NGA.Net Acquires Acelero for Performance Management

Last night at around 5.30pm I received a call from Penny Elmslie, the marketing manager at NGA.Net about two topics that they were very excited about. First was they had started a blog, second they had purchased a company.

While the first piece of news is not that earth shattering for some, I personally feel it is great that another Australian vendor has entered the blogging space. Hopefully NGA.Net will use this as an opportunity for people outside the organisation to learn a bit more about what makes them tick. You can find the blog at http://blog.nga.net/, the RSS feed is also available.

The second piece of news is far more exciting, well in my mind. NGA have acquired Acelero, the Sydney based Performance Management vendor. The acquisition fills a much needed gap in the NGA product line and to be honest allows them to meet their marketing claims:

“Software that helps large organisations to connect, recruit & develop their people”

Good news for Acelero staff as it seems 14 of them will be joining NGA, with Managing Director Ken Sheridan remaining as the head of the new NGA Performance Management division.

It will be interesting to see how long it takes to fully integrate the product lines so that NGA.Net customers have a true integrated talent management solution. I am not aware of the technical platform that Acelero was using, however it is good to see NGA were sensible and purchased an existing SAAS vendor so at least architecturally they are somewhat aligned.

How to Motivate Employees to Succeed

This guest post is contributed by Melissa Tamura.

Every employer wants to get the most productivity from their employees. If you push too hard, though, you risk making employees unhappy, causing unwelcome turnover and costing you money. So the question remains, how do you motivate your employees to work their best?

Praise

Employers are often amazed how well this one little trick, which costs nothing, can so strongly motivate employee behavior. Bosses often think that their employees are only motivated by money, but the truth is, employees want to like their jobs. They want to like their bosses and the companies for whom they work. This can be a huge leverage for employers, especially in tough economic times when money just isn’t there for performance bonuses.

Every employee performance review should highlight two or three positive aspects of the person’s performance for every negative aspect. Show appreciation for the work the person does for you every day while asking for better performance in certain areas. Don’t make performance review time something to be dreaded, but rather something the employee looks forward to.

Make the employee newsletter a chance to praise and highlight high performing, rank and file employees. Institute “Employee of the Month” or even week programs. Rewards can be as simple as a preferred parking spot, but it’s the recognition that will gain you loyal employees.

Talk to Your Employees

Something as small as time spent with company management can help motivate employees. Have a weekly brown bag session with randomly selected employees. Allow them to give feedback and feel like their voices are heard. Let them ask questions, and answer those questions seriously.

Take time to walk through your production areas, greeting employees and chatting for a moment. If your production is industrial, then do this in the lunchroom. Better yet, eat in the lunch room once or twice a week. Be present to your employees. The more you show that you care for your employees, the more your employees will care about you and your bottom line.

Invest Employees in the Bottom Line

Many companies have a performance bonus plan, but it’s often limited to management. Why not provide performance bonuses to all employees, at least at some level. Employees will be more conscious of the bottom line if they have some stake in the company’s quarterly and annual outcome. Watching waste in the little things can add up to big numbers at the end of the year. Finding ways to streamline production, save steps, or use less can have a big impact. If every employee is invested in finding ways to make the company more profitable, instead of just management, your company can make a big turnaround.

Provide Careers, Not Just a Job

Providing opportunities to grow in their career is a great motivation for many employees. Have plans in place for a career path for your employees. Talk to them about what is required to grow from one level to the next. Help provide training for those who with to move up in the company. Whether it’s sending your assistant to a yearly professional conference or having a tuition reimbursement plan, helping your employees’ careers helps you in the long run.

Remember, employees are not just motivated by money. They spend almost half of their waking time working for you. They want to feel like that time is an investment, not just a necessary evil needed to pay the rent. Employees want to enjoy their work and their work environment. They want to feel good about their work and the company they work for. Filling these needs can go a long way to motivating long term, loyal, and productive employees.

How engaged are your employees??

Last night I had the privilege  to see François-Frédéric Guy perform in his Sydney debut as part of the Sydney Symphony’s International Pianists in Recital Series. François-Frédéric performed three Chopin and three Beethoven pieces to a packed crowd of piano lovers. In particular he performed:

CHOPIN 
Nocturne in C minor, Op.48 No.1 
Nocturne in E, Op.62 No.2 
Polonaise-fantaisie, Op.61 
BEETHOVEN 
Sonata No.31 in A flat, Op.110 
‘Tempest’ Sonata, Op.31 No.2 
‘Moonlight’ Sonata, Op.27 No.2

I was lucky enough to be in the front row, just out of hand sight but still awesome seats, essentially I was able to get up close and personal with François-Frédéric during his performance. I could see the emotion in his body, the sweat dripping from his face, the frantic movement of the pedals and hammers in the amazing Steinway concert grand. The music was awe inspiring.FRANCOIS-FREDERIC GUY

In recognition of how much he had put into his performance the audience responded with round after round of applause, resulting in 2 encore performances.

I could not help but reflect on how engaged François-Frédéric was; the emotion, the love, the sweat he poured into his work, and how if organisation could replicate this then they would succeed beyond the expectations of any board directors or group of shareholders.

Each note he played must of been practiced thousands and thousands of times. But every note he played had passion and feeling to ensure that his customers had the best possible experience he could deliver.

Now he was not perfect, he made several errors most undetectable to to the average listener but they were there. However none of the experts (my mother is a piano teacher and musical educator) in the auditorium said anything, they all came back from the interval and continued to enjoy the performance.

So let’s contrast this with the average companies talent management practices. How many organisation’s employees are so engaged that they would give everything into every single transaction they perform? How many managers would still provide a stand ovation to their employees for a fantastic job, even if there were a few hiccups along the way? How many organisations would give prizes (François-Frédéric received flowers) every time an employee completes their daily job?

All of these things took place last night during François-Frédéric’s performance.

So I ask what are you doing to make your employees want to work as tirelessly to succeed as François-Frédéric did? What are you doing to have policies and procedures to enable such a performer? How can your performance review processes be enhanced so that a meaningful standing ovation can be provided for outstanding work?

Finally how are you providing a meaningful and supportive environment?

HR Technology Trends

The Future
Credit: Flickr dbilly

Last month Watson Wyatt released their 2009 HR Technology Trends Report. So I grabbed my credit card and laid down US$45 to get a copy so I could see what they had to say.

Some thoughts:

  • The report is very hard to compare with their 2007 HR Technology Trends Report as the format has changed.
  • Intranets are still the most favoured method of communicating with employees 72%, with newer technologies making an entrance such as social networking 13%, Blogs 11% and podcasts 6%.
  • Organisations are still use manual processes when it comes to some core areas of talent management; succession planning (53%), career development (48%) and workforce planning (55%).
  • However 56% of organisations are planning to increase their use of talent management technology over the next two years. With leveraging existing ERP’s being the primary approach, 29%, integrated talent management systems are next with 27%.
  • Across all talent management areas organisation have a higher satisfaction with external solutions than internally developed ones.
  • However internally developed systems have a higher satisfaction than outsourced solutions in the areas of Recruiting, Compensation Administration, Annual Pay & Bonus Delivery, Succession Planning, and Workforce Planning.

So what next?

  • Technology vendors who have best in class succession planning and workforce planning solutions have the potential for growth over the next two years as organisation move to automate these processes.
  • Outsource providers in compensation administration, succession planning and workforce planning need to clean up their act otherwise they may see business dropping off.
  • Emerging technologies will continue to grow in usage within organisations to streamline communications with employees.