Author: Devin Harris

Marketing / Sales professional passionate about employee-centric HR technology. Proud father of two boys. Avid golfer and NFL Football fanatic.

What can Clark Griswold and Buddy the Elf Teach us about Employee Engagement?

With the Calendar now having turned to December, my thoughts turn to Christmas, and more specifically my family’s tradition of watching (and re-watching) Christmas movies!  But before it’s time to settle in by the fireplace with some eggnog to watch some old favorites, I thought … Continue reading What can Clark Griswold and Buddy the Elf Teach us about Employee Engagement?

Employees Have Evolved – What About Your Talent Engagement Platform?

Talent Engagement Infographic

The World of Work is changing – shouldn’t your Talent Management platform change with it?

Yesterday’s Talent Management was designed around back-office administrative functions, while today’s Talent Management needs to be designed around strategic engagement.

Our recently published inforgraphic and companion eBook “Is It Time to Break up With Your Talent Management System” outline 10 new approaches for Engaging Talent in the Agile Era, from the Candidate Experience to Continuous Coaching, Corporate Citizenship and much more.

Check out the Infographic / eBook to find out how these 10 approaches can create real business impact on:

  • Customer Service
  • Finding and Attracting Talent
  • Turnover Rates
  • Innovation
  • Improved Earnings
  • Increased Engagement


How to Transition Your HRMS into a System of Engagement

Interlocked PuzzleThis past week I had the chance to talk with many HR practitioners from across North America about some of their biggest pain points when it comes to HR technology. What I heard was consistent: HR is on a mission to reform their HRMS to drive innovative and strategic direction in their organizations.

Some of the most common challenges I heard were:

–       “Our HRMS no longer (or never really did) fit our processes and culture”

–       “Our HR systems are fragmented – nothing is in one place, and we have to dig for information and functionality across many different platforms which is confusing”

–       “We are facing an upgrade of our core HRMS yet we really don’t feel confident that large spend will result in net new efficiencies or that employees will even use it”

I had 3 experts from different domains (HR leader/practitioner, HR solution provider, HR integration consultant) weigh in on this topic to get their unique insights on how companies can augment their HR technology strategy to help overcome these challenges. Here’s what I found out in these conversations:


Creating HR Fireworks

courtesy of bayasaa
courtesy of bayasaa


One of the biggest issues that many mid- to large-sized organizations grapple with is how best to leverage the latest HR technology within their existing HRIS environments (and by latest I mean easy-to-use, socially-infused, engaging technology that delivers on efficiency, collaboration and productivity gains). HR leaders often think they must come to terms with having to “rip-and-replace” an existing HRIS.


And it’s understandable why they might think this – enterprise technology environments are very complex. Often there are:

  • multiple disparate applications and data sources
  • numerous employee logins/URLs
  • lack of the right data
  • lackluster process integration

With these types of complexities, it is easy to see how companies could resign to the “one size fits all” philosophy, and subsequently overlook opportunities for game-changers such as socially-infused HR solutions.

The good news is there are game-changers that can be adopted into your current HRIS environment, leveraging the best of what you have and enhancing it to achieve “HR fireworks.”

So … What is HR Fireworks?

We believe this occurs when efficiency and the employee experience converge to create an HR system of engagement that truly “pops!”

To find out how you can Create HR Fireworks, be sure to sit in on a presentation by Cary Schuler (Co-Founder & cfactor CEO) and Deb A. Maher (Sr. Director of HRIS and Shared Services at DeVry Inc.) at the IHRIM 2013 HRMS Strategies Conference (#IHRIM2013) in Orlando, on June 4.

Stop by and visit me and my colleagues at Booth 815 to enter to win an iPad mini, grab a bag of popcorn, and take in some HR Fireworks first hand. I look forward to seeing you there!


cfactor can be followed on various social media channels, including LinkedIn, Twitter (@cfactorWorks), Pinterest and cfactorConnections.

5 Questions: Dancing With HR Star, Dwane Lay

Dwane Lay

I remember watching Michael Jackson’s first moonwalk – it was a moment when the world held its breath watching the smooth delivery of such an awesome new move. When you get to witness something executed with such grace and finesse you know that, in addition to the skill of the performer, there are a number of things going on behind the scenes, including a team of others coaching, costuming and choreographing to get the move down “just right.”

In this, my second post with a featured expert from the Dancing With HR Stars eBook, I had a chance to learn more about what it takes for successful technology user adoption – a critical “behind the scenes” component for successful HR service delivery – from the illustrious Dwane Lay, Head of HR Process Design for Dovetail Software and author of LeanHR.


To hear more from other expert shared services panelists (Jim Scully, Cary Schuler and Kane Frisby), we encourage to register today for the HCI webinar How to Run HR Shared Services like a Thriving Business. And if you have not yet downloaded Dancing With HR Stars: 5 Essentials for Making HR Service Delivery Look and Feel Effortless, download your complimentary copy here.


Bonnie Clark (BC): In the eBook, you discuss the importance of technology user adoption. Why is this so critical to successful HR service delivery?

Dwane Lay (DL):  Just as with any other process or tool, the value is defined by the customer or end user.  If a new tool, process or platform is put in, but no one uses it, you’ve effectively wasted a significant amount of time and money. If we are to truly be effective and efficient, we can’t give away critical resources like that. We have to design our HR systems with adoption in mind, and eliminate anything that doesn’t enhance the experience of the user and the customer.

BC: This is not the first time you’ve addressed the topic of user adoption. What makes you so passionate about it?

DL: As a Lean practitioner, I’m attuned to waste in process and execution. Software adoption is important, and there are plenty of people who would agree with that, but there isn’t a great deal out there about the idea of designing for adoption. It’s an area that can be easily expanded and taught, and I’m willing to do anything I can to do help with that mission.

BC: You handle implementations for Dovetail’s HR Case Management solution. What are some of the techniques you’ve suggested or seen customers use to foster user adoption during these implementations?

DL: There are several Lean tools that are in heavy use, especially Y to X trees (to help define our true goals), fishbone diagrams (to find the root cause of existing issues) and FMEAs (to identify opportunities to prevent failures). While the Lean toolbox is robust, these are the ones that I find most useful across the board.

BC: How much of a role should the vendor play in fostering technology user adoption?

DL: I think it’s very much our responsibility to help prepare for successful adoption. Otherwise, what’s the point of having the software? We are best positioned to understand how our tool could bring the most value, and should be a vocal partner in the planning and implementation process.

BC: You mention the importance of “understanding where you are” when starting a project. What would that evaluation process look like for an HR organization implementing HR service delivery solutions?

DL: It starts with brutal honesty. There are usually three answers when you ask how things are done. How you think they are done, how they are supposed to be done and how they are actually done. All three need to be accounted for, and you have to be willing to face truths about the current state that may not be pleasant. But that’s why we are working to improve them.  There’s no perfect process, and everything can be improved. Once that mindset is accepted, it becomes possible to process map what’s happening and make huge improvements for everyone involved.

5 Questions: Dancing With HR Star, Kane Frisby

Kane FrisbyMartha Graham, one of the foremost pioneers of modern dance, once said that “great dancers are not great because of their technique, they are great because of their passion.”  This is also very true when you ‘choreograph’ what needs to be a seemingly effortless HR service delivery – you must have passionate and skilled ‘dancers’ on your team.

Well, I recently caught up with a passionate player in the HR Services space – the respected and seasoned Kane Frisby, Chief Strategy Officer for Dovetail Software. Since he is one of our featured ‘performers’ in the Dancing With HR Stars eBook, I thought it would be good to get his thoughts on the HR Service Delivery space.


To hear more from Kane and other expert shared services panelists (Jim Scully and Cary Schuler), we encourage to register today for the HCI webinar How to Run HR Shared Services like a Thriving Business. And if you have not yet downloaded Dancing With HR Stars: 5 Essentials for Making HR Service Delivery Look and Feel Effortless, download your complimentary copy here.


Bonnie Clark (BC): What is your experience in implementing a new HR service delivery model?
Kane Frisby (KF): Over the past 5 years I have led the process engineering and technical components of HR Shared Services and Global Payroll Outsourcing projects in the UK and Russia for global companies. I have often worked within the Dave Ulrich model for HR Shared Services.

BC: What were some of your biggest implementation challenges?
KF: Global by nature is one of the biggest challenges. Most of the time, companies are not documenting what they actually do on a day by day basis. A QMS (Quality Management System) should be in place so all employees and managers know and understand the necessary process. If companies do not know what their localized HR professionals are commonly doing on a day-to-day basis, it becomes more challenging to harmonize across a global footprint. You also have to take into account the legal and contractual laws within each country that you have localized HR deployed in. For example, in Russia you cannot pass employee data outside of the legal entity the employee belongs to without first obtaining a physical sign off from the employee. So ff you’re running a global payroll outsourcing project that encompasses employees based in Russia, you would be required to get a physical employee signature from each Russian employee prior to any Russian employee data being passed to the payroll outsourcing vendor.

BC: When you were evaluating technology to support your shared service delivery models, what technologies did you consider essential and how important was it for these technologies to integrate?
KF: The key tools are Employee & Manager Self-Service (ESS/MSS), an HR Help Desk solution, Electronic Content Management Software, advanced reporting software, Org Charting Software and CTI (Computer Telephony Integration) for the HR Service Desk. Deploying an Employee Self Service and Manager Self-Service product is key, since the goal is for HR to provide more value-add services to the business and do less transactional work. The HR Help Desk backs up the ESS/MSS when employees need to interact with real people for more advanced questions that an ESS/MSS cannot answer. CedarCrestone states that backing up a Shared Service Center with an Employee and Manager Self-Service along with a HR Help Desk helps to reduce overall administration work by a 15 percent. Advanced reporting and Org Charting software will allow you to put in place metrics that will provide key analysis for the service delivery, and value to the business. The CTI software is ideal for high volume HR Shared Services Centers that take a high volume of calls.

BC: In the ebook, you discuss the DMAIC method for measuring and improving performance. Could you could provide a brief explanation of this methodology and why do you recommend it for HR Shared Services organizations?
KF: DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control) makes sense because of its simplicity. All people involved with HR Shared Services transformation will instantly understand the process.

When you are implementing change, you need some way of defining the change, and the business objective. Once you have defined this, it is key to your success to define how you would measure the result once the change has been implemented versus the starting state. Once you see the results, it is logical to analyze them, think of ways to improve them, and maintain control of the whole process. It seems to me that this type of methodology would be easy for anyone to connect with.

An example I have experienced is improvements within the Time-to-Hire measure (TTH): Management declared that the current 60-day TTH for junior employees is far too long, and should be reduced closer to 30 days. We have just defined and set a measure for this change. On inspection it has been discovered that an approval step for compensation sign off within the hiring process is the bottleneck. All compensation amounts over $50k must be approved by the compensation committee which meets once per month.

We now have some analysis, so let’s improve this. Since the junior salary band stops at $75k, the possible solution here was to increase the approval limit from $50k to $75K, and negate the need for the compensation committee approval on more junior employees. This was the improvement, and was put into place. Now the control part is interesting, while the market conditions are doing well, this change works well, however if there is a sudden hire freeze, or the salaries of junior staff goes up or down, further improvements and adjustments need to be made.

BC: You also state that a sophisticated HR Help Desk solution is required to measure and analyze your HR service delivery performance. What are some examples of the analysis it could provide?
KF: A sophisticated HR Help Desk application will also provide a multi-tiered service delivery model. The model has 3 tiers. Tier 0 is Self Service/ Portal. It is key to push Tier 0, since employees will answer their own questions at this tier decreasing the cost of HR Service Delivery. Therefore, it is imperative that the HR Shared Services Center has abilities to measure the Tier 0 adoption rates.

For requests and inquiries that are not solved through self-service or if the company does not implement a Self-Service tool, then Tier 1 is the HR Help Desk route, with calls or emails being handled by people. A key metric here is the FCR (First-Call-Resolution) rate. This metric is a percentage of the number of calls taken and answered within the first contact with the employee/manager. A sophisticated internal Knowledge Management system within the HR Case Management tool is key here to assisting the HR agents to answer calls on first contact.