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8 Reasons to Stop Managing Your People With Spreadsheets (State and Local Governments)


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Everyone loves a good spreadsheet. But if you have more than a few hundred employees, it can be a nightmare to track performance, training and succession activities with real-time insight. Our clients share why they made the switch from spreadsheets to talent management software - check them out.

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8 Reasons to Stop Managing Your People With Spreadsheets (State and Local Governments)

  1. 1. 8 Reasons to STOP managing your people with spreadsheets
  2. 2. Everyone loves a good spreadsheet. But if you have more than a few hundred employees, tracking performance, training, and succession with them is the stuff of nightmares. Spreadsheets and paper-based processes can’t give you deep, real-time insight into how your employees are performing or how to make them—and your agency—more successful. But a talent management system can. Our clients shared their reasons for making the switch from spreadsheet to software. Which one tops your list?
  3. 3. Reason #1 We never had enough time. If you’re relying on spreadsheets to track performance, compensation, and training, you’re also spending a lot of time finding and filing information. Manual tracking doubles your administrative workload—a big no-no in an era of frequent budget cuts and hiring freezes. Our clients find that a talent management (TM) system slashes the hours it takes to access employee data, which makes doing more with less not only plausible but possible. As result, state and local agencies have more time and resources to focus on their mission: delivering critical services to their communities.
  4. 4. Reason #2 We needed to reduce data entry mistakes. With all the manual entry involved in spreadsheets and docs, mistakes are bound to happen. Plus, it’s difficult to track reviews and compensation plans that require approval from multiple people, and there’s always a risk of compliance snafus if you can’t prove that training’s been completed. As your agency changes, these problems can only get worse. Yet with a TM system, you can easily eliminate duplicate efforts and put the kibosh on human error.
  5. 5. ...integrating performance management with all the other elements of talent management can account for one-half of the variability in an organization’s performance. Reason #3 We couldn’t take action on our performance management results. Performance management and training plans should work in tandem. Yet creating plans from spreadsheets and annual reviews doesn’t ever really work, does it? Without a way to integrate performance with training, annual evaluations simply aren’t actionable. A TM system puts purpose and value back into the process. It links performance with recruiting, leadership development, learning, and compensation—from week to week, not year to year. Your success in your community depends on it: according to Bersin, the effectiveness of an organization at integrating performance management with all the other elements of talent management can account for one half of the variability in an organization’s performance.1 1 Talent Management Systems 2013: Market Analysis, Trends and Provider Profiles, p.9.
  6. 6. Reason #4 We couldn’t access data quickly for leaders and administrators. It takes time—hours—to compile employee information. Yet your leaders expect you to deliver that information in mere minutes. With a TM system, you can immediately access records, reviews, and succession opportunities—the whole kitchen sink. You’re always prepared for that next audit and ready to meet with your management team at the drop of a hat. The result? Because you’re up to date on compliance training, you can worry less about regulatory fines. Because you can look across and into your entire organization to determine future leaders, you’re making better long-term decisions for your agency—and your community.
  7. 7. Reason #5 We needed scalability and flexibility to manage hiring fluctuations. If you’re struggling with manual tracking now, imagine the paperwork you’ll have when you’re in the middle of a furlough or have a sudden need for new—and highly qualified— staff. Unfortunately, the volume of spreadsheets and hiring fluctuations have an ugly one-to-one relationship. Many clients sought us out when they realized their manual processes simply couldn’t keep up with changing staff needs. The right TM system allows you to manage your changing employee base thanks to more efficiency around compliance tracking, succession planning, training and development, and recruiting.
  8. 8. Reason #6 We needed to retain our top talent to stay competitive. Your people are a powerful resource, and recognizing top talent is key to keeping them (and not losing them to opportunities from the private sector). Yet if you’re relying on paper-based tracking, you’ll never really know who your top talent is or what they’re contributing. With tools designed to identify and incentivize high performers, a TM system helps you hold onto your superstars. Bersin found organizations with tightly aligned talent processes experienced 40% less turnover of high performers and were 92% better at creating a pipeline of successors.2 2 Bersin and Associates, Research Bulletin 2012, October 19, 2012, page 3. ...organizations with tightly aligned talent processes experienced 40% less turnover of high performers and were 92% better at creating a pipeline of successors.
  9. 9. ...organizations with an integrated talent approach have an ‘87% greater ability to hire the best people’ Reason #7 We needed to find the right talent quickly. Thanks to the growing skills scarcity, the fight for top talent can be brutal. Add the impending talent shortage thanks to the Baby Boomer exodus, and sourcing talent can feel like a scene out of the Hunger Games. Taking advantage of social recruiting is critical to nabbing the best and brightest new hires. Yet connecting candidate networks with career opportunities while capturing referrals can be difficult—unless you’re using a TM system. According to Bersin, organizations with an integrated talent approach have an 87% greater ability to “hire the best people.”3 A TM system helps you use your networks, social media, and employee referrals to find top talent in less time—and with less paperwork. 3 Ibid, page 3.
  10. 10. Reason #8 We’re sick of slugging it out with our core HRIS/ERP provider. Love is a battlefield—and so is the talent management arena. Our clients who relied on HRIS/ERP systems found them good at payroll and recording information but woefully ineffective at talent-specific processes like identifying their next director or administrator. There’s a big difference between an HR generalist—most ERP providers—and a true TM specialist. Only a specialist’s tools are designed to help manage people’s engagement and performance in a simple, easy way, whereas clunky ERP solutions frustrate employees to the point that they stop using them altogether. Our clients were relieved when they discovered they could get solutions that were both tailored for talent management and easily integrated into their existing HRIS/ERP.
  11. 11. csod-industry-brief-government-2014 Spreadsheets can’t bridge the gap between people management and your agency’s goals. An integrated talent management system helps you find and keep the best talent, plan for succession, and spend less time on data gathering—and more time on strategy. But where do you start? Check out Cornerstone. For more than a decade we’ve helped 1,500 clients source, develop, and retain their talent with tools that are both powerful and easy to use. Start the conversation at More than 1,500 organizations around the globe rely on Cornerstone OnDemand’s specialized integrated talent management suite to recruit top talent, manage performance, plan for succession, and develop leaders. Find out more by visiting