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Tag Archives: Human Capital Management

April 7, 2017

The most important questions to ask of your HCM vendor


When it comes to choosing a new HCM provider the stakes are high. Choose the wrong one and not only could this be a costly decision—it could cost you your job.

Therefore, it is imperative that before you sign on the dotted line, you consider these six things:

#1 The brand name.

I’ve seen so many organizations select a vendor because of the “brand name” only to discover too late that its solution is neither scalable nor able to be customized. However, if organizations do due diligence before going to market, they can avoid this.

#2 Cloud isn’t for everyone.

Beware of blanket statements…most of the time, cloud is preferable. Occasionally, however, on premise is the better solution for certain employers. It is also important to consider if the deployment option (SaaS, hosted, or on premise) has the flexibility to scale when the organization grows.

#3 Growth potential

My firm belief is, make sure your solution of choice is scalable. If there’s high growth, which is every organization’s goal anyway, make sure you won’t need to jump ship to a completely different product, later. Some vendors, for example, will require a full rip-and-replace of their modern solution just to get you on a different solution of theirs designed to handle your new employee headcount. Find a single solution that can handle the growth from the get-go—one that can run or be upgraded if/when needed.

#4 HCM with WFM

When an organization can integrate its “time” data with its “people” data, that’s powerful. For example, performance reviews are historically highly subjective. But if you can add real numbers, then it begins to remove bias and leaves employees and managers alike with actionable, data-backed feedback.

#5 Think globally

Based on what is available now, there are a few options. One option is to deploy multiple instances of your application, each separate from the other. Another option is to deploy a single instance and select one set of “rules” that will govern matters system-related world-wide. However, both these options are restrictive. My recommendation is to select a solution that runs on a distributed platform that can handle domestic and global requirements and different rules.

#6 ROI

ROI should be significant and realized in a short amount of time. Don’t underestimate the return from a properly selected workforce management solution. Our research shows that, under the right conditions, Workforce Management provides significant ROI for every $1 invested.

To hear more, join me for the upcoming SumTotal and Nucleus webinar, “Four Things To Do Before Signing Your WFM Provider Contract.”

November 3, 2016

What it Means to Provide Value in HCM Technology

This year’s HCM Technology Value Matrix, an annual report issued by Nucleus Research, really puts technology vendors to the test. The field is crowded with HCM solutions, so many organizations considering new solutions save time when Nucleus does the legwork to determine which providers offer the best functionality. Several providers named in past reports have been eliminated, as they have chosen to focus on talent management, rather than developing a full HCM suite.

SumTotal Recognized in Nucleus Research Report

The analysts’ findings: “Most leaders in this year’s HCM Value Matrix continue to improve in offering HCM solutions that are legitimately end-to-end, enabling employers to practice HCM as an interconnected discipline.” This interconnection allows HR and business leaders to take advantage of powerful analytics that can deliver actionable insight into workforce trends—and the overall business.

We’re proud that SumTotal entered the leader quadrant in this year’s report: “SumTotal has rebuilt the user experience through close collaboration with customers and extensive usability testing…Nucleus believes the planned Q4 2016 development will help move the vendor’s placement farther upward and to the right.” The report states that our performance management and learning capabilities reflect the trends Nucleus has identified as crucial in delivering value to the business.

To us, providing value is more than an ROI number. While we can certainly quantify metrics such as employee retention, satisfaction, productivity, time to proficiency and mobility within the organization, there are other ways we hope to add value to our customers that are less easily measured. We hope to add value as a trusted partner—one clients turn to for guidance on how to move up the learning and talent management maturity ladder.

Learn more about some of the ways we provide value to our clients. Download your copy of the report here and stay tuned for more information on our next release!


September 19, 2014

The Fear of Paid Time Off (FOPTO)

Is the fear of missing out (FOMO) becoming a workplace epidemic? If the newest research from the U.S. Travel Association is any indication, it just might be. According to the survey, 41% of American workers do not plan to use all their paid time off (PTO) in 2014, despite it being part of their compensation plan. Yet, the bulk of people surveyed (96%) recognize the importance of using PTO.

So, where’s the rub? Why are we opting out of leisurely paid time off with families and friends?

Doggy Vacation

Why do we have FOPTO?

As mentioned above, I think a lot of it comes down to our fear of missing out. Here are a few examples from the study that back my argument.

  • Too much work, not enough time.
    According to the study, 40% of American workers say the heavy workload awaiting them upon return to the office is a top challenge in taking paid time off. I understand. The pre-and post-vacation frenzy is not something to look forward to. In the past, I have found myself scrambling to get everything done in order to take a few days off. The stress of a big workload should not prevent us from taking the time off we deserve. Don’t just plan for a vacation, plan for your absence at work. Get up to speed on deliverables at activities a few weeks before you head out of town, not the day before. Constantly remind your colleagues and managers that you’re taking time off so you don’t have to worry about the last minute requests.
  • No one else can do it.
    An astonishing 35% of employees will not use their time off because they believe “nobody else can do the work while I’m away.” To me, this either comes down to one of two things: 1. poor planning and communication, or 2. knowledge and information hoarding. The “no one else can do it” excuse is easily avoidable. Managers and other team members should be able to step in and cover during times of need. Proactive planning, supported by good learning and training programs, will help fill the void and lift the burden off the people feeling bad about taking PTO.
  • Fear of being replaced.
    More one-fifth of the respondents said they didn’t want others to see them as “replaceable.” One could argue that the “fear of being replaced” is what started off the vicious cycle of not being able to take vacation. Out of sight, out of mind, isn’t necessarily a good thing. Good leadership and communication can help people overcome the anxiety of being replaceable.

Why you should take PTO:
It’s time to put our fears aside, PTO is vital to our overall well-being. Time away from the office gives you the chance to reflect, relax and recharge. People who take time off have increased focus, productivity, energy and happiness. It allows you to experience new things, gain new perspectives and reconnect with friends and family.

Plus, studies have shown that people who miss one year’s vacation have higher risk of heart disease.

It’s time we reclaim the work-life balance.

What do you think?


February 7, 2014

Why not mentor?

Regardless of which team you rooted for during last weekend’s Super Bowl, hopefully you have heard, and loved, the message that came from Seattle Seahawks quarterback, Russell Wilson.

“Why not us?”

Throughout the year he mentally prepared his team for the big game using a quote – “you have the ability so why not you?” – which he borrowed from his late father and mentor.  This “why not us” battle cry inspired his team. It reminded them of their strengths and abilities. It helped them persevere and win.

Watching Russell Wilson and the Seahawks’ story unfold I thought about the impact role models and mentors have on our lives.  For many of us, it starts with our parents and guardians, who shape and mold us into good, productive adults based on their experiences and life lessons.

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December 19, 2013

Welcome to the SumTotal Blog!

No one wants to be defined as “capital.”  People are not widgets or transactions. Employees are not automatons and their knowledge, expertise and contributions within organizations are not transactional.  So why does the term “human capital” persist? It shouldn’t and we are on a mission to eradicate it.

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December 16, 2013

How The Oracle, Workday And Cloud Partnerships Impacts HR And Learning Professionals

It’s not the size of the data; it’s what you do with it.

No term in the history of business applications has generated more fodder than the term big data. As vendors frantically push in-memory databases, data warehouses, intergalactic analytics and dashboards that make your head spin, most organizations are left wondering how any of it helps an employee, manager or executive make better decisions when and where they need it – while they are doing their jobs. But if you have experienced or similar software, you understand the power of an intelligent, contextual engine. Based on information about you, people like you, and business data around what you are trying to accomplish, the system makes specific recommendations for you to make better choices instead of forcing you to choose from a list of seemingly infinite possibilities.

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