51% of Industry Average organizations and 34% of Laggard organizations.This step is a critical foundation to get everyone aligned and on the samepage before adopting the most common organizational capability cited bytop performers: holding line of business leaders accountable for recruiting,development, performance management, and other aspects of talentmanagement within their teams.Einstein helps organizations achieve this level of transparency andcollaboration through their “Managers Corner” tools, which consists ofthree major features: Results-Driver, My Team, and Connections. Thesesolutions help organizations address a wide variety of both talent andbusiness challenges, including improving employee referral programs,increasing company loyalty, addressing the transfer of knowledge betweengenerational groups, and implementing wellness campaigns.
  6. 6. Empowering Managers to Drive Employee SuccessPage 6© 2013 Aberdeen Group. Telephone: 617 854 Fax: 617 723 7897• Results-Driver allows organizations to create campaigns to addressbusiness challenges and develop goals that will translate into actions;• My Team gives managers real-time insight into their teamsperformance, recognition, and communication activities;• Connections allows managers to see their “sphere of influence” andhow their teams work together by tracking who is being recognizedand when.Key TakeawaysAs business evolves, organizations need to rely on a different set of toolsand strategies to address shifts in the workforce. Above all else, HCMobjectives must align with business objectives and managers must play acritical role in creating this synergy. When managers have the rightinformation, tools, and resources to help manage and optimize their talent,they are able to drive business outcomes such as engagement, performance,and productivity. Achievers is one provider that focuses on the ways thatmanagers can promote employee success through its latest release, Einstein.Managers will now have greater access to data, stronger usability andintegration between HR systems, and the tools necessary to help improvetalent and business initiatives.For more information on this or other research topics, please
  7. 7. Empowering Managers to Drive Employee SuccessPage 7© 2013 Aberdeen Group. Telephone: 617 854 Fax: 617 723 7897Related ResearchThe Talent Acquisition Lifecycle: FromSourcing to Onboarding; September2011Assessments 2011: Selecting andDeveloping for the Future; May 2011The 2011 HR Executives Agenda:Automation, Innovation and Growth;December 2010Talent Acquisition Strategies 2010:Candidate Experience and RelationshipManagement Come of Age; August 2010Succession Management: SustainableLeadership for the Future; July 2010Competency Management: TheFoundation for Talent Success;December 2009Author: Madeline Laurano, Research Director, Talent Acquisition Solutions( more than two decades, Aberdeens research has been helping corporations worldwide become Best-in-Class.Having benchmarked the performance of more than 644,000 companies, Aberdeen is uniquely positioned to provideorganizations with the facts that matter — the facts that enable companies to get ahead and drive results. Thats whyour research is relied on by more than 2.5 million readers in over 40 countries, 90% of the Fortune 1,000, and 93% ofthe Technology 500.As a Harte-Hanks Company, Aberdeen’s research provides insight and analysis to the Harte-Hanks community oflocal, regional, national and international marketing executives. Combined, we help our customers leverage the powerof insight to deliver innovative multichannel marketing programs that drive business-changing results. For additionalinformation, visit Aberdeen or call (617) 854-5200, or to learn more about Harte-Hanks, call(800) 456-9748 or go to document is the result of primary research performed by Aberdeen Group. Aberdeen Groups methodologiesprovide for objective fact-based research and represent the best analysis available at the time of publication. Unlessotherwise noted, the entire contents of this publication are copyrighted by Aberdeen Group, Inc. and may not bereproduced, distributed, archived, or transmitted in any form or by any means without prior written consent byAberdeen Group, Inc. (2013a)