This content is part of the Essential Guide: Making the shift to continuous performance management

Vendors showcase five new HCM technologies

SAP continuous performance management, Halogen mobile feedback and ADP benchmarking were among new products featured at the 2016 HR Technology Conference & Exposition in Chicago.

Five vendors showcased products at an industry event that featured cutting-edge innovations in human capital management during the past year.

In the "awesome new technologies" presentation at the HR Technology Conference & Exposition in Chicago, SAP described its continuous performance management software and Halogen Software Inc. offered its TalentSpace mobile feedback app. The additional human capital management (HCM) technologies were ADP benchmarking in the ADP DataCloud, Infor Learning Optimization and Ultimate Software's UltiPro leadership actions.

Starting the demonstrations of HCM technologies, David Ragones, group vice president of product management at SAP SuccessFactors, said the company's continuous performance management application is aimed at creating engaged employees who perform at their best.

The application, introduced in February and available with a phone, tablet or laptop, allows frequent, detailed and timely feedback. With the application, employees can set goals, create and track activities, and celebrate achievements, he said.

Continuous coaching with SAP software

The application allows managers to provide feedback to workers and also allows employees to ask for feedback from their peers, Ragones said. Managers can also request peer feedback on behalf of employees. 

In My Activities, an employee can add an activity and mark it as a low, medium or high priority based on the date for completion. When adding an activity, a user can also select a goal to link with the activity. An annual review is much easier because the application saves achievements and feedback, Ragones said. Managers and employees can also capture the topics of their discussions during their one-on-one meetings.

The application is part of SAP SuccessFactors Performance & Goals. It can fit with a company that uses a traditional review process with scaled ratings, or it can allow a company to use only continuous performance management, he said.

Infor offers new learning tool

New York-based Infor was commended for Infor Learning Optimization, a new application in the vendor's suite of HCM technologies.

As part of the Infor talent-science process, employees at a company take an assessment and the results or "behavioral DNA" are matched to an ideal performance profile for that role, said Dale Kennedy, global product director for Infor HCM.

By comparing the employee's results to the performance profile, a report is generated that shows how well the employee fits that role. The report contains 39 behaviors. Infor lists an ideal range for each behavior and gives each attribute a weight for predictive power.

The optimization tool goes a step further by recommending personalized learning for certain "behavioral disconnects," Kennedy said. The tool can help companies avoid the costs of paying for training that does not work or of replacing a top performer who might leave, he added.

In a demonstration, Kennedy showed an example of an employee who fell within the ideal range for behaviors such as flexibility and stress tolerance, but a little below the range for people orientation. The software also displays several courses, books and coaching guidance, and it provides information on specifically where the employee is tending to fall short in the behavior.

Click on Coaching Activities, and a manager can help the employee understand the effects of the behavior and some specific exercises for improvement, he said.

Halogen shows employee feedback app

Halogen Software was recognized for a new mobile application that allows for continuous performance management.

The application is an extension of the vendor's TalentSpace suite and many of the feedback and coaching tools in the suite. Real-time feedback functions are available on desktop and will be available on iPhones and Android phones next year.

Demonstrating the mobile application, Karen Williams, chief product officer at Halogen Software, based in Ottawa, said the software elevates continuous performance management to a new level and brings it to the fingertips of everyone in an organization.

There is no requirement for training. Anyone can automatically pick it up and use it, she said. "It is all about tapping and swiping," Williams said. The application includes about 100 tips to help a company adopt a culture of providing feedback and recognition. 

The software allows a user to tap any of four icons for different types of feedback, such as notes, which could be points to discuss during an upcoming one-on-one meeting, or recognition with photos attached. All the communications appear automatically in the desktop TalentSpace suite and are stored there, she said.

The application lists feedback received and sent by an employee. It also includes pictures of team members and allows a user to text, phone or email them. A user can also tap Talent View and automatically get a view of the entire company and communicate with anyone.

Employees will also receive suggestions that identify other employees to send feedback.

Other HCM technologies presented by Ultimate Software and ADP

Ryan Bergstrom, vice president of product management for Ultimate Software, based in Weston, Fla., showcased UltiPro's Leadership Actions, which helps managers improve and become better leaders. Leadership is the single most important factor in growing and developing employees, he said.

To help managers grow and develop, UltiPro Leadership Actions includes more than 16 different coaching categories, including achievement, autonomy and freedom, collaboration, difficult conversations, growth opportunities, equality and more than 60 actions to engage with workers.

In a demonstration, a new manager received an alert on a top employee rated a high risk for leaving the company by Ultimate Software predictive analytics.

From her dashboard, the manager can see she recently wrote a note that the at-risk employee enjoys being recognized for successfully completing a project.

The manager clicks on the Recognize Team Member action and she finds tools for doing it, including content in learning management.

The manager also sees a quarterly review is set for the employee, and it is an opportunity to recognize the employee and discuss long-term career goals.

Again, the software offers content and videos to learn how to have such a tough conversation, he said.

The manager discovers different leadership actions to help lower the employee's risk of flight and also becomes better and more practiced as a leader, he said.

ADP taps massive database

David Turetsky, vice president of product management for ADP DataCloud, demonstrated Benchmarking by ADP DataCloud, first introduced in October 2015.

The software allows HR leaders to compare their workforce data with aggregated and anonymous HR and compensation data from ADP's database of about 30 million employees.

HR leaders can use benchmarking to determine how their companies match up to competitors in four categories. These include compensation, or total cash, base salary, bonus, and overtime and pay type, such as salary or hourly; workforce change, including turnover, tenure and retention rates; demographics, including age and gender; and time and attendance, set for release in December and including absence and overtime rates.

Turetsky said the software is designed to replace benchmarks offered by third-party surveys, which can be time-consuming, tedious and outdated.

The software provides HR leaders with benchmarks and insights that allow them to support strategies at a business.

Users can filter by geography, industry, size of revenues and workforce, and how people are paid.

Turetsky provided an example of an Illinois-based manufacturer who uses benchmarking for insights into a spike in turnover for the company's truck drivers who are paid by the hour and receive no overtime.

In Illinois, HR finds 342 organizations with about 6,000 truck drivers paid hourly, and  65% receive overtime equating to 17% of their base pay and 4% get bonuses. HR can drill down by level of license and see how pay is managed at each level.

The benchmarks show the company is paying too low and also no overtime, which gives HR the data it needs to support a pay increase.

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