Success factors performance review

  • Success Factors provides a human capital management solution.  What that means is that they provide tools and systems to help employers get the best performance from their workforces.
  • Want a tool to align each employee’s goals with your company vision, with a dashboard to help you see at a glance where things stand?  Success Factors has a solution for that.
  • Want to set up employee profiles so that remote workers can get to know a little about each other and work together better?  Success Factors offers it.
  • Looking for a user-friendly, online way of doing performance reviews?  Success Factors can help with that, too.  For instance, here is a screenshot showing the performance management writing assistant, which helps managers write performance reviews by suggesting wording to describe the employee’s behavior.

Success Factors has an interesting company story.  Their products are designed to give small businesses a competitive edge, especially during these uncertain economic times when you need to have everyone in the company working at optimal levels. Recently I developed a partnership with Success Factors.  So I thought I’d bring you this company profile and product review, so you could learn a little more about Success Factors and what they offer.

Company Background
Success Factors was founded in 2001 by Lars Dalgaard, a former Unilever executive who recently was named the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year for 2008. The company has had a rather fast rise, going public about a year ago, in 2007.
According to Sweta Duseja, Senior Programs Marketing Manager for small and medium businesses, the 7-year old company:

    • is in 185 countries;
    • serves over 2000 businesses;
    • reaches over 4 million end-user employees in those businesses.

Success Factors Wants to Increase Your Revenues
With talk of the credit crisis and economic woes everywhere we turn, a lot of us who run small businesses are (a) watching expenses closely, and (b) looking to beef up sales and sources of revenue.
So I asked Sweta this question: faced with limited funds, if I have a choice between investing in Success Factors solutions or some other expenditure (marketing, new computer hardware, advertising) why should I put Success Factors at the top of my list?
Sweta says to look at what your business is made of. “If you are investing in the success of your business, then you need to invest in your people.”  During uncertain times, your best people will look for stability and go somewhere else if they think they can find it elsewhere instead of with your company.
According to Sweta, Success Factors’ goal is to “revolutionize how businesses work.”  Success Factors wants to help businesses become well-oiled places where everyone knows the goals they are striving toward; are able to track and measure progress toward those goals; and managers can reward performance for achieving  those goals.
This is more than something “nice to do,” according to Sweta.  Research conducted by Saugatuck Technology on behalf of Success Factors on some of its customers, found that on average they realized almost 5% higher revenue growth as a result of using Success Factors over a one year period.  Over 3 years, customers using Success Factors grew 11.4% faster than their competitors.
Even though as a company you are spending money on employees, more than half the time it is not spent on productive activities.  According to a study by Watson Wyatt:

  • 86% of employees are not fully engaged at work;
  • 95% of employees don’t fully understand their company’s strategy
  • 50% of employee time is not productive.

In other words, you may not even realize how much more you could be getting from your employees — because right now chances are you are only getting part of the great things they are capable of.

In addition to the Writing Assistant pictured above, to help managers write performance reviews (the writing part was always the biggest stumbling block I found back in my corporate days), there is also an organization chart functionality with employee pictures:
This module can be used even for independent contractors who work with the team. Along with the org chart is a profile for each employee, especially good for the team to get to know one another if they work at a distance.
For managers and business owners, there is also a dashboard view that enables you to see at a glance company and department goals, and progress toward those goals.

What Success Factors is and is Not
Success Factor’s product helps you manage performance and goals, to get the most out of your workforce.
Success Factors is not an HRIS system (human resources information system) such as Oracle.  It integrates with Oracle and other HRIS systems.  But Success Factors focuses on performance management and the “strategic value of people” rather than on data collection data, managing payroll, or automating repetitive processes and other HRIS tasks.

More Product Details
Success Factors’ small and medium business solution, designed for businesses with 1 to 500 employees, is called the Professional Edition.   At $125/employee per year, plus a one-time set-up fee, it’s affordable by most small businesses with employees.
It’s an online offering, or software-as-a-service (Saas).  You and your employees can log in to your portal from wherever you are using a browser.  That also make it an ideal choice for businesses with virtual teams, including contractors, spread out over a distance.
Success Factors has a blog, called the Performance and Talent Management Blog, which you can check out if you’d like to get comfortable with them through the informality of a blog.  The company is also into new media and social media.  In the footer of their website you’ll find videos, podcasts, webinars and links to social media sites.

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