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Things you should                                                        know about cloud HR                              ...
Preface2012 has been a significant year for the HR Technology landscape. It will be recognised asthe year in which cloud H...
Content    Some background                     4    1. Setting up the system            5    2. Social media aspects      ...
Some backgroundFrankly, we didn‟t want to produce another white-         number of tools (as we referred to them) that are...
…Setting up the system   1 Ready..steady..go!                                                           “A single step wil...
…Setting up the system            Is there anything challenging?                  to set objectives, use a social media pr...
…Social media aspects          Social is(n‟t)  2       the driver                                                        “...
…Social media aspects           In most of these cases users reverted to        Maturity requirement           standard em...
…Social media aspects     Critical observations                            Key learnings      • Users who are natural cont...
…Gamification principles          It‟s a game, but  3       not as you know it                                            ...
…Gamification principles          It’s not really a game                             A key learning from this product was ...
…Gamification principles       Critical observations                           Key learnings        • Users are drawn to t...
…Setting objectives  4        Who moved        my objective?                                                      “Managem...
…Setting objectives      Don’t miss the opportunity                       Can of worms      Once we got to understand the ...
…Setting objectives        Critical observations                             Key learnings         • Users will create man...
…Performance management process        You‟re a  5     (disa)STAR!                                                        ...
…Performance management process      You need choice                                   objectives from the system (althoug...
…Performance management process       Critical observations                              Key learnings         • If you ha...
…Incorporating mobility  6           Anytime &           anywhere                                                         ...
…Incorporating mobility           Who pays for mobile access?                      experiment, we never had to seriously d...
…Administration of the system  7         Keeping it all         together                                                  ...
…Administration of the system            The job will evolve                             However, it was important that th...
…Culture & participation           That‟s who we   8       are…it‟s our DNA                                               ...
…Culture & participation            Mind the leadership style gap                     formal and informal management and t...
The Cloud HR BOOKLET: Things you should know about cloud HR
The Cloud HR BOOKLET: Things you should know about cloud HR
The Cloud HR BOOKLET: Things you should know about cloud HR
The Cloud HR BOOKLET: Things you should know about cloud HR
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The Cloud HR BOOKLET: Things you should know about cloud HR

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A visual of the booklet. You can download a PDF copy from www.presenceofit.com.au/insights-and-research/things-you-should-know-about-cloud-hr-solutions

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The Cloud HR BOOKLET: Things you should know about cloud HR

  1. 1. Things you should know about cloud HR solutions: Lessons from a social experiment Make the right choicesCopyright © 2012 Presence of IT. All rights reserved. 1
  2. 2. Preface2012 has been a significant year for the HR Technology landscape. It will be recognised asthe year in which cloud HR vendors seriously began offering organisations alternatives totheir on-premises software: easier, quicker and cheaper solutions around talent and coreHR transaction management.Major ERP players, SAP® and Oracle®, moved decisively to buy out established players inresponse to the growing appreciation and positioning of Workday®, an HR solution built bythe previous owner of PeopleSoft®, Dave Duffield. Duffield was clearly and effectivelychallenging the ERP players in their own backyard and winning over often frustratedclients. Cloud HR vendors continue to offer pricing models that are enticing in a time thatcapital outlay is being curtailed.The end result? A significant shift in thinking: cloud-based HR solutions are inevitable!While there is an abundance of skill around the approach and implementation of ERP on-premises HR solutions, the same cannot be said for cloud-based products. The approach,choices, decisions, technical requirements and timing are different and for manyorganisations this is an area of concern and risk. Coupled with this risk, social media toolsand principles of gamification are adding layers of complexity to the cloud-based solutions.It‟s not as easy as deciding not to use these new layers, especially when the tool isfundamentally constructed around these new elements.Presence of IT - Human Capital Services division (HCS) recognised these risks andcomplexities and decided to run a social experiment with a cloud-based HR solution so wecan advise clients on implementing their own cloud HR products. We selected theSalesforce.com product called Rypple® (now part of Work.com) primarily because it had allthe components we needed, was easy to purchase and would not be construed as a salespitch for our other products. Rypple however, was not the focus. We wanted to understandand learn from the behaviours of people who were included in the experiment. It was a realeye-opener and we have now transferred our learnings to our consulting staff.This paper is a summary of our learning and observations. We hope you enjoy the read.Dave Brookes Rob ScottManaging Director Practice Lead: Human Capital ServicesPresence of IT - Global Presence of IT - Global Page | 2
  3. 3. Content Some background 4 1. Setting up the system 5 2. Social media aspects 7 3. Gamification principles 10 4. Setting objectives 13 5. Performance management process 16 6. Incorporating mobility 19 7. Administration of the system 21 8. Culture and participation 23 Closing 263
  4. 4. Some backgroundFrankly, we didn‟t want to produce another white- number of tools (as we referred to them) that arepaper based on a survey of leading companies and indicative of new cloud-based products. It‟s by noexperts. While these documents are useful in many means a complete HR solution, but it was perfect torespects, we are a little bored with pie charts, emulate organisations embarking on a best-of-histograms, probabilities and correlations. breed approach to cloud solutions - which in our view is a likely scenario.With the advent of many new cloud-based HRtools, and an opinion that the move towards Our experiment ran over three months. Oursoftware as a service is a high possibility for many implementation team were hand-picked members ofHR functions over the next three years, we decided the Human Capital Services division (HCS) ofto emulate what clients might experience during the Presence of IT, and our users, the entire HCS teamimplementation of a cloud-based product. spread across our Australian offices.So, rather than trying to convince you with statistics, We pretty much bought the tool, configured it,we opted to run a social experiment in the safety of notified users that it was available, provided someour own organisation. basic guidance and reference material, and thenFor our experiment we wanted to focus not on aproduct, but on the issues, risks, observations, sat back and watched. Importantly, we didn‟t tellexpectations, reactions and learnings that came everyone that it was an experiment - we wanted thefrom the team who set up the product and took it tool to be used for real work purposes and thelive, and from the users who engaged with it. outcomes to be genuine.This is the story of our experience. We make no In the graphic above, we identify the areas of ourapologies for statistical and validity imperfections - review. These areas represent functionality,there are no doubt many - and our learnings may configuration, administration, deployment methodsnot be entirely relevant to your industry or work and people dynamics; a good representation ofpractices. But, we believe our key observations and areas of risk for clients.lessons learned will provide you with some critical Our mission in life is to help our clients achieve theirquestions you should be asking of your goals, so we wanted to build real knowledge andorganisation, vendor or implementation partner. experiences for the benefit of clients who engage us. This document is a window to that learning. We hope you enjoy the read as much as we enjoyed theWe used the Rypple product (now called Work.com) experience.from Salesforce.com for our experiment. It has a Page | 4
  5. 5. …Setting up the system 1 Ready..steady..go! “A single step will not make a pathway” - Anonymous One of the attractions to a cloud-based What needed to be set up? product is the perceived ease of setting up Setting up a cloud-based tool is not only the system. A simple and speedy set up about applying your HR rules and policies means getting your staff on-board as soon into the system, you need to address areas possible, with very little intervention. But such as marketing (branding, colour and while first experiences were positive, there logo‟s), culture and communication (naming are definite dangers lurking around. conventions, language style and appropriate behaviours) and permissions/security. Technical skill We found that setting up the system was Who makes the decisions? relatively easy from a logic and navigation Our team decided to go it alone on all perspective, and could be done with little aspects of set-up decisions because they technical skill. We had no plans to integrate could, but in hindsight greater and broader or authenticate to other HR solutions for this consultation and agreement was needed toGet the full version of this booklet on our website experiment, but if we had, we would have prevent issues we identified later. While it required technical help to enable data was easy to change a setting, we were not sharing between systems. at : entirely sure of the consequences for the user or historic reporting. www.presenceofit.com/insights-and-research We observed that there was general agreement among the set-up team (who Users could make decisions as well – such were all non-technical people) to wherever as to modify personal data and notification possible sidestep any perceived technical settings and to add or remove a profile aspects in the desire to get the system up photo/avatar. They could also include links and running as quickly as possible. There to private social media tools to encourage was definitely a sense of “we don‟t need the others to follow them. Photo loading was the IT guys help to get this going” – an most used end-user setting. unfortunate result of too much marketing Don’t worry about some parts hype about how easy and quick it is to set The system reports were standard, with the up cloud tools. option to filter results when running the We ultimately did need some assistance report. We didnt spend time exploring from our technical department to make sure reporting options during set-up because that system-generated emails were not there was no ability to develop our own blocked by our company firewall and filter reports – we had to live with the standard system. stuff. Page | 5
  6. 6. …Setting up the system Is there anything challenging? to set objectives, use a social media product There are areas of complexity around to share knowledge and to award translating current HR rules or policy into recognition badges to other users. We the limited choices provided by a cloud alerted users that there was a mobile tool system. For example, in setting up the that they could use on their smart phones. Rypple „Loops‟ (appraisal/performance We also pointed them to the Rypple video management templates) we had to clip to assist with training. essentially convert our current model into the Rypple way. This was actually a In the first go-live email we did not discuss fundamental shift in approach that should „Loops‟ given that this would be part of a not be done without involving the right secondary go-live. Our thinking was to people. initially get people used to sharing, setting goals and giving recognition to others. In Going live hindsight, this was a critical error and it is As this was a social experiment, we opted discussed later in the document. to notify the users of the new system via a simple email. The email included the available functionality and noted the ability Key learnings Critical observations There‟s significantly more to know about the • Trial and error was the order of the day 1 product than first meets the eye. Spend time understanding the key design principles • The speed at which we configured the Segment your users and understand that system created a false expectation that users would be as excited as the config 2 groups may use the software functions differently and for different purposes teamGet the set up the system in lessof this booklet onusers‟ you can‟tmore in cloud • We full version than two There are things that solutions - test our website change 3 aggressively and formulate responses reaction days. We wanted to get users on board at : straight away - our rationale was that Just because a tool is easy to use does not www.presenceofit.com/insights-and-research the system was really easy and intuitive to use 4 mean you can reducefor more flexibility change. Be prepared effort around behaviour • When a piece of functionality seemed complex or we couldn‟t figure it out, we “parked “ it for later release - not What principles does the realising the impacts How do the various social media tool drive? software components • Different age groups and seniority affect one another ? levels reacted differently. Some dived in and got it straight away, others questioned the approach and wanted a Qs framework and context question‟s • The „out of the box‟ language did not sit What technical well with everyone. Getting a “Ninja” skills will I require? What areas do I need badge sometimes had a negative effect subject matter expertise input? Page | 6
  7. 7. …Social media aspects Social is(n‟t) 2 the driver “Don’t say anything online that you wouldn’t want plastered on a billboard with your face on it.” - Erin Bury The introduction of social media-type tools generally reactive to someone else‟s into HR products is becoming mainstream messages. In some cases there were and is strongly driven by the desire of many people who were happy to observe the organisations to create networks of like- discussions, but not participate, or only minded people who can collaborate for respond if the message was specifically individual and organisational benefit. directed at them. This made it difficult to assess the impact of the tool. Functionally rich Rypple provides a social media layer that How social media layers can influence offers users the ability to post comments, One of the most important findings was the reply to other users‟ comments, “Like” understanding of how the social media layer comments, see who is in another user‟s was integrated into the solution and how this group, add people to their own group, send influenced people to use the other features. private notes or even offer or requestGet the full version of this booklet and individual objectives, on our website Visually it was wrapped around the feedback from anyone, publically or organisational anonymous. There is also a mechanism to at : recognition features, feedback and Loops notify people of messages through a (performance assessments). So, for standard email interface - which was handy www.presenceofit.com/insights-and-research example, if a user committed to support for people not always logged in to Rypple. someone else‟s objective, or if a user Users could also post comments on a social media message directly from their email. created a new objective, this would generate a post for others to see. Positioning of social media tools The social media layer is prominent - when To some extent the availability of the social you logged into Rypple, you saw the social media tool created awareness around the media tool first. It was also the part of the rest of the product and provided a reason to system that was most often used. Whether log-on - so long as the user was using other it was to share knowledge, post a question features. For those users who were only or simply update people of general activities observing and not actively managing their or happenings, this was a cleverly designed objectives, coaching notes and agenda for feature to get users to return. 1:1 discussions, or offering feedback to team members, the social media layer Naturals vs reactive became obsolete in terms of it being a What we noticed was the emergence of a collaborative experience and became just group of people who „naturally‟ posted and another channel that needed to be shared to the groups, and others who were considered for communication. Page | 7
  8. 8. …Social media aspects In most of these cases users reverted to Maturity requirement standard email for sharing of information. In There is a level of maturity required among some cases it became a competitive the users (particularly those supported by or channel. integrated with social media tools) to ensure the HR product is appropriately used. Channel competition Some users who were avid Facebook, The difficulty is that the principles of social Google+ and Twitter fans, found media don‟t support typical top-down themselves communicating the same management controls, but are better message more than once (within company managed though group regulation. In our guidelines) as there were no easy options to experience, the determination of the user share information to other social media tools community maturity level is paramount, and from Rypple or to add an external feed into creating the right culture for using these the Rypple social media layer. tools is a critical success factor. More complex than you think The social media layer proved to be far While in-house social media tools have more complex than we originally thought. been born from their leisure social media While it was a simple tool, we significantly cousins, we need to ensure these new underestimated how best to use it to ensure social media tools are not positioned to it became an integrated part of work life. replicate the likes of Facebook - that‟s a recipe for disaster. We observed what many other companies Assess everything who have implemented third party social While our social experiment was to take media platforms have experienced: there is somewhat of a „cowboy‟ approach to rolling fantastic initial hype and usage around out the system, many of the users were communicating with a new tool, but it unaware of this (so that the experience was quickly loses its appeal, and objectives such real). as “creating knowledge networks” or “centres of expertise” are rarely completelyGet the full version of this booklet onhad a userwebsite realised. In one situation we our make use of the anonymous feedback tool. During a These tools often become platforms for : at group get was talking about Rypple the together, the recipient of people trying to impress others with lots of feedback and www.presenceofit.com/insights-and-research “look at me” posts and links to largely mentioned that she had received anonymous feedback and was unsure how irrelevant material. This behaviour needs to be anticipated and managed effectively as it to react - she experienced the mechanism is detrimental to the survival of the tool. as “weird and a bit creepy”. We managed the situation by explaining the experiment. Don’t lead with social Our experience has taught us something What this illustrates is that organisations very valuable: the social media layer should need to assess every tool and its potential not be the reason people log onto your impacts. In many cases the option to turn off cloud HR product. While vendors may not features (at all or selectively) is not intentionally lead with the social media, the available. way that the social media tool is integrated into the solution should be carefully assessed to ensure that this risk is adequately mitigated. Page | 8
  9. 9. …Social media aspects Critical observations Key learnings • Users who are natural content There must be a clear reason for introducing generators emerge quickly and initiate 1 social media tools with an HR application many discussions and activities - these key users are critical Don‟t assume that everyone wants to • Initial groups and discussions tend to 2 communicate via a social media platform. It may not be practical in all cases either be between those people who are also close (physically or project related) in You need to create a culture that supports the real world 3 social media. Leadership and opinion leaders need to show public support • Discussions tend to be platonic or expressions of thanks / recognition Be sure to position the social media layer as a • Some users would only participate in a 4 support for the real HR objectives. Don‟t make the social media tool the „reason for return‟ discussion if the message was linked to Collaboration and knowledge sharing through an email (i.e. no habitual log-in to check/follow discussions) 5 social media may not be the right mechanism for your organisation • Giving recognition through badges to Social media is only sustainable if you are other users (discussed fully in later section) was the first thing many users 6 willing to change the way you lead and manage. Hierarchical styles need to change did through the social media tool Don‟t create „communication channel • The broader user base needed 7 confusion‟ - users need to be clear on the role reminders to use the system and social of each communication tool media tools - engagement didn‟t You need to monitor and subtly direct users happen naturally for everyone 8 towards acceptable social media behaviour -Get the full version of this booklet on our website • Role /project / physical location made a it‟s not fully self-regulating difference to system usage • Private messaging through the system at : www.presenceofit.com/insights-and-research I was not well used - users reverted back to phone, texting or email On what basis should Can I use my cloud HR segment my users? • Feedback requests and feedback offers product without the (anonymous or named) were minimal - social media layer? those that did receive anonymous How mature are feedback were unsure how to react Qs the users? • The social media tool was highly used initially, but tapered off dramatically Is the organisation after three months Do you have a leadership prepared to collaborative change their style to • Users who posted questions and got no culture? support social media? responses felt despondent and reluctant to do further posts Do I understand how to leverage the social media layer? Page | 9
  10. 10. …Gamification principles It‟s a game, but 3 not as you know it “Gamification is like mayonnaise: it improves everything, including your weight” - Anonymous The concept of gamification is a relatively them, but also generated some dismissive new phenomenon in the HR technology behaviour from users who were not space. It is not new to HR where it has been receiving badges and who described them successfully used, predominantly in the as “silly” and “worthless”. learning and development space. The Whats in a name? Rypple product has included the gaming We also noted that not everyone concept of „badging‟ that is strongly appreciated the naming of the badges. integrated into the social media layer. While we created some of our own badges, the out-of-the-box badges were made The system comes with a set of standard available and these were the most widely badges and allows administrators to create used. However, comments were received additional, organisational specific badges to that suggested being designated an the set. Some basic rules can be set against “Awesome Ninja” or a „Wise Owl‟ was notGet the full version of this booklet on our website a badge such as who can issue the badge always appropriate and could even be and the number of times a user can issue it construed as demeaning. at : in a week. The badge is also linked to a set of skills, that are added to the recipient‟s Age counts www.presenceofit.com/insights-and-research profile page together with a tally of badges There was generally a greater use and and skills received. acceptance of badging by the younger users, who commented that they enjoyed A great way to start receiving and collecting the badges. The We found that the badging tool was often younger groups also tended to focus on the the first activity of a new user. It provided a number of badges being received. way to say something positive to someone Communicating thanks and appreciation to else and to give them a token to represent this group via a badge seemed quite your appreciation or recognition. We also acceptable. However, older user groups found that users who received badges, in were worried about the loss of personal most cases would reciprocate with a badge. contact and lack of face-to-face shows of Building camaraderie appreciation. For many, hearing a “thank Initially we observed that the badging you” would be more significant and feel generated some fun corridor discussions, more genuine. and was often related to the name of the badge (e.g. “You Rock” or “Ninja”). The badging created a sense of belonging and camaraderie for those who were receiving Page | 10
  11. 11. …Gamification principles It’s not really a game A key learning from this product was the The introduction of a gaming technique such need to fully assess how the combination of as badging does run the risk of users tools could influence recognition positively wrongly perceiving the tool as a game. We and to what extent it could be abused. noted how a few users were keen to The need to segment become the top “Ninja” or the greatest While we were aware that not everyone “Problem Solver” and would actively badge would want to use badging as a mechanism others in the hope of receiving something in of recognition, there were definite groups of return. users that did appreciated it. It was mostly Losing the appeal used in an appropriate way, but there were One of the key elements in gaming theory is also groups that it didn‟t sit well with. The the need for sufficient „players‟ and a desire need to segment users around gamification to come back to the system regularly. mechanisms and to provide flexibility Initially we saw this happen and users were around using the tool was something we keen to see who had received badges. didn‟t fully appreciate at the outset. However, this tapered off very quickly and You need a strategy while we still saw badging being used quite The bottom line was that users did not consistently throughout the experiment, it universally accept the badging mechanism lost its appeal as a reason to come back to and it did not fully align to the organisation‟s the tool. culture. Introducing a gamification layer Skills were lost in the game requires a definite strategy and risk The association of the badge with pre- assessment. It is likely to require adaptation defined skills was given very little to existing management practices, HR and consideration during the process of issuing business processes as well as a significant the badge. Users couldn‟t change the skills, education component in order to fully but were more inclined to hand out a badge leverage its value offering. Critical based on the name rather than the components of a gaming strategy wouldGet the full version of this booklet on our website associated skills. include: at : • Build a gaming strategy For managers, the skills earned by their team members did not always align with • Conducts a readiness assessment www.presenceofit.com/insights-and-research their own experiences of that employee. The inherent risk that surfaced was that the • Conduct a process analysis employee would potentially develop an inflated opinion of their skill level that could • Design the gaming be disputed during the performance • Configure the tool assessment. Managers felt that the tool could undermine their authority and ability to • Monitor and evaluate effectively manage expectations. A potential distraction Some users also felt that the gaming aspect had a negative influence on the value of the product. They thought it was a little gimmicky and that it distracted from the real intention of effectively managing performance. Page | 11
  12. 12. …Gamification principles Critical observations Key learnings • Users are drawn to the fun aspects that If you don‟t have a gamification strategy and gamification can provide 1 plan, you need to create one prior to deploying gaming features • Giving a badge to someone promotes positive group dynamics and engenders Don‟t expect universal acceptance of badging a culture of giving 2 as an appropriate method of giving recognition - alternatives will be required • Users are attracted to the names of Don‟t refer to the term „gamification‟ - once a badges more than the underlying intention of the badge 3 perception is created that it‟s a game, it‟s hard to break the misconception • Some users turned the form of Stratify your user groups by age, hierarchical recognition into a game and became focussed on collecting the most badges 4 level and relationship to users - there will be distinct differences you need to deal with and points Make sure there is a real world benefit • Users questioned whether the 5 associated with users receiving badges - virtual recognition has limits recognition from a badge would result in any tangible benefit Limit the amount of badges a user can issue - • Not receiving a badge created some 6 if receiving recognition becomes too easy, the value of the tool is diluted awkward moments • Users did not always think through the Outcomes associated with awarding a implications of giving someone a badge 7 recognition badge (e.g. skill) must feature strongly e.g. the impact on the views of peers and managers Make sure language and naming of • A fun element like badging can be 8 recognition objects aligns with users, cultureGet the full to a more seriousof this booklet on our website detrimental version and the formality it deserves performance management process at : • Badge naming and intent must align to www.presenceofit.com/insights-and-research organisational culture and norms Should your recognition Will your organisational culture support gaming • Badging as a gaming concept motivates reward link to formal concepts? achiever type personalities, but does performance reviews? not necessarily address other types such as collaborators, supporters and discoverers • Be prepared for concerns to be raised Qs from managers in hierarchical based What is an acceptable Which processes progress measure for roles are impacted by your gamified product? recognition and • Too much badging leads to a loss of badging? integrity and seriousness What are the impacts if I turn off this feature? Page | 12
  13. 13. …Setting objectives 4 Who moved my objective? “Management by objectives works if you first think through your objectives. 90% of the time you havent.” - Peter Drucker Creating social goals Control is limited Managing an employee‟s performance Once an objective had been created, a requires a baseline to measure how well the person with administrative rights could „lift‟ individual or team has progressed towards a the objective to a corporate goal. However, set of outcomes. In the Rypple product, we also learnt that controlling the goals, and users are able to create objectives and the users that opted to participate in the define key results. In the process of setting execution of the goals, was difficult. There up objectives, the creator can invite people was no central control mechanism to to participate in the achievement of the manage this easily. objectives. Invitees can choose the extent of There are traps their involvement or decide not to What we had done was fall into the trap of participate. This is known as „social goal thinking that software could manage a non- setting‟. logical or linear process for us. This was notGet the full version of this booklet on our website Think beyond traditional true. A key learning that emerged was the In our experiment, we found setting up the need to ensure that line managers and team goals and objectives confusing. As weat :noted leads were clear about their roles with earlier, we dumped it into the “to do later” respect to objective setting and making sure www.presenceofit.com/insights-and-research box so that we could get users onto the that users were only creating objectives and system as soon as possible. In hindsight, actions after agreement at a one-on-one or we did not understand the principles of team meeting. Using software to control creating social goals. management decision making was a fundamental error and led to a state of With our proverbial HR best practice hats chaos. on, we were trying to figure out how to create a more traditional top-down MBO Questions and assumptions approach to objective setting. In other We realised we did not ask the right words, we wanted to set organisational questions at the time of selecting Rypple. goals first, then let managers and team For example, when their reference material leads create sub-objectives and link these to said we could create objectives, we the pre-defined organisations objectives. assumed this was traditional goal setting. To be fair to Rypple, once we had learnt Be willing to explore other ways from our errors, we could see they were We figured out that this was possible, but explaining the functionality correctly - we had doubts that it was the right approach for were just not seeing the wood for the trees. these new cloud HR tools. Page | 13
  14. 14. …Setting objectives Don’t miss the opportunity Can of worms Once we got to understand the notion of We also learnt that even though people social goal setting, it got us thinking about gave a commitment to help achieve an the value of such an approach. As an objective, it didn‟t mean they became the organisation that focusses on HR, we are driver of the goal; the onus lay with the well aware that there are very few shining objective creator to „manage‟ the people examples of performance management who had opted in. This opened another can success. Of course there are a myriad of of worms in terms of hierarchical reasons for this, ranging from a lack of management of staff versus a team executive sponsorship to poorly constructed approach to success. solutions, to HR departments forcing it in Different form of collaboration under the umbrella of a „best practice‟. Overall, the users who created objectives Snowball effect and activities found them useful for tracking, Once a few users started creating but it also facilitated a type of collaboration objectives, it snowballed. Other users that social media did not always offer - a started setting up their own objectives and common focus! goals and returning to the system to update their progress. The interesting part was the The visual integration of the objectives with visibility it created amongst the users. the social media tool did spur on comments Although there was a private option, most and suggestions from non-participants of uses created objectives visible to all users. that objective. They could hover their mouse over the icon to get a quick snap-shot of the Visibility changes dynamics progress. Others could see who had and had not decided to participate in the objective. This Synergy in the tool created an interesting dynamic across What we learnt is that using the various teams, not only in terms of individual components of the software together did behaviours towards goal management, but show positive signs of creating a sustainable new work environment.Get the full version of this booklet on our website also the views of a wider community towards the value of a goal. However, we realised by not understanding this prior to the roll-out, we lost the at : The ability to set dates for goals were used opportunity to get better employee buy-in in some cases. We noted that those who and engagement. www.presenceofit.com/insights-and-research used dates for their own activities were more inclined to complete on or before the date. However, when a date was set for someone else, it was often missed. True power of social environments When users didn‟t opt to help achieve an objective, the creator was forced to consider why their teammates weren‟t supportive and rethink their objective and its value. This is where we saw the true value of social team engagement. The social media tool also provided the users with the ability to post views and thoughts around the objectives and to offer badges of recognition for work completed. Page | 14
  15. 15. …Setting objectives Critical observations Key learnings • Users will create many test Social objectives and goals require changes to objectives/goals to understand how the 1 management philosophy and role definitions at all levels system works. They are not always deleted, which affects reporting and Team maturity and dynamics should be clearly system integrity 2 understood and appropriate interventions implemented prior to roll-out • Most people don‟t understand the concept of „social goals‟ and think in The ability to switch off functionality for certain traditional terms around setting up an 3 users or groups may not be possible given the fundamental design of cloud solutions objective • Not being clear on roles, accountability The concept of control is challenged for objective setting and who is entitled 4 significantly in cloud tools with a social media layer to help others achieve their goals causes confusion Objective setting and goal management may • Social goal setting challenges 5 not suit all work environments e.g. Project- based environments traditional management styles • Some users used objectives as a to-do Significantly more responsibility is placed on list 6 the individual user to become self-managed • Individual users can become The objective and goal functionality is the despondent when team members don‟t 7 underlying value of a cloud performance accept requests to support their management tool - you need to get this right objectives Lack of management involvement can quickly • Can lead to user fatigue if related 8 sink individual pro-activenessGet the full version of this booklet on our website information is captured in other tools e.g. Project plan • Objective creators can find themselves at : 9 If you „force fit‟ an approach that differs from the product‟s design, you will find you‟re not leveraging its true capability www.presenceofit.com/insights-and-research in a leadership role without the right level of experience to manage the outcomes Will you allow staff to • Time spent managing objectives and choose what objectives Are you prepared to goals can become non-value adding change your they want to be part of? • Users manipulate goals and dates to management approach? show success against an objective • If managers are not fully involved, the user may feel they have put in a lot of Qs effort without timely recognition Does your work Is goal management environment suit • Users were not always accurate on the basis of your social goal defining dates of objectives which then performance thinking? affects what is used during performance management? evaluations How stable and mature are teams? Page | 15
  16. 16. …Performance management process You‟re a 5 (disa)STAR! “Performance stands out like a ton of diamonds. Non performance can always be explained away.” - Harold S. Geneen You need continuity In our view this was a good thing. Users At the heart of any good performance who had a stake in other users‟ management and evaluation system is the performance were interacting at a number ability for a manager to consider all activities of levels on a continuous basis. over the period of assessment and evaluate Drives a different behaviour how these outputs contributed towards The availability of a smartphone app to agreed goals. Performance management support the process was a definite and assessment has for many years been advantage. We do discuss the mobile tool in fraught with issues relating to how to do this more detail later, but suffice to say at this successfully and fairly, with many point that it provided a fantastic opportunity organisations being unable to put their for mobile users to keep notes and manage hands on their heart and honestly say they actions directly in the tool for later are doing this well. discussion. Having this ability to keep trackGet the full version of this booklet on our website of something directly in a tool, and for the Over the years however, a clear learning note /action to be immediately seen by the has emerged that is driving how HR at : impacted user, drives a different behaviour solutions and products such as Rypple are and culture towards people development www.presenceofit.com/insights-and-research tackling this issue . Performance and transparency. management and evaluation is not a static event, it‟s a continuous discussion between Users have feedback preferences an employee and a manager, mentor, peers A number of users in our experiment made and other involved parties. use of the formal feedback tool. This provided an opportunity to ask anything of All the previous pieces are important anyone. In most cases the tool was used to In our social experiment, we didn‟t ask about personal performance around a immediately realise the value of the Rypple specific goal or action, general feedback on tools in relation to performance overall performance or deal with an issue. management and evaluation. Although we were aware that communication, Even though the user could have called a discussions, social goal setting and meeting to discuss this face-to-face, it was feedback were ultimately important to any apparent that some users preferred to use a formal evaluation, it wasn‟t obvious or didn‟t tool to solicit feedback. engender any feelings of doing anything artificial. Page | 16
  17. 17. …Performance management process You need choice objectives from the system (although it does Other users indicated they wouldnt want to indicate what is relevant to consider). use the feedback tool to solicit comments, but would prefer to talk to other users face- Depending on the questions, a respondent to-face. We are of the opinion that there is a would have to review their data in the tool in need for flexibility and choice for users to order to make a valid response. (This of ensure they are comfortable. The forced use course is a “halo effect” risk.) of a product for performance management purposes defeats the very purpose. In hindsight, if the process is working well, and users are constantly interacting, then Who said that? the formal process should not be an A number of users offered unsolicited arduous task. anonymous feedback to users. In general we found users were uncomfortable with Make it easy else it won’t get done this type of communication even when the We found direct managers and subordinates information provided was positive. Our completed their evaluation tasks on time, organisation has a very open and but peer reviews generally required a transparent culture, and when a user said reminder. With some of the peers, time something clandestinely it was counter pressure was a factor and users felt that it cultural. In one case a user received was okay to not respond as a peer. Peers anonymous feedback to share some news also found that responding to full text about herself and her project. There was no questions was part of the reason for late or reply or any news posted. non-responses. Asking multiple choice questions was preferred. Culture consequences What‟s interesting is that some tools, such Blank sheet vs. pre-formatted as anonymous feedback, cannot be Compiling a formal review was in essence a disabled – something to consider when clean sheet approach with managers being buying into shared software. While culturally able to extract components of selected user responses and adding them to a self-Get the full version of this booklet on our website it may not be used extensively, the availability of the feature to new people, formatted review document. A standard performance rating could also be added. We at : users who don‟t support the culture or to disgruntled users, has the power to impact saw the value of the blank sheet approach as one that prevented performance www.presenceofit.com/insights-and-research the organisation‟s cultural objectives and create disruption in the organisation. evaluation becoming a “cookie cutter” exercise. However, the risk of such an Need for formality approach became apparent when line As with most HR products Rypple has a managers were under time pressure and formal performance assessment the likelihood of poorly written assessments mechanism called Loops. Loops are time was raised. bound, event specific and relationship focussed. The basic idea is to set up a set It’s a continuous team effort of questions relevant to the type of event Our conclusion on performance assessment (e.g. a new hire assessment, quarterly using a cloud HR products is that the need evaluation) that could be text-based or for ongoing, face-to-face communication multiple choice questions. The creator cannot be replaced by a system. The tools decides who can provide feedback, are great for retaining joint records, but it including self- and peer-assessments. requires discipline by all users to make it a relevant source of performance assessment The system doesn’t do it for you data. We realised that when you run a loop, there is limited gathering of data around goals and Page | 17
  18. 18. …Performance management process Critical observations Key learnings • If you haven‟t consistently used the Set aside more time than you think to develop other parts of the product, then 1 your question sets in order to balance getting the right information with available time completing a reliable, formal performance evaluation is difficult Managers and other support roles (e.g. • The product provides a mechanism to 2 mentors) still need training in effective performance management techniques record activities over time but it doesn‟t replace the role of managing a person Feedback tools (anonymous or named) are • Users didn‟t automatically accept a peer 3 powerful instruments which users may not fully appreciate reviewer role. It may not be seen as important input Don‟t undermine system information put • It takes longer than you think to do a 4 forward by a user in defence of an issue(e.g. badges received) - this undermines the tool formal review. The tool does not create Managing the process is administratively any auto-summary of activities 5 heavy. The onus is on a manager or • Offering anonymous feedback to a user administrator to ensure completion creates a level of anxiety and suspicion Use formal feedback Loops liberally to assess • Users have tools such as badging to 6 performance around activities such as achieving an objective apply in defence of issues raised during a review. These will be used if required Get all users engaged in all the product parts • Users don‟t just respond to request to 7 to ensure a better formal review outcome provide input to a review. They need proper context and understanding of what the requestor will do with theGet the full version of this booklet on our website information How will you balance a • Objectives and goals can be edited by : at support continuous user mangers view with those How will your tool the creator to influence the performance of a broader social engagement? www.presenceofit.com/insights-and-research discussion - line managers may not be aware of the edits community? • A lot of time was spent setting up the evaluation and questions, and Qs managing the process If performance Do peers feel their • Not enough time was spend defining management is contribution to currently not the right questions to ask, or testing the performance working, why will format of the questions with evaluation this be different? respondents questions is time well spent? • Coordination between administrators is important to prevent separate Loops Are your users mature being created for the same focus area enough to receive unsolicited feedback? Page | 18
  19. 19. …Incorporating mobility 6 Anytime & anywhere “You cant just put PC parts into a cell phone, following the trend of convergence, because mobility has some unique challenges.” - Bob Lannucci It’s a must have resistance to using the product because of One of the advantages of buying into a this. On the odd occasion users did cite the cloud-based HR product is the supporting lack of functionality as a reason for not mobility layer. Having the ability to interact doing something on time, but this soon with your HR product from anywhere on dissipated. In our experience, the mobile your smartphone or tablet significantly application became the preferred interaction improves the engagement of users and method for most users with the tool used generally results in much quicker responses extensively to share news and give badges and attention to decisions. via the social media layer. Beware of expectations Even users who were predominantly office- In our experiment we introduced the mobile based and mostly used a PC or laptop tool to users at the same time as the found the mobile application a handy general PC browser release. This wasn‟t aGet the full version of this booklet on our website bad idea, particularly since most of our response mechanism while travelling home on the train or bus. workforce are highly mobile, and many are at : What are the boundaries? of the age that would generally expect to Resistance using the mobile application have mobility enablement on tools with a www.presenceofit.com/insights-and-research social media layer. outside of working hours was noted in a few cases. Just as email has become an What we didn‟t fully appreciate was the high intrusion into non-work hours for many level of functional expectation users would employees, the HR product mobile have of the mobile application. Users application is likely to have similar issues wanted to be able to perform all the same raised against it. Modern mobile functions on the mobile application as they applications have push and notification could on the PC browser tool. For example, capabilities which alert a smartphone owner you could set up an action against an when a message or action is received. objective from the mobile application but you couldn‟t create a new objective. Tablet In hindsight, we would manage after-hour users were also disappointed that a tablet- expectations proactively to reduce negative specific tool was not available. impacts on work-life balance and the perception that the reaction time to Some noise, but it soon died down messages could somehow be used against While there was some unhappiness with the an employee during performance evaluation lack of certain functionality on the mobile activities. application, we didn‟t experience significant Page | 19
  20. 20. …Incorporating mobility Who pays for mobile access? experiment, we never had to seriously deal Some users didnt have smartphones and with this matter, but in reality it is a weren‟t able to use the mobile functionality. legitimate issue, particularly if some users Others had personal smartphones which feel disadvantaged or discriminated against. they regarded as private. These users did This is definitely one to throw into the question whether the organisation would “impacted policy” brewing pot along with provide them a smartphone or data plan to data security, ethical behaviour and privacy compensate for personal costs incurred. of organisational information. Policy impacts As our senior users knew this was a social Critical observations Key learnings • Users expect easy mobile access and Have a clear messaging strategy around the flexibility when engaging with business software 1 use of the mobile applications and ensure any restrictions are highlighted • Users want to perform the same Don‟t assume all mobile applications are functions on a mobile device as they 2 intuitive - you may need to offer training on the „not-so-obvious‟ features can on a PC browser version • Mobile tools encourage greater user Identify all policies and processes that are engagement and increase response 3 impacted by a mobile HR layer, but use the opportunity to be innovative times significantly • Some users don‟t worry about work If you have other HR portals such as self hour boundaries and expect others to 4 service, ensure you understand the impacts and expectations created by new toolsGet the full version of this bookleta mechanism for users to feed back engage outside of work Set up on our website • Office-based users make use of mobile applications in the office because at : 5 issues buffsideasfindtech savvy and social media and will - lots of faults mobile applications offer a different user www.presenceofit.com/insights-and-researchmobile experience Don‟t assume what can be done on the 6 layer • Users without access to a smartphone felt left out • Over time, users developed What can and can‟t be preferences and did certain tasks on done on your product‟s Is it necessary to profile my the mobile application and other tasks mobile application? users for mobile usage? on the PC browser version • News and general sharing on the social media layer was the predominant activity on the mobile platform Qs Are there risks and What cultural safety issues that mobile impacts are created usage create? by using mobile applications? Page | 20
  21. 21. …Administration of the system 7 Keeping it all together “Build a system that even a fool can use, and only a fool will want to use it.” - George Bernard Shaw It’s a low risk role assigned to a badge. As expected, there is a lot less • Lifting an individual objective to the administration for a cloud-based HR tool status of an organisational objective. than for an equivalent on-premises solution. This was not as straightforward as we Quite simply, there are fewer things that can initially thought. It required a higher level go wrong and fixing them is generally a of authority to decide if a particular simple task which doesn‟t take long to objective was indeed an overall resolve. organisational goal. In our view, when a tool has this type of functionality, there Typical tasks would need to be a procedure developed Besides the initial set-up work we discussed to manage this. in an earlier chapter, our typical administration tasks were: • Running and distributing standard • Having the right people on the system reports. The report outputs were veryGet the full version of this booklet on our website with their correct data (manager, basic and in a raw format which didn‟t department, title, etc). As our system add any value. A key learning for us was at : was not integrated to our core HR ERP the principal design around users having system, we had to revise the on- access to data through their relationships www.presenceofit.com/insights-and-research boarding, transfer and off-boarding with other users and not really requiring processes to ensure alignment. We had reporting capabilities. In most cases we a small group to work with so this was found it unnecessary to run any reports not an issue but for large organisations except to perhaps provide the typical that do not have their cloud tools statistical report to the HR department or integrated, this could be a risk area. a manager. In these cases the While some analyst companies downplay administrator would have to rework the integration, in our view it is something raw data into a different format using that should be sought from the outset. something like MS Excel. • Creating new badges and assigning • Setting up and triggering Loops. The skills. This was typically accomplished by administrator needed to take guidance following someone‟s instructions and from the owner of performance then making sure the badge was set up management regarding the questions correctly and making the users aware of that needed to be set up and who was it. The administrator was key in ensuring included for reviews. This was a manual the badge creator knew how the system task which would be very time operated and what rules could be consuming for a large number of people. Page | 21
  22. 22. …Administration of the system The job will evolve However, it was important that the Of course there are other activities that we administrator kept an eye on these did not simulate in our social experiment discussions to ensure the correct advice such as vendor management, issue log was given. management, maintaining integration All in moderation components and training of new users. We While our users were typically self- also noted that those users who were regulating in terms of discussions and assigned the administrator role, naturally objective setting, we did see the need for a became the tool subject matter experts and moderator in some of the discussions. We did well as the first line of support for didn‟t believe that this was an administrator queries raised. role because of the need to make business Part time educator related suggestions and decisions, and to The admin role was also instrumental in deal will all levels of users. The moderator providing informal education to the users as role needed to be filled by a senior and and when new features were discovered. respected person. The administrator could The nature of the social media layer in the however raise any issues identified for tool also provided a great platform for users appropriate attention by the moderator. to ask “How to” questions of other users. Key learnings Take a careful look at what a manager can do Critical observations 1 without being assigned an admin role. Managers may be disappointed • The administrator role is fairly straightforward in terms of typical tasks, Administrators are different from moderators and could be spread between a number 2 who need to be generally respected senior people of individualsGet the social media layer requires a this booklet on ourHR products and tools, • The full version of If you are running other website different sort of administration; it‟s more 3 make the administrators the same people to of a moderator role. This is probablyat : reduce risk not the same person as the system www.presenceofit.com/insights-and-research administrator 4 Choose therequires carefully. A lot of approach interaction person a customer care the • We gave the admin role to managers so they could do things they were used to doing What admin risks do I Will HR system create if I don‟t integrate administration increase • There were small but useful features my HR tool? or decrease with this that the administrators found while tool? carrying out their role • Processes need to change to include the administrator role Qs What processes need to What duties are change to suit the HR included under vendor tool administration? management? Page | 22
  23. 23. …Culture & participation That‟s who we 8 are…it‟s our DNA “The building is a special place because of its architecture, but its people who make it special by participating in it.” - Charlie Chaplin Culture can break your HR tool more stretching than anticipated. Every organisation is unique in terms of how The role of hierarchy it operates, deals with its clients and treats In our social experiment with Rypple, we its employees. These are the rules in every were interested to understand these cultural company that guide what are acceptable impacts on the immediate users as well as behaviours and that are sometimes non-users, particularly because we are not supported by policy, procedure and value a typical hierarchically operated statements. In many cases the rules are not organisation. We have roles, documented, but transferred between staff accountabilities and people who lead through actions and storytelling. business areas, but we are very reliant on Executive behaviour is telling strong interpersonal relationships to While there are many elements that create manage the business rather than relying on a work environment culture, the views of the positional power. Would different issuesGet the full version of this booklet on our website executives and senior management are emerge from a hierarchically operated instrumental - particularly in organisations company? at : that are structured around a hierarchy The big influencers where top levels influence the behaviour of www.presenceofit.com/insights-and-research The social media layer and objective setting people in lower levels. Of course, there are were two areas that provided us an insight other non-hierarchical structures that into the type of impacts organisations could organisations operate under that have expect. Firstly, the social media layer offers different causal effects, but generally a platform for people to express their views speaking, these are in the minority. and share relevant information. This is all Your ecosystem is impacted good until a manager feels a user has When a cloud-based HR tool like Rypple is overstepped the mark and tries to intervene introduced into part of an organisation, it on the platform through rebuttal or applying causes an imbalance in the ecosystem. We a policy to deal with the issue. The know that when anything new is added to an hierarchical approach in dealing with issue organisation, there will be impacts across goes against the grain of a social media areas such as strategy, style, systems, layer: if you are encouraging users to share, skills, culture, roles and goals. In particular, speak up and give opinions in the hope of when the tool you are introducing has a improving knowledge, generating innovation social media layer included in the offering, and building transparency then users need the impacts are potentially far greater and to feel confident that their views will not the organisational adaptation may be far used against them. Page | 23
  24. 24. …Culture & participation Mind the leadership style gap formal and informal management and team From our experience, we could see why it boundaries as well as exposing the maturity would be important to first address the of users and managers to working in a general management and leadership styles culture of controlled chaos. prevalent in the organisation and Buyers beware understand the gap between current From our perspective, the buyer of future practices and a new framework that would HR products must be fully aware of the achieve the enterprise social goals. Of principles behind its design. We were able course this doesn‟t mean you need to be to force Rypple to emulate an MBO totally radical and replace your existing approach, but it was obvious that it was not hierarchical models with a mass movement really designed with that in mind and future mentality. On the contrary, in our development of the tool was likely to make experience you do still need a purposeful our forced changes more challenging. and clearly identified leadership, but the notion of “who speaks”, “who decides” and At the heart of everything, the Rypple “who acts” must be dealt with to prevent product is about better engagement and your social layer from becoming a “white development of people - not dissimilar to elephant”. many other products. Its strong focus on It’s more difficult with hierarchy continuous and relevant engagement with In our opinion, a strict hierarchical structure people you work with, mentor, manage or will require greater adaptation of the share knowledge with, does require a new leadership role including the notion of power type of commitment from users - if you are inherent is the position to effectively an organisation with low employee introduce a social layer. Even in our own flat participation levels, have technophobic structured company; we experienced tendencies or staff can‟t have regular negative behaviours across natural teams, access to the tools, you are likely to groups and users in different geographical experience cultural challenges that can stall locations. this initiative.Get the full version of this booklet on our website Time to think differently If employees are currently using other tools Where the social media layer provided a at : such as an enterprise social platform, you platform and tool to share, the objective will get low participation on the HR social www.presenceofit.com/insights-and-research setting tool allowed users to create their own objectives in line with their team, group, layer or the HR tool will disrupt the intentions of the other tool. Either way it‟s project or divisional goals and solicit help bad for business and users are likely to from other users to manage and achieve the show signs of confusion and frustration and outcomes. Organisations who are still effectively show their displeasure with non- thinking in terms of MBO and cascading participation. business objectives will find this approach disconcerting, but while our experiment was Culture and user participation are a delicate not about Rypple per se, the philosophy balancing act and just as we have seen around social goal development (also public social tools disappear through lack of referred to as democratic organisations) is participation the greater risk for new age HR inspiring and worthy of assessment where tools is how the social layer is so entwined traditional top-down objective setting is into the other services. If one dies, the other failing. will definitely suffer. Needless to say the social goal tool puts the cat amongst the pigeons. It crosses all the Page | 24

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