Don’t Add Too Much Salt…

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Happy New Year everyone! I am so excited for 2016.

HR transformation is HOT at the moment. If you haven’t already enhanced your HR software last year, I almost guarantee that it is on your road-map this year.

I am anticipating a very busy year, consulting on HR projects of all sizes. Maybe you’re a company of 200 people that just want to update your appraisal process. I got you covered! Or maybe you’re a global multinational looking to phase-in multiple HR modules in multiple locations. Holla!

My priorities when working with you are as follows:

– Respecting your compliance prerequisites

– Respecting your concern for data security (EU Data Centers & SLA guarantees)

– Adhering to & helping you with your people strategy

However I want to note something that I observed last year, and I hope that it will give some of you food for thought when embarking on a game-changing project like HR.

Enhancing your HR software is an opportunity. It is an opportunity to also assess your HR policies in general. Some policies are simply outdated, unnecessary. SuccessFactors is only the tool – how you use it will be the difference. It will be futile for you to invest in any HR software, if you plan on polluting it with outdated policies.

If you want your employee population to embrace the change of a new, EXCITING system, then you need to embrace the changes in how we interact & manage our employees in 2016.

 

Here are some HR policies on their death-bed:

  • Multiple hierarchical approvals for simple requests
  • Double-tasking, i.e.; “Book your annual leave on the system, oh and fill in the form & scan to HR..” Groan.
  • Asking for hard-copies of candidate feedback, and filing it away. What good is that? It needs to be attached easily to their profiles for future reference.
  • Emails for fun things! It’s time to use a social corporate tool like JAM.
  • Onboarding starting on the first day. It should start a few weeks before!
  • End-of-Year appraisals. They still happen, but the goals may have been updated along the way to make it more flexible to be successful.
  • Expecting our Managers to be Shakesperens. Appraisals don’t have to be tricky. There should be NO bias and there should also be guides that don’t necessarily pull HR away from their desks. Writing assistant tools & “legal checkers” should be included in your appraisal tool.
  • Tracking candidates on excel – way too much room for human error and potentially overlooking the best talent.
  • In fact, excel reports in general! (about time, right?)
  • Voicemail... controversial, but it is true. SMS & social media are the way forward

So my suggestion is to not pollute your new, beautiful, HR tool with the inane. Keep what is important…  but take the opportunity to reflect.

In other words, there is no need to add salt. SuccessFactors comes ready salted! 

 

Debate Q’s:

1. Have you noticed any other HR trends that are no longer relevant? 

2. Do you think there are HR polices that will never be replaced?

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SAP Seek & Keep series – Business Insight from Fred Chauvire

Fred Chauvire, EMEA Mid-Market Vice President manages a team of 175 people, including 20 managers. As part of the SuccessFactors Seek & Keep campaign – I interviewed the man himself to get his gritty insight on engaging people while staying strategically focused. 

Q1. What do you enjoy most about your role?

Firstly, I enjoy the tangibility of building strategies to maximize sales performance by combining strong data analytics and customer feedback. However in order to achieve that, I need to adapt to each of my manager’s leadership style and understand how I can enable them to reach their and their team’s potential. I also need to support them with their achievement of day-to-day tasks and employee challenges. There is huge intrinsic satisfaction from seeing effective strategic planning flourish.

Also, to be successful and keep our competitive advantage in technology sales which is evolving at an extremely fast pace, we need to foster an innovative way of operating & managing. For example, this year we are introducing “Serious Gaming” in our enablement strategy to give our employees the ability to develop their engagement & listening skills faster by practicing in a fun & interactive environment.

Q2. What is the trick to “managing managers”?

Managing sales managers is about understanding each persons’ strengths and recognising the areas which need development. They have a complex role where many different skills are needed to lead by example and be successful. Sales managers often have very strong personalities..! When their passion is channeled, amazing things can happen.

Above all, it is about communicating the right strategic message – and to do that, collecting and analyzing the right data is one of the most important aspects of my role. Everything else follows suit after that!

Q3. What do you find most challenging about managing managers?

The business is constantly evolving, priorities change and we need to quickly adapt on a continuous basis. This can be a big ask of the managers. It can also be challenging to manage perception versus reality. For example, quarter-end can be a stressful time for managers, however they cannot allow that stress to be visible to their team. They may be feeling the pressure but a vital part of their role is remaining calm for the sake of their team morale.

Q4. I know from experience that you put a huge emphasis on the recruitment of the right people. What is the trick to attracting top talent?

At the beginning of my career, I though recruitment was an art. Many mistakes later, I realize that it is a science!

As the technology sales role is always evolving, we are experiencing a talent shortage of potential candidates. It means that you need a rigorous recruitment process in place allowing you to identify talent outside of the traditional “clone” of targeting your competitor’s sales force. To do that, we need to leverage social media and increase the size of the population we target. Personally, my objective is to identify people with the right behaviours rather than people with the right skills. Skills can be acquired easily and today’s skills will be different to those needed tomorrow. I am always looking for 3 attributes: personal drive, learning and coaching ability and business acumen. Finally, it is important to foster gender and social diversity.

Q5. What has been your toughest lesson when it comes to recruitment?

Hiring under pressure and thus compromising on quality – it always ends badly! I would rather lose the headcount, than hire someone with the wrong behaviours.

Q6. How do you currently identify gaps between your people strategy & business strategy? 

The starting point is always identifying the business strategy.  Once we have defined what we want to achieve, I look at the competencies that are needed to achieve that. For example, two years ago we decided to become a prime sales organisation working hand-in-hand with our partner network… but without field sales. To achieve this business objective by Q1 2015, we had to firstly communicate the objective to the employees, then proceed to up-skill our current inside sales team and raise the level of experience of our sales leaders. The change in our go-to-market has meant that we now hire managers with a strong field sales background. This enables us to be more relevant with coaching their team, engaging with customer CEO’s and building transformation plans to digitalise their customer business strategy

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Q7. How do you currently engage your people in the direction of the company?

We constantly have to think forward and assess the technology market for new ways of driving performance and satisfying customers. 2017 is on my mind right now, I know what I would like my roadmap to look like but how can I start already bringing the team on the journey with me?

Right now, we try to make our approach is about the WOW-factor: creative strategic messaging (in our virtual studio for example, or on JAM), exposure to global alignment, and of course encouraging people to contribute to SAP’s success. This year for example, we started rewarding our sales executives on their SSI score on social media, or when they executed their own unique customer campaigns. This global recognition and creative autonomy empowers the inside sales team to become the entrepreneurs we need them to be.

Furthermore, we encourage an open forum of communication – right up to board level! We have an “executive sponsorship” approach to projects so that the sales executives know that we are collaborating with them in order for them to be successful. We have also improved on our Onboarding processes and Succession Planning so that they can be effective in the present as well as having the “career sat nav” in their vision. We have used a “ninja methodology” for this as well as our HCM self-service tool.

 

I am curious if any other VP’s relate to these challenges & strategies. Get in touch on kelly.scales@sap.com or tweet @KelzJP.

Have you lost the keys to your Ferrari?

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Well, have you?

 

Think of all that time you spent recruiting “the best people” and all the investment being made into your business’s future. Unless these two elements are aligned, then you essentially have a Ferrari in your driveway without a key.

 

What a waste, eh?

 

Cascading goals and ensuring optimal performance from all your employees is essential – we know this, but leaving this review until year-end is a thing of the past. Consistent coaching and adapting is required, not only to identify poor performers but of course to retain your top performers.

 

SEEK and KEEP! 

…I can help you find the key to the Ferrari!

 

Contact kelly.scales@sap.com or tweet @KelzJP

Three Productive things HR can do in December

December already. Where has 2015 gone…

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For HR, December typically means appraisals, calibrations, budget planning, workforce analysis & planning... It is near impossible to fit it all in!

Realistically, we have three weeks left in 2015 to be proactive & productive. Here are some activities you can do this December that will make the start of 2016 a little easier:

 

1. Crunch the numbers!

How many new roles were filled this year & how many back-fills? This will help identify what the common trends are & make it easier for you to plan your headcount for 2016.

<SuccessFactors Recruitment module comes with such real-time reporting capabilities> 

 

2. Plan the Jan! 

Book-in the essential January meetings in advance. Recruitment planning with your PSL; Goal setting with Managers; Resource Planning for IT Projects; etc..  Mental preparation to what the start of 2016 will look like will eliminate the need to be reactive when the time comes.

 

3. Thank your People!

Don’t forget that the most common new years resolution is to get a new job… So the risk of losing your most valuable assets will be at an all-time high. Considering the increase in sales across Retail, SaaS & Professional Services in 2015, this loss of talent could sting. So make sure your TOP PERFORMERS feel appreciated.

<SuccessFactors Performance & Goals module allows for flexible goal management cascaded from your business strategy> 

 

Wishing everyone a prosperous end of year!

Any other lessons learned this time of year, email me on kelly.scales@sap.com or leave a comment.

Law Firms, will your staff resist the bait?

“New Year, new me” cliches are just around the corner. It’s a Recruiters favourite time of year!

If your in-house recruitment team are worth their salt, then they have already identified some top talent from your competitors and are just waiting to pounce!

talent pool2

Will your solicitors & paralegals resist the move?

Career progression is the number one reason why people leave a company, so the only way to combat all these fishing rods in your pond is to make sure that your top performers have clearly defined career paths… and are getting fairly compensated.

The most productive way of doing this is having an effective performance management tool that allows for employee self-service (ESS). As well as a succession planning tool with has your top performers identified in dashboards & a 12-box grid.

If you are still relying on excel, it might become be impossible for you to identify your flights risks.

Contact me anytime to discuss the relevant SAP SuccessFactors modules for you.

Kelly.Scales@sap.com

Have You Fallen In Love Yet?

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I have found THE one!

The one that completes me, challenges me, excites me and satisfies me.

OK calm down. I am referring to my job!

Every job I have had since secondary school, I have always gone above & beyond for. My managers would commend me on my work-ethic. I had the mentality of “that’s just what you got to do” – laziness has always infuriated me.

But I never absolutely LOVED my job. It was just a job. There are more important things in life than work, so I worked to live.

Although I still maintain that work-life balance is key, I think my (actual) other half would confirm that my attitude has certainly changed.

There were times in the past after a normal 9-hour day, in a great job with no intense stress, that once my priority work was done – I was out the door with smoke behind my heels! My work-day instantly became a distant memory and I did not think about it until the next day.

leaving

Now, I no longer breathe as heavy a sigh of relief on a Friday, and no longer feel the impending dread on a Sunday evening. I no longer need a big hug and a glass of wine at the end of a “tough” day…. although I still happily accept both!

I still have a life – I exercise daily, have weekly date-nights, socialize with my awesome friends, and take on new personal challenges.

I am simply head over heels in LOVE with my job and the company I work for.

It’s definitely the busiest and most challenging job I have ever had. Maybe that’s what has caused the light-bulb attitude change, I am not sure. All I know is that even the longest & craziest of days are an absolute pleasure. I come home from a 15-hour day (not often and on my own accord) and I am still smiling and energetic, as I feel like I did what needed to be done in order for my own tiny % of the business to be successful.

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With new challenges ahead within SAP, I genuinely feel so lucky and will continue to live & breathe my job as long as I can – because guess what, you will spend more than half your life in work – if you are not in love, then what is the point?

why am i here

Are you in your dream job or company? 

What’s stopping you from getting your dream job?

Email me on kelly.scales@sap.com