Thursday, November 23, 2006

Marketing Internally

Yesterday was talking to a friend of mine, and she said something that stuck with me. She said, in effect, that : " We don't care about the Organization we represent, we don't care what impact our work will have on the Brand, the perception or the future prospects of our employers with the customer." And you know what, she is right. I have observed many times that as employees, we fail to see the larger purpose, we fail to see beyond the current realities. Haggling with customers and partners, we forget where the brick goes into the wall.
What am I driving at? I am driving at the problem of selling internally, which leaders are facing right now, and which will become more and more acute without focussed action. Generating enthusiasm amongst employees, and creating the buzz internally, making them believe in the vision that, lets face it, they are going to delivering is going to be the toughest job for leaders going forward. Every frontline employee is a marketer, and influence the perception of the organization in the customers mind. All the investment in careful marketing and PR is gone to waste if the customer facing personnel do not re-inforce the carefully crafted image. And no, you cannot legislate enthusiasm, cannot make a policy making it mandatory. It is a big problem, also a huge opportunity....

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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Contemplating Employee Loyalty

CRM Mastery eJournal has an interesting excerpt from Employee Loyalty: What Makes them Stay?:

"Managers need to know how to create effective relationships. Supervisors need tools to help them identify the "value" in the life of employees. They can then use this information to begin to build relationships......

Here is a simple concept to consider. Use the CalibrationCoaching concept of the YMCA. No, not the silly dance song from the 70s, but the simple acronym that outlines how to coach in almost any situation:

  • Your Thoughts - open the conversation by listening to the employee's perspective on the issues.
  • My Thoughts - share your perspective with the employee. Explain the details and how they can change their behavior.
  • Calibration - discuss what needs to change -- choose no more three areas for focus.
  • Action - define expectations and set a timeline for change."
IMHO: Attrition levels are big concern for me, as I have written here, here and here. And yes, Managers do need to change the way they behave towards there reportees....treating them as a group, as a team, and reinforcing the precednce of the team's goals over personal goals. Also, at the same time, focussing on each individuals' own aspiration and trying to weave them into those of the team. Ultimately, it boils down to balancing the benefits equation: the higher pay, and the anxiety, time for settling in, from switching jobs, versus the trust, culture, and yes, familiarity of the current situation, but lower pay. Our job is to make sure that the latter part of the equation is always heavier.

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Dave's Workday

PeopleSoft founder Dave Duffield's new venture, Workday, has just released a new product, an HCM solution based on the SaaS model. From the press release:

"About Workday:
Taking a fresh, modern approach, the company aims to provide mid- to large-sized companies with a compelling alternative to traditional enterprise software.........

Workday Enterprise Business Services are comprised of four suites of services, the first of which, Human Capital Management, is being announced and is generally available today(6th November). The subsequent suites—Workday Financial Management™, Workday Resource Management™ and Workday Revenue Management™—will be rolled out beginning in 2007. All of the Workday Enterprise Business Services share a common foundation:
  • On demand: offers web-based delivery, multi-tenant architecture, 24x7x365 availability, and enhanced security
  • Agile and Global: quickly adapts to meet your changing business needs
  • Intuitive: built for today’s generation of information workers; offers native reporting and analytical tools to help businesses make more timely and informed decisions
  • Built-in Auditing: enables tracking of all changes for governance/compliance purposes
  • Web Services Integration: offers out-of-the-box, standards-based integration capabilities, minimizing complexity and implementation time
About Workday HCM:
Workday Human Capital Management (HCM), the first service to be offered by Workday, is an on-demand solution that helps businesses dynamically align their people and organizations to adapt to fast-changing business strategies. With Workday, organizational changes that typically require weeks or months of IT support can now be done independently in hours or days by authorized business managers.

Built around a flexible organizational model and capable of managing all types of workers, Workday HCM addresses key functional areas such as Staffing, Compensation and Performance Management and is generally available as of today, November 6, 2006."

IMHO: Well, haven't we heard this before? Sounds very similar to the pitch of all ERP, and specially SaaS, vendors. But Workday already has a couple of customers (Biosite, and KANA software, both Calif.-based companies), and has signed up a few more. The way Workday is trying to differentiate itself is by eliminating the need for developers to go from RDBMS to what they call an Object Management System and back. Here's more on this. Let's hope that, at least technologically, Dave gives us a product as satisfying to work with as PeopleSoft.

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