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The use of social collaboration to support human capital management is increasing as the need to engage talent becomes a higher priority in organizations. In particular, those that have a growing population of workers from the millennial generation see social media as a primary means of communication. Social collaboration is growing in acceptance – 58 percent of organizations now permit it, according to our benchmark research on social collaboration and human capital management (HCM). For many organizations, this opens up communication with employees that goes well beyond electronic mail.

Promotions and other recognitions of achievement are critical factors in retaining talent components of employee engagement strategies. Employee recognition has been a focus for Globoforce for more than a decade. The company provides software for what it calls strategic recognition, which is now available via software as a service and cloud computing, making it easy for non-IT employees to deploy. Globoforce has a unique recognition social graph and provides metrics that can be used to determine management’s engagement level with its workforce. Enhancements to the software last year made it easy to deploy employee recognition feeds and to congratulate others with a single click. For mobile users the company released a native application for Apple’s iPhone, but it’s only available for customers at this point, with no demonstration version to enhance its visibility for others who might be interested. This year, Globoforce integrated social recognition with performance management through the introduction of talent maps, which use employee performance data to ensure that employee recognition is based on actual reviews. With these unique advancements in HCM Globoforce can complement existing deployments of talent management applications.

Establishing justification for social recognition might not be easy, but our benchmark in social collaboration found that the most important workforce metrics are employee satisfaction and retention rates – factors that should be components of a business case for investment. If your organization does not have metrics in place and perform root-cause analysis on methods for improving them, it is time to create them. You will also see how Globoforce is using workforce analytics and metrics as part of their offering to help deepen your competency as it relates to social recognition. Retaining and improving the potential of existing talent is a better path than losing experienced employees and spending time and money to hire and train them, which you must do if you fail to engage and retain your talent.

Globoforce’s challenge is to gain further recognition of its brand and product within human resources departments, and in lines of business that understand the importance of employee recognition. Providing a free trial would help – this is now a standard practice for social collaboration technology providers to demonstrate usability, and it is the most important evaluation criteria in social collaboration and HCM for 77 percent of organizations in our research. Seeing and trying is believing; Globoforce has developed some engaging capabilities, but it could do a lot better job of attracting potential buyers before engaging in a sales conversation, including on mobile technology such as tablets, where management and executives often evaluate new applications. My analysis shows that Globoforce spends significant energy to gain recognition from IT analysts, but it should focus instead on illustrating its value through demonstrations to the business audience including areas like customer services, sales and field service.

Globoforce advances social collaboration for HCM by helping organizations address recognition of achievements as part of their performance management processes. The company also can help them design appropriate processes that will work within their organizational culture, and provides the software to implement them. If you are serious about employee engagement and recognizing your talent, see how Globoforce uses social collaboration to advance the satisfaction of a workforce.

Regards,

Mark Smith

CEO & Chief Research Officer

Adoption of workforce analytics is increasing as organizations seek to recruit and retain employees more effectively and ensure that their people deliver the productivity they expect. According to our benchmark research on the topic, 89 percent of organizations want to make it simpler to provide workforce analytics, which is not surprising as our analysis shows that only 12 percent of organizations have reached the highest level of maturity here.

Maximizing cost-effectiveness and productivity is the goal of workforce analytics, and Kronos is focused on that. Kronos also provides workforce management applications, which I recently assessed. Now the company has released a new version of its workforce analytics software. In Kronos Workforce Analytics version 6.3  the technology is complete refreshed with the embedding of MicroStrategy, which is well-known for its robustness in business intelligence and analytics. (We recently assessed it also.) Kronos is smart to transition away from its previous Microsoft technology base, as Microsoft has not kept pace with innovations in business intelligence as well as MicroStrategy has. Kronos puts together analytics to help organizations measure and monitor employee activities such as time and attendance, absence, labor and related areas. The application provides a range of ad-hoc reporting and analysis and published dashboards. Users can perform data discovery by drilling down on charts, tables and reports, which are the most common components for presentation of labor-related analytics.

I had a chance to review the new release and found it easy to use the analytics to ascertain issues and opportunities to improve use of labor across the workforce. Kronos has improved integration of data for workforce analytics, which will help analysts spend less of their analytic process time on data-related tasks and more time on analysis; this is significant as our research shows that they spend two-thirds of the time preparing data. An easily accessible library of metrics and analytics reduces cumbersome setup for organizations that do not opt for prebuilt analytics.

Kronos has extended its core offering to industry-specific workforce analytics applications for healthcare, manufacturing and retail. These applications include prebuilt analytics that, for example, can help retailers quickly compare store labor to sales volume, or manufacturers check labor’s cost contribution to margin. To get organizations up and running quickly with the technology, Kronos provides a range of education and implementation services.

Kronos’s advancements are welcome, considering that almost half of organizations are not satisfied with their current workforce analytic processes, which should not be surprising as about two-thirds  use spreadsheets. This new release should appeal to organizations that are concerned about labor-specific analytics. Having workforce analytics in a secure, centralized place helps ensure that everyone is working from a consistent set of metrics. Our research shows that only 30 percent of organizations are satisfied with their existing analytics technology. As well as encouraging its existing customers to upgrade, Kronos also adds value for its suite of workforce management applications. I hope to see more support for mobile technologies such as smartphones and tablets in future versions, especially considering they are already supported by MicroStrategy.

Workforce analytics is becoming a requirement for every organization that wants to maximize its investment in the workforce. If you have not seen a demonstration of Kronos’s latest release, now is the right time to do so.

Regards,

Mark Smith – CEO and Chief Research Officer

Mark Smith – Twitter

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