10 Best Employee Engagement Software to boost your organization’s growth in 2022

Best employee engagement software to boost your organization’s growth by increasing employee engagement in a manner that is effective and cost friendly as well.

7

min read

Are you struggling with streamlining all your employee engagement efforts? If yes, then chances are that you are trying to achieve everything manually and not leveraging the best employee engagement software available in the market today. Well, the importance of focusing on employee engagement is well known, especially for fast growing organizations. Consequently, most organizations undertake initiatives to augment the same. However, in the absence of the right employee engagement software, you will be unable to bring all your efforts together to actually move the needle. The right employee engagement software is your gateway to gauging employee pulse in real time to redirect efforts in the right direction and help you preempt risks in real time before they surface as challenges. The several employee engagement software present in the market today support cutting-edge features like pulse surveys, insights and action plan, guided templates, and much more. All these can help you unlock the true value of your engagement efforts and initiatives and create a culture of high level of engagement and belongingness. 

SUPER TIP: Learn how to build the right organizations culture with this guide!

How to choose the best employee engagement software?

Among the many employee engagement software available in the market, you need to pick the one that best suits your requirements. Choosing the best employee engagement software for your organization can go a long way into augmenting your engagement quotient. Before we jump onto discussing the top 10 employee engagement software you can choose from, let’s explore a few best practices to make the right choice. You can get a detailed understanding of the same from our article on 12 steps to choose the best employee engagement software.

  1. Be clear on what you need. Specify your requirements before you start scouting the market.
  2. Check out the basic features as well as integrations available to gauge whether or not they suffice your primary requirements.
  3. Explore whether or not there is an option to suit your scale up needs as a fast growing organization.
  4. Enquire if a trial version or free option for a short time is available to test out the solution before a long-term commitment.
  5. Understand the intellectual support and user interface offered before technical features.
  6. Check out the pricing to see whether it fits in your budget or not.

10 best employee engagement software for fast growing organizations

Here are a few of the best employee engagement software, currently available in the market to take your engagement quotient to the next level:

  1. SuperBeings
  2. Glint
  3. CultureAmp
  4. Amber by Infeedo
  5. Officevibe
  6. Leena AI
  7. Lattice
  8. Motivosity
  9. Quantum Workplace
  10. Peakon

SuperBeings

SuperBeings Dashboard

SuperBeings is an excellent employee engagement software with carefully curated features to facilitate engagement, performance management, OKR setting and manager development designed to help managers streamline their day-to-day operations. You can leverage this employee engagement software to gauge employee pulse in real time about the organization's culture, manager leadership capabilities, and the nature of the individual's work  over existing chat platforms such as Slack and MS Teams. The software can provide you with the right mix of tools, insights, guided templates, best practices and learning needed to continuously develop and motivate your teams.

SuperBeings uses employee feedback to identify gaps and accordingly recommends personalized learning content and best practices to each manager to close the loop from feedback to action. The software allows managers to set and track priorities and run custom polls to get additional feedback. It offers a holistic employee engagement solution which enables strengths based management, drives 1:1 conversations, and org interventions using an employee pulse on your existing chat tools. 

With SuperBeings, leaders can get a holistic view of not just their organization’s engagement levels but also the key drivers to analyze and compare with benchmarks using heatmaps and other analytics offered on the HR and leader dashboards.

Pros:

  • Simple user interface and feedback mechanism.
  • An all-in-one platform that captures data efficiently.
  • Gain real-time insights to build your team.
  • Global, organizational, and peer benchmarks to help you take pre-emptive action on key issues.
  • Provides weekly suggested priorities to focus on key areas.
  • Personalized Learning with curated content for you.
  • Highly affordable
  • Important integrations with Slack, MS Teams etc.

Cons:

  • Being a young platform with a high potential to understand human behavior, SuperBeings is on the move to update features to meet customer demands, which is probably why you will have to expect continuous changes.

Pricing:

The Engage module starts at $2 per employee per month, going to $4 per employee per month for the Full-Suite capabilities.

Glint

Glint, owned by LinkedIn, is a platform that helps global companies increase employee engagement, grow their people, and optimize business performance by leveraging real-time people data. You can leverage Glint surveys to receive feedback on a regular basis, and turn that information into timely, meaningful action. Employees select an answer from an 11-point scale, 0 to 10.Integrations such Workday, ADP, UKG, and Namely allow seamless collection and analysis of data automatically.  

It is a really simple tool to launch and gain insight into your entire company's satisfaction; along with easy actions to address concerns or weaknesses identified. It allows organizations to take a holistic approach when it comes to engaging talent, developing people, and inspiring them to do their best work. Glint gathers more frequent feedback through pulses, surveys, and anytime channels and then applies cutting-edge analytics to deliver personalized insights and AI-powered recommendations for action to HR teams, leaders, and managers. Glint provides not only technology but also consulting services to help you in your employee engagement journey.

Pros:

  • Real time insights
  • Easy and intuitive interface. 
  • The dashboards and reports are clear, with the graphs being the best feature.
  • Frequent pulse surveys let you provide feedback on an ongoing basis.

Cons:

  • One cannot get access to past survey responses.
  • All responses are erased if you retake a survey
  • Survey responses are not integrated with a company's primary HR platform.
  • A little expensive

Pricing:

The pricing and plans are not available in the public domain. To know about packs and pricing, you could always get in touch with the Glint team.

CultureAmp


Culture Amp is another employee engagement software that enables companies to prioritize work culture by facilitating engagement, retention and performance. It seeks to provide you with the right tools and resources to facilitate continuous listening and feedback to improve engagement. , Culture Amp also offers comparable company metrics and benchmarks from similar organizations to show you how you're doing and allows you to track your progress toward company culture develops over time. The insights aggregated from all over the world help in building better work culture.

The software is extremely useful for creating a forum that enables companies to prioritize culture. It seeks to help you make better decisions and drive meaningful change to facilitate engagement. 

It  enables you to promote engagement throughout the employee lifecycle to quickly deliver the insights needed to confidently make decisions and effectively prioritize resources to maximize individual & organizational performance. Culture Amp is of great help to CEOs when it comes to connecting with their employees, for CHROs to make smart data-driven decisions, and lastly for managers to lead their teams. With a range of ready-to-use surveys, powerful analytics, turnover prediction and leadership reports, Culture Amp can help you understand and engage your employees better.

Pros:

  • Helpful insights which are shareable and actionable
  • Holistic view of employee performance and engagementGoal tracking and 360 degree feedback

Cons:

  • Integrations could be better and more expansive
  • Admin functionality is not robust
  • Expensive

Pricing:

You can ask for pricing and plans depending on your team size. The self-starter plan is suited for 25-200 employees followed by the standard plan for 201-999 employees and the enterprise plan for 1000+ employees. Furthermore, the plans differ on the functionalities you need.

Amber

Amber by Infeedo is a smart AI-enabled bot that assists in real-time management of employee engagement, predicting turnover, and measuring company culture. The bot chats with employees regularly and can help you identify employees who may be disengaged or contemplating to leave. Amber can be particularly used to gauge employee pulse in real time and not as a means to evaluate employee performance. With Amber, you can predict employee turnover and minimize infant attrition by facilitating high levels of engagement with real time engagement analysis. You can leverage Amber to reduce the cost of active disengagement and deliver a seamless experience to your workforce throughout the employee lifecycle.

With Amber, one can now deliver a seamless experience to their employees for every moment that matters to them in the employee lifecycle and remain human at heart.

Pros:

  • Constructive insights on areas of improvement and excellent reporting
  • Tracking individual performance and employee pulse is easy
  • 24*7 automated help desk powered by conversational AI

Cons:

  • Less satisfactory when it comes to customization
  • Gaps in analytics and limited actionable results
  • Focuses mainly on sampling of data which might not necessarily involve the entire organization

Pricing:

While the pricing is not explicitly mentioned publicly, sources reveal, to use Amber's services, inFeedo has an annual pricing structure and the average cost is $25 per user per annum.

You can reach out to InFeedo to know about the pricing of the starter, pro and  advanced packs.

Officevibe

Officevibe is a straightforward and very effective forum for employee engagement and team development. It provides managers with the resources they need to boost trust, collaboration, and team performance. You can leverage Officevibe with its weekly Pulse Surveys to get anonymous and written feedback on different aspects of engagement and employee experience.. With the help of this employee engagement software, your managers can gain a better understanding of their teams by distributing weekly Pulse Surveys.

With Officevibe, you can also support your managers in mastering 1:1 conversations to make them meaningful for your employees to facilitate greater engagement, motivation and workforce development.

Pros:

  • Freemium and paid plan
  • Great user interface
  • Onboarding
  • Pulse surveys
  • Self service portal and user friendly

Cons:

  • Time span for the metrics lacks clarity
  • Needs more granular metrics
  • Lack of depth and variety in the questions

Pricing:

Officevibe offers a free plan with some basic features and the premium pricing starts at $5.00 per user, per month, which increases as you add more functionalities to your requirements. 

Leena AI

Leena AI is a conversational platform powered by artificial intelligence (AI) for fast growing organizations to boost their employee engagement. As an employee engagement software, it can help you implement an automated helpdesk with a virtual assistant to boost engagement and experience.. With Leena AI, you can provide automatic responses to common workforce queries as well as conduct employee engagement surveys to generate insights to drive change. 

In addition to conducting surveys, you can make quick AI driven decisions that can facilitate greater levels of engagement and actions. It supports integrations with Workday, ADP, Microsoft Outlook, Slack, Twilio, Google Sheets, Oracle, and other third-party applications to help you facilitate greater adoption.

Pros:

  • Responsive and competent team
  • User friendly and simplistic UI 
  • Easy to customize
  • Great accessibility

Cons:

  • Limited analytics capabilities
  • Very basic natural language processing capabilities
  • No customization of fonts.
  • Limitation in terms of UX elements for design.

Pricing:

Leena AI offers a free trial to help you get a flavor before you commit. Post the free trial, you can contact their team for pricing and plans based on your needs.

Lattice

Lattice is an employee engagement software that helps organizations boost their engagement levels and nurture high performance teams. Lattice is an integrated people management platform  which can help you find solutions to your specific needs related to employee performance and engagement. Performance evaluation and goal setting are two of the most useful features of this software. You can even use a mobile device to access the tool

To promote engagement with this employee engagement software, you can use its features like surveys, pulse and eNPS and act on employee feedback. With this software, you can customize employee reviews to meet the specific goals of your organization. Employees are reminded to complete performance reviews on a regular basis by the solution.

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Seamless giving and receiving of 360 feedback
  • Calibration feature in performance reviews

Cons:

  • Non-intuitive interface
  • Unsatisfactory analysis on pulse surveys

Pricing:

Lattice pricing starts at $8.00 per user, per month and increases with additional products, if you want to add on the engagement product, that comes at an additional cost of $4.00 per user per month. They do not have a free version

Motivosity

Motivosity is a really great employee engagement software that helps organizations facilitate engagement with appreciation. With a user engagement rate of 96 percent on average, this employee engagement software seeks to promote engagement by fostering a happy workforce. It can help you enable peer and manager recognition, connect all employees with one another, improve constant communication between managers and employees, and deliver actionable information for company leadership. 

With a combination of eNPS, pulse surveys, and report dashboards, you can get a real time view of your employee sentiment and level of engagement. Leverage customized surveys, gather turnover data and easily distribute automatic, consumable reports with Motivosity to step up your engagement quotient.

Pros:

  • Employee segmentation
  • Recognition based engagement model
  • Easy to use
  • Instant gratification
  • Rewards for employees in the form of gift cards

Cons:

  • Presence of bugs and limited usability of many features
  • Limited support by the team
  • Time consuming

Pricing:

Motivosity pricing starts at $2.00 per user, per month. They do not have a free version.

Quantum Workplace

Quantum Workplace offers an effective employee engagement solution which can help you understand, drive and measure engagement. With a variety of surveys, you can measure and gauge employee pulse on different aspects of engagement.  You can even create polls using the feedback feature. In addition, the solution includes a tool that allows employees to define and update goals in real time, which can further help improve performance and engagement.

The employee engagement software also includes performance feedback technology that includes both upward and peer-to-peer feedback. There is also a platform for collaboration and communication. The system offers several integrations HR solutions such as Namely, Workday, ADP, and others to promote greater participation.

Pros:

  • User friendly interface
  • Open to innovations at all times
  • TeamPulse portal is extremely user friendly and functional for end users
  • Great reporting and integrations
  • Effective 1:1 guides

Cons:

  • No integration with payroll softwares
  • Some customization might be difficult to achieve

Pricing:

The pricing Quantum Workplace is not available in the public domain, but according to a few sources, the pricing starts from $10000 per year . They do not have a free version or a free trial.

Peakon

The last in our employee engagement software list is Peakon, a Workday brand. You can leverage this employee engagement tool that can help you transform feedback into actionable insights that promote execution excellence and transformative success. Essentially, it seeks to create a whole new way to hear employee feedback, powered by continuous listening across the employee lifecycle, providing real-time visibility into employee engagement, sentiment, and productivity. The anonymous comment function in Peakon creates a dialogue between the end user and the direct report. 

The software gives valuable insights on employee engagement, diversity, equality & inclusion, health and wellbeing, and growth by integrating the world's biggest standardized data set of employee feedback, allowing management to develop an accurate image of employee experience across all levels of a business. By leveraging industry benchmarks and custom employee engagement surveys by Peakon, you can reduce attrition by harnessing the power of intelligent listening.

Pros:

  • Interactive and user friendly
  • Very easy to configure and setup
  • Automatic insights and high rate of participation with email integration
  • Easy to acknowledge and respond to comments

Cons

  • No ability to create custom reports
  • Requires manual changes

Pricing:

You can get in touch with the Sales Team at Peakon through their website to get a customized quote for your employee engagement requirement.

The importance of employee engagement can never be overstated, as it has been proven to reduce staff turnover, improve productivity and efficiency, improve customer service and retention, and deliver higher profits. The above mentioned employee engagement software can truly make a difference in your organization's work culture. However, you need to make sure you make the right choice, because while all the tools mentioned above are attractive and competent, your needs and expectations need to be the focus while choosing your employee engagement software partner, ideal for a fast growing organization.

Suggested reading:

Employee recognition 101

Complete guide to employee pulse surveys

Interested in increasing your organisation's growth, Superbeings offers a suitable employee engagement tools right here, book a demo today!

Garima Shukla

Marketing, SuperBeings

Hello world! I am Garima and I research and write on everything we are doing to make the world of work a better place at SuperBeings

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Performance
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x
min read

How to strategically align compensation and performance management?

The right compensation management practices and policies can make or break your employee experience. Of course, there is merit in linking compensation and performance to drive organizational success, it can lead to several questions and implementation problems as well. 

Read on to get all your compensation management related questions answered.

Why is fair compensation important?

Let’s start with the very basic question of why fair compensation is important and the merits it brings along. It is no surprise that if you are paid more and are compensated according to your efforts, you are likely to give in your 100% and stay with an organization longer. However, there are other factors that support fair compensation:

  • Reduce the risk of turnover: 50% employees are more likely to leave if they believe they are paid below market
  • Retain high-potential performers: High-potential talent brings 91% more value to an organization
  • Increase job satisfaction: Compensation/pay and benefits are 2 of the top 3 drivers of job satisfaction 

Thus, fair compensation as a part of compensation linked performance management has the potential to facilitate better employee outcomes such as engagement, experience and performance. 

Should compensation be tied to performance reviews?

To make compensation fair and inclusive in all aspects, it needs to have a clear foundation. Most organizations have relied on performance reviews as a way of reflecting on performance as a means of compensation decisions. However, there are several competing views both for and against tying compensation to performance reviews. 

Benefits of tying compensation and performance reviews

  • Compensation can act as a great motivator for employees to perform well, which can be reflected in their performance reviews
  • Enable employees to get a clear understanding of what rewards or recognition they get with an increasing level of performance
  • Give employees the opportunity to see the direct value of their performance in tangible ways
  • At an organizational level, it helps to align inputs (compensation) with outputs (performance), enabling efficient resource allocation
  • Ensure that compensation hikes and appraisals are seen as transparent and not arbitrary

Pitfalls of tying compensation and performance reviews

  • It focuses on only those aspects of performance which are under review and not the overall and subtler forms of organizational contribution for employees
  • Performance linked compensation system leads to employees giving themselves  more lenient ratings during self reflection during 360 performance review. Thus, driving the focus away from self reflection as a development practice
  • Biased peer review can also prevent fair compensation, especially when the departmental budgets are limited
  • Sometimes, it creates a blame oriented workplace culture and discourages collaborative problem resolution

Clearly, there are both sides to the story.

The most favorable outcome will be to keep performance as one of the parameters for compensation, but not the sole foundation.

Additionally, as one of the best practices, performance reviews can be conducted on a regular basis, where some are only developmental in nature and others can be tied to compensation management. 

5 compensation best practices today

As discussed, focusing only on performance reviews for compensation management needs a relook. Working with growing organizations, we have curated a list of the top five performance and compensation management practices you can leverage:

1. Keep up with market trends

Ensure that your compensation structure aligns with the market trends so your employees don’t feel underpaid and leave.

  • Conduct a dipstick survey to understand appropriate pay scales
  • Keep your pay structures updated based on market corrections
  • Leverage custom employee pulse surveys to regularly to check their perception on compensation according to market trends

2. Be clear about relationship between performance and compensation

Provide complete transparency and clarity to your employees on what constitutes high levels of performance and what it will take to earn a raise or appraisal.

  • Highlight specific job competencies that link compensation and performance management
  • Don’t rely completely on performance reviews as a means to determine compensation, let them be developmental in nature
  • Gauge performance against pre defined competencies over time

3. Have well defined criteria

Have specific, well defined and measurable criteria for the compensation strategy to ensure that there is complete transparency. 

  • Develop or choose metrics which are easy to comprehend
  • Try to quantify the value for each criteria, including years of experience, education, etc.
  • Account for difference in compensation based on skills, performance levels, among others

4. Communicate benefits effectively

Salary in hand or the pay check your employees receive is accompanied by a range of benefits that are a part of the compensation structure and cost to the company, but are often overlooked by employees. Make sure they are widely communicated.

  • Create a list of all benefits offered to employees and communicate to them via different ways, email, discussion sessions, etc.
  • Be vocal about the value these benefits are able to add over and above their monetary value
  • Illustrate how these benefits also act as tax saving options at times, leading to a more efficient compensation structure

5. Have a standard pay range

Ensure that there is a base pay range for every role and profile with variable additions based on candidate competencies.

  • Have clear guidelines and pay range for each position to set the right expectations
  • Illustrate the competencies/parameters based on which deviation from standard pay range will be acceptable
  • Have a well defined strategy to evolve the pay range and support employee transition from one range to another

How to ensure distributive justice?

The idea of fair compensation and linking compensation and performance management, leads to a very interesting concept of distributive justice. On a broad level, distributive justice essentially focuses on ensuring that the compensation received by employees is fair and equitable and is based on objective and rational grounds which are uniform for all. Here are a few ways to ensure distributive justice:

  • Be transparent about the criteria for compensation and what constitutes as parameters for raise
  • Ensure that measuring of performance/ other criteria for performance is bias free and doesn’t fall prey to halo, horns or recency effect
Measure potential and market value of the employee in addition to experience and expertise to ensure distributive justice for high potential employees 
  • Be fair in your compensation and appraisal assessment

Pay transparency: Merits and demerits

Another interesting component of compensation and performance management that you must acquaint yourself with is pay transparency. Essentially pay transparency refers to how openly or freely employees within an organization can discuss their compensation with others. 

This is not only limited to the check they take home but other perks and benefits they are entitled to. Invariably, many platforms today also enable individuals to anonymously share their salaries online and get insights from others doing the same. However, there are diverse views on when it comes to pay transparency for an organization. 

Merits of pay transparency

Those who advocate for pay transparency believe that it can enable large scale impact for the organization across performance management.

  • Meet employee expectations, build greater trust and augment engagement and overall experience
  • Attract the best talent by showcasing competitive compensation at market standards
  • Reduce chances of biases in salary negotiations and increments
  • Ensure fair compensation and distributive justice among employees
  • Greater employee motivation leading to better organizational outcomes
  • Fewer negotiations allowing employees to focus on adding value to their work

Demerits of pay transparency

However, there is a flip side to pay transparency too with some common pitfalls that need to be addressed proactively.

  • Risk of resentment and conflict if pay scale is not uniform and balanced
  • May lead to comparison of pay scales among peers in the organization with possible backfire
  • Requires strategic planning and meticulous implementation
  • May lead to high levels of turnover in case employees feel they are paid less than what they deserve, in comparison to others
  • Employees might have privacy concerns about their salary being shared with others

How to guide managers to have better compensation conversations?

In the last section of this article, we will focus on how managers play an integral role in compensation and performance management and the best practices to guide managers to have effective compensation conversations with their team members.

Almost 58% organizations do not train managers on pay communications 

This startling statistic clearly highlights how despite the apparent importance of compensation management, the focus on ensuring a seamless process is rather limited. However, organizations today can play a leading role in enabling their managers to have better pay communication and conversations by following these tips:

  • Create a communication toolkit with all the resources including compensation structure, criteria, performance linkage, etc. and share it with all the managers 
  • Conduct regular surveys to gauge employee pulse and data from employees on their compensation and share insights with managers to help create a conversation flow
  • Leverage tools for NLP led sentiment analysis of open ended responses and share guided 1:1 conversation templates for effective compensation conversations
  • Encourage managers to keep compensation conversations and performance reviews as separate
  • Give proper context, especially during an appraisal or raise, with both internal and external factors that led to the compensation decision
  • Communicate the value and importance of the employee to the organization, don’t rely on numbers and monetary increase do all the talking
  • Prepare for the conversation and be prepared for response, be an active listener and patiently address grievances, if any

Final Thoughts

It is quite evident that compensation and performance management are intrinsically interlinked and if leveraged well, compensation has great potential to not only drive performance, but also facilitate engagement, retention and much more.

However, to ensure the same, you need to have a very structured, transparent and fair compensation strategy and policy. Furthermore, you must, don’t forget to invest in training your managers to bridge any gaps and constantly gauge and address employee pulse — to ensure fair compensation for all.

Suggested Reading

10 tips for managers to effectively conduct performance reviews

How often should you conduct performance reviews?

How to use competency framework as a talent management strategy

Performance
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x
min read

How to Use Competency Framework for Talent Development

Talent development is critical for growing organizations which see the workforce as their biggest asset. Focus on developing their talent stack not only leads to a pleasant employee experience, it also augments the overall performance and productivity for an organization. 

While you may come across many ways to facilitate talent development, leveraging the competency framework can help you move the needle very quickly. 

Let's see how.

5 Stages in talent development

Before moving directly to how you can implement the competency framework, let’s quickly understand the 5 stages of talent development.

1. Planning

The first stage involves planning for your talent needs based on your organizational priorities and creating the position profile based on the skills, attitudes and other competencies. 

2. Identifying

Based on the position profile, you need to start attracting talent for the position. You can do so by spreading the word in the right networks, through job portal platforms, etc. The objective is to ensure that you are reaching out to the right network. You can also explore the right candidate for the position internally to considerably save hiring and training costs. 

3. Onboarding

Once you have identified the right person, the next stage of talent development is extending the offer to the person after a thorough background check as well as a competency and expectation match. It also requires creating personalized onboarding plans for the first 30-60-90 days of the candidate’s journey within the organization. Read our guide to employee onboarding to learn more about onboarding do’s and don’ts.

4. Developing

The main focus of talent development starts with providing the right development and learning opportunities to your workforce. This can involve upskilling for both technical and soft skills, leadership building or any development intervention based on the need of the role and position. 

Read: How to create employee development plan based on performance history

5. Retaining

Finally, talent development involves undertaking initiatives to retain your talent. While learning opportunities are important, facilitating engagement, wellness, motivation, etc. all contribute to employee retention. 

What is the competency framework?

If you are wondering how the competency framework aligns with talent development, you need to start by decoding what the framework actually stands for. 

Put simply, a competency framework is a set of behaviors, skills, abilities and attributes that an organization considers imperative for creating a high performance culture. 

The competency framework can be implemented at all stages of the talent development or the employee lifecycle within an organization. The idea is to ensure that certain core competencies are kept at the heart of the decision making that in any way impact the workforce. 

Importance of talent development for employee retention

Competency framework based talent development is very important for employee retention. Talent development practices when undertaken effectively have the potential to encourage team members to stay with the organization for long and at the same time become ambassadors to help attract high quality peers. 

Here are the top reasons why competency framework based talent development matters:

  • Recruit the right person for the right job
  • Provide the right learning and development opportunities
  • Be an active participant in professional growth for employees
  • Train and develop employees for professional obstacles
  • Enable employees to navigate through challenges with mentoring support
  • Enable employees to see a clear career growth path within the organization

Implementing the competency framework: Process, steps and ownership

Now that we have covered the basics of talent development and competency framework, let’s understand how leveraging the latter to advance the former can create a far reaching impact for organizations. 

Step I: Create a competency framework

The first step is to create a competency framework which involves identifying the key competencies which will be instrumental in guiding all decisions around talent development. Depending on the nature of your organization, there can be categories within the competency framework that you seek to focus on. Your competency framework should focus on behaviors, skills and attributes which are critical for performance and overall success. The following steps can help you create a competency framework for talent development:

1. Identify key competencies

  • Establish core competencies that are required to be possessed by everyone in the organization, for instance, teamwork or collaboration
  • Highlight the functional competencies that are required for specific roles and positions, for instance, situational awareness and the ability to think on one’s feet for those in business development roles
  • Identify competencies that align with your core values and are non negotiable, for instance, if your core value revolves around innovation and experimentation, a key competency will be a risk taking attitude

2. Determine behaviors and attributes

  • Define the key parameters for each identified competency i.e. what are the factors that collectively contribute to presence or absence of that competency
  • Establish metrics to judge the level of competency alignment across the workforce and identify the gaps

3. Link to organizational goals

  • Create a business statement of how the competencies can advance overarching organizational goals
  • Focus on the value add they bring along for organizational success
The responsibility of creating the competency framework is collective. It starts with involving the executive leadership to ensure alignment with the vision, people managers to ensure they are ideal for the culture you are trying to build and functional managers to ensure inclusion of right competencies for each role and position. Furthermore, involving those on the ground can be fruitful as they have the best idea of what competencies are critical and others which are good to have. 

Step II: Align the competency framework with recruitment

Once the competency framework for talent development is ready, the next step is to align it with your recruitment process to ensure precise and effective hiring. There are a few steps along the way:

  • Mention the keywords from the competency framework in your position profile or job description
  • Specifically identify 5-7 key competencies for each role important for high level of performance
  • Identify behaviors for each competency to look out for during the selection process
  • Leverage psychometric assessments customized with your competency framework to test your candidates
  • Conduct competency based interviews and assignments for a comprehensive view
  • If there is a significant competency match, identify gaps if any for competency based development later
  • Document results to align performance management for selected candidates
The onus of implementing the competency framework during selection lies primarily with the HR team and recruiters who assess the candidates with different tests and assessments. Team managers and leaders also play a role in assessing functional competencies and fit. 

Step III: Facilitate competency based performance management and development opportunities

Irrespective of whether an employee is onboarded before or after you have implemented the competency framework for recruitment, you need to ensure competency based performance management and development opportunities. 

Performance management

  • Align OKRs and goals with competencies; focus on behaviors that can help drive the key results. For instance if a key result is expand to 5 new markets, a key competency can be adaptability
  • Conduct competency based 360 feedback review; encourage your managers to review performance not just on outcomes but presence or absence of competencies that made the outcomes possible
  • Encourage competency based self reflection for employees to assess their performance based on the competency framework
  • Identify development areas based on competency needs for particular roles as well as the next career path in the trajectory
  • Reward competency based performance and outcomes
  • Measure competencies on an ongoing basis and compare results with recruitment analysis

Talent development interventions

  • Define competency gaps for each position and identify talent development interventions to bridge the same. For instance, if communication is a key competency for a sales role, learning can be oriented towards better communication skills
  • Align developmental interventions with competency based OKRs
  • Identify learning objectives for each role and position and determine how they connect with the competency framework

From a talent development perspective, the focus of the competency framework should equally be on developing employees for their next or subsequent role based on the specific competencies for the same. 

The onus of aligning performance and development with the competency framework lies with team managers as they are best able to determine the performance gaps. Furthermore, employees with their managers can identify competency gaps for better performance and focus on the right learning and development interventions to bridge the same. 

Step IV: Leverage competency framework for succession planning

Finally, the competency framework must also impact the subsequent rungs of talent development where an employee moves up the ladder from one position to the next. Based on the organizational matrix and competencies for each level, you need to identify key attributes that differentiate one level from another and ensure the same is communicated to your employees. 

You should:

  • Help you employees create a career development plan based on your competency framework to help them understand which competencies will enable them to grow
  • Make succession planning a key organizational priority and focus on talent development from that lens

Final Thoughts

In a nutshell, it is quite evident that the competency framework can inform and advance every stage of talent development for fast growing organizations. If you implement such a framework across the employee lifecycle, you will significantly reduce your chances of a wrong hire and will be able to nurture a workforce that aligns on the vision, goals and overall organizational culture. 

A clear competency based talent development approach can help you achieve high levels of performance which is observable and measurable.

OKRs
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Should Your Business Invest in OKR Software? See the ROI

While most people managers are able to create a business case for setting OKRs as well as for the adoption of an OKR software by leveraging industry benchmarks and best practices, there is a need to explicitly decode the return on investment of using an OKR tool as well.

Unless they are able to clearly illustrate how the return achieved using a goal management software is greater than the investment, it becomes difficult to sustain the adoption and get long-term leadership buy-in. 

Continue reading to strengthen your business case on the same.

What’s the ROI of Goal Management using OKRs?

Let’s quickly understand how the OKR framework is integral for an organization, especially high growth companies. Most fast growing organizations have competing priorities they need to focus on with limited resources at hand. 

Therefore, simply setting goals by adopting a top-down approach without supporting parameters can lead to confusion and incompetence. OKRs help drive away this ambiguity by linking measurable key results for each objective and facilitating a collaborative approach to achieving goals.  

Here are the top three benefits of implementing OKRs in an effective manner:

1. Better focus and more clarity

OKRs enable employees and leadership to have a very clear focus on what needs to be accomplished and what work is out of scope. The idea is to have complete clarity on — 

  • what each goal or objective means, 
  • its purpose for the overall success of the organization, and
  • what achieving it will look like. 

The last part is extremely important as it helps create a sharp focus and set priorities straight. 

93% of employees don’t really understand what their organization is trying to accomplish in order to align with their own work.

This illustrates that there is a big absence of clarity and focus amongst employees when it comes to what needs to be accomplished, which stands in the way of creating a high performance culture. Therefore, OKRs can help reduce such uncertainty and ambiguity, making it easy for the workforce to concentrate on what matters. 

2. Strategic alignment

Taking cue from the first point, the second benefit or purpose of implementing OKRs foris a need for clarity of expectations and overall team and organizational alignment. In case of fast growing organizations, there is an overlapping of roles and responsibilities and a lack of clarity on expectations from each employee. This leads to lower than average outcomes, productivity and revenue growth and data backs the same. 

97% of employees and executives believe lack of alignment within a team impacts the outcome of a task or project. Whereas, companies that regularly exceeded revenue goals were 2.3X more likely to report high levels of alignment.

By ensuring organization-wide goal visibility, OKRs help teams to decode what is expected out of each team member and their respective contribution towards achievement of the shared goals. Thus, increasing alignment and collaboration. 

3. Greater engagement

Finally, setting and implementing OKRs is often a collaborative process. Employees get involved in and participate during the entire OKR process and feel engaged in the same. This greater involvement and participation leads to deeper levels of engagement and ownership of key results which drive impact. 

OKRs also enable employees to also gauge their performance and measure their progress in an effective manner. This motivates them to get more involved in achieving the common weekly, quarterly and annual goals. This higher level of engagement directly impacts key organizational parameters such as retention, productivity, profitability, etc. 

How does an OKR software make a difference? 

The business case for OKRs is very clear. However, for companies that are scaling up, with limited bandwidth and competing priorities, often setting OKRs itself gets left behind due to other business priorities.

If an organization focuses on a manual approach to the OKR system, there are several steps which require a lot of time and effort including setting and writing, implementing, tracking, grading, evaluating and modifying OKRs.

Fortunately, today there are OKR tools in the market, which can help automate all of these aspects to help simplify the OKR journey. The right goal management software can help you maximize the realization of the return on investment for your OKRs. Following are the top five ways in which an OKR software makes a measurable difference on the bottomline — 

1. It allows you to document goals

First, an OKR tool can help organizations document or record the OKRs in a way that is visible and accessible to all. There is supporting evidence to show that what gets documented has a higher chance of being achieved, as what is out of sight is often out of mind. 

Individuals are 42% more likely to achieve goals when they are physically recorded.

Therefore, the OKR tool can enable organizations to clearly define the business and team OKRs in a written manner which can be reflected on, seen again and again to create instant recall for employees. 

2. It drives accountability and alignment

OKR tools are great for creating alignment and accountability. On the alignment front, the OKR software can help achieve high levels of strategic alignment on what is the responsibility of each team member across organizations towards the key business goal achievement. 

Highly aligned companies grow revenue 58% faster and are 72% more profitable than their misaligned counterparts.

The dashboard of a good OKR software can help you constantly gauge the level of goal achievement, ensure that team members are aligned on different phases as well as keep a track of when their responsibility is due. It creates high levels of transparency. 

Moreover, greater alignment leads to high levels of accountability. Generally, since there is a lack of alignment on responsibilities, there is an accompanying lack of ownership and accountability, and most employees shirk away from taking accountability. 

84% of the workforce describes itself as “trying but failing” or “avoiding” accountability, even when employees know what to fix.

A goal management software like SuperBeings allows you to integrate OKRs with regular meetings and check-ins to keep track of progress. Thus, driving a culture of accountability.

3. It enables real-time OKR progress and goal tracking

It is very common for companies to set OKRs and then evaluate them only at the end of the quarter/year. There is a lack of mid-term tracking which makes it difficult to gauge whether the progress is aligned with the key results or not. 

40% of people that write down goals don’t check whether they’ve achieved them. Moreover, only 5.9% of companies communicate goals daily. 

An OKR software can help you address this concern by facilitating day-to-day OKR progress tracking. A daily dashboard and history of 1:1 and team check-ins on OKRs, can help organizations track developments over time. 

ROI of OKR software
SuperBeings OKR dashboard helps you get a quick overview on all primary goals

It can also help identify and resolve any performance issues that stand in the way of goal achievement preemptively. At the same time, even if organizations are tracking and monitoring OKR progress, doing so with a manual process is inefficient. An OKR tool can automate most of these processes to enable HR and people managers to spend more time on driving results. 

4. An effective software offers OKR training for success

Another major concern that organizations face when it comes to OKRs is being prepared and ready for the same. Many line managers and others struggle with writing effective OKRs. Many organizations believe setting OKRs once is enough. However, that is far from the truth. 

Research says, companies that set performance goals quarterly can generate 31% more returns than those reassessing annually.

Using an OKR software can help eliminate all these challenges. 

  • First, the right tool will offer OKR coaching and onboarding support to train managers to write OKRs which are effective and result oriented.
  • Second, it can help reflect on OKRs at regular intervals to realign on them and adjust according to changing market conditions. 
  • Third, the OKR tool can help managers have meaningful 1:1 conversations with team members to link OKR with performance and facilitate high levels of goal achievement. This is a direct return on investment which can create value across the organizational verticals.  

5. It facilitates greater collaboration

Finally, an OKR software can promote high levels of collaboration for goal achievement. For many organizations, the inability to collaborate leads to low levels of results, diminishing the ROI for OKRs.

86% of employees and executives cite lack of collaboration or ineffective communication for workplace failures.

Using a good OKR software makes collaboration seamless by aligning cross-functional projects and tracking cumulative progress. Invariably, an increase in degree of collaboration is a direct ROI of an OKR tool which can create far reaching impact.

How to calculate the ROI of an OKR software?

In this final section of the article, we will talk about the key parameters that can help you gauge the ROI of an OKR software. While the above mentioned are primary impact areas, most of them have a qualitative aspect to them. 

Gauging the ROI requires backing of data points from employee experience and business results, which the following parameters can help explain.

1. Level of transparency

Organizations should start by gauging whether or not transparency and alignment on goals has increased. This can be measured using employee pulse surveys to understand their opinion on how well they have visibility of goals and clarity on what they need to work towards. Therefore, the first ROI parameter for an OKR software is to identify the increase in level of transparency to ensure everyone is working in the same direction and there are no gaps or overlap in efforts. 

2. Degree and time period of goal achievement

The main purpose of an OKR tool is to facilitate the effective and efficient achievement of the goals set by an organization. Thus, the next parameter to measure ROI should revolve around the degree and time period of goal achievement. 

You can start by comparing the degree of goal achievement by leveraging OKR grading to see if there is a significant improvement in percentage terms as compared to pre-OKR tool period. Second, it is important to gauge whether or not the goals/key results have been achieved in a shorter period of time or not. Since the OKR platform facilitates better alignment, collaboration, tracking, etc., it can help organizations achieve or realize the goals faster. 

3. Reduced administrative overheads

Third, there are several administrative overheads that accompany the setting and implementation of goals/OKRs. These include tracking, grading, etc. for managers and providing inputs on the part of employees. The ROI of an OKR software can be gauged by mapping whether or not these overheads come down. 

  • For the managers, ROI can be calculated in terms of time saved which can be invested in other value add tasks. 
  • For employees, the ROI comes in the form of reduced time and effort spent in juggling between platforms to work on goals and projects. The right tool will provide organizations with integrations across top productivity tools like Slack, Jira, etc. which reduce administrative overheads for all organizational stakeholders. 

4. Increased revenue

The next parameter for ROI calculation is to measure the change or increase in revenue after the adoption of an OKR software. Since an OKR tool seeks to enable organizations to achieve their goals faster, cost effectively and to a greater extent, there should be an increase in the revenue realized. 

According to Larry Page, co-founder, Google claims that “OKRs have helped lead us to 10X growth, many times over.” 

5. Better employee experience

Finally, gauging the value of employee parameters like retention/turnover, productivity, engagement, etc, can cumulatively be leveraged to capture the ROI of an OKR tool. There are several ways to gauge these workforce parameters, along with factors like eNPS, etc. which have a direct business impact. Calculating them can help measure the ROI of the OKR tool for an organization. 

Final Thoughts

It is evident that adoption of an intelligent OKR software is not only good to have, but integral for organizational success. Using the right tool has a direct business impact which can be measured in numbers using the ROI parameters mentioned in this article. 

There are both qualitative and quantitative aspects to measuring the ROI and a balanced approach to both can empower organizations to align individual performance with business goals.

If you are considering implementing the right OKR software in your business, try out SuperBeings free 21 day trial. Book today. (No credit card or commitment required)

Suggested Reading

How to find the best OKR tool

Master OKRs in 10 days: Free OKR email course

References

https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnhall/2019/10/06/why-accountability-is-vital-to-your-company/?sh=4297f3cb6580

https://www.salesforce.com/in/work/?sfdc-redirect=219

https://www.minsilo.com/resources/strategic-alignment/why-is-alignment-important

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/09/13/self-made-millionaire-how-to-increase-your-odds-of-success-by-42-percent-marie-forleo.html#:~:text=The%20results%20were%20clear%3A%20Participants,down%20on%20a%20daily%20basis

https://lsaglobal.com/insights/proprietary-methodology/lsa-3x-organizational-alignment-model/#:~:text=Based%20upon%20research%20of%20410,Effectively%20leading%208.71%2Dto%2D1

http://www.cedma-europe.org/newsletter%20articles/Clomedia/Want%20Results%20-%20Fix%20Accountability%20(Feb%2015).pdf

https://www.asuresoftware.com/

https://fierceinc.com/employees-cite-lack-of-collaboration-for-workplace-failures/#:~:text=Key%20survey%20finds%20include%3A,will%20impact%20bottom%20line%20results.

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