Posts by Stephen Lynn:
Most Important Asset?
It’s a well-known corporate saying that “Employees are our Most Important Asset”. How many of you believe that about your corporate environment? I have previously written about the importance of a vendor’s employees happiness to the success of a company’s relationship with its vendor, but this post, while also about employees, addresses the communication within a company, which ultimately does impact employee happiness, which in turn will affect the job they do on behalf of your organization.
The Effectiveness of Communication
Recently, Davis & Company commissioned the survey of 1,000 employees from large corporations (minimum of 5,000 employees) in the United States to understand the effectiveness of communication on performance management, benefits, and compensation. One of the key findings was that Employees aren’t getting answers to their questions. “When employees have questions, they turn to …
As I was pondered a topic one of my colleagues, Rayanne Thorn, wrote about, Understanding Employee Engagement, it got me thinking deeper about a vendor’s employees, and whether prospects should consider how engaged or happy employees are at a software vendor they are considering as part of their decision-making process. I think they should and let me take you through my reasoning.
When a customer is evaluating vendors, at the top of their list is usually the vendor’s ability to meet their technological needs. If they can’t meet that, all of the other considerations are mute. After that, close behind are: 1) price; 2) the vendor’s ability to deliver on what they commit to; and 3) the vendor’s customer support. At the end of the day, I consider #2 and #3 to be …
Customer Service in Your Selection of Software Vendors
I was reading Naomi Bloom’s blog post, “In Enterprise Software and Luxury Accommodations, Details Matter and No Disappointment Accepted” and it got me thinking. I think Naomi makes a really good comparison, but I will add another element, Customer Service. Things will happen, whether at the luxury accommodations or with your Enterprise Software. The key question becomes what does the establishment/vendor do when there is a problem? That will probably be what you remember more than the actual problem.
Addressing Enterprise Software
It is inevitable that there will be problems during implementation. Any HR Tech vendor who tells you they never have problems is lying to you. Expectation differences, communication gaps, the customer environment is slightly (or vastly) different than the vendor was told/expected …
Being a Stay at Home Mom is really rewarding, but unfortunately, it robbed Dovetail of its Marketing Director. I applaud Emily (our former Marketing head) on her decision to be with her daughter. While it created a short-term gap for us, it is a great opportunity for a marketing whiz to step in and lead Marketing at Dovetail.
As the position description on our website details, Dovetail is a great environment for people who want the opportunity to make an impact without dealing with functional barriers and company politics. Take a close look at what we are looking for, and if you think you can make an impact, contact us!
Yesterday, I posted a blog that suggested that many Companies weren’t asking their Software Vendors the right questions during the selling process. Ironically, I saw two other blog posts yesterday that suggested other criteria companies should consider in their vendor selection process, both with great suggestions.
The first, by Dovetail’s own Chief Strategy Officer, Kane Frisby, Vendor Evaluation – Know Your Vendors! looked at the technical aspects you should cover in your due diligence process. They addressed:
Ease and speed of implementation How to configure, today and into the future The importance of the upgrade process and the effort required How well the application works with other applications
I try to make as many visits to prospects, both to show Dovetail’s commitment, and also to get a sense as to what is going on in the market segments we compete in. During these presentations we talk about who Dovetail is and then go into a detailed demo of our product. Most of the questions the prospects ask relate to our product – what does our product do, how does the implementation work, and how good is the security of our product. All good questions, but they may not tell you everything you should know about the vendors competing for your business.
Here are a number of other questions customers should ask and why they are important:
1) Tell us how you deal with the problems that will develop during implementation, and give me an example?
Perfection. A laudable goal to strive for, but one rarely achieved. As I was reading a blog post by SystematicHR (Wes Wu) last week concerning HR Service Delivery, Global or Regional: HR Service Delivery Should Always Be Perfect , my first thought was, “How could Wes think that HR Service Delivery could ever be perfect?”, but as I read further I realized that Wes was just using the goal of perfection to speak towards continual improvement in your HR Service Delivery with the real goal of providing consistent HR service delivery for all employees.
Wes and I agree on the goal; we even agree that you need to capture important information to increase the chances of providing better service delivery. The problem with Wes’ suggestion is it assumes that …
Just came back from an exhausting, but very productive 4 days at HR Tech in Chicago. As a CEO of a HR software vendor, my goals are different from the HR practitioners who are there. So, from my perspective, the HR Technology Conference is the #1 event for a HR technology vendor. Let me highlight the reasons:
In one location, I am able to meet and update the HR analysts on what our company is doing. While exhausting to schedule briefings back to back, there is no better vehicle to accomplish this as easily as you can do at HR Tech. Dovetail had identified a number of potential partners. I was able to meet with key executives at each firm we had identified to discuss possible relationships, face to face, which is always better than initial discussions on …
Hindsight is always a great thing. I wish I had ______ (fill in the blank). When it comes to Employee Grievances and the potential lawsuits that might follow, there is no doubt that a company that has issued appropriate policies and documented everything stands a better chance of avoiding a lawsuit or mitigating a pay-out.
Now, just because you have good policies and practices doesn’t ensure that you won’t face a lawsuit. However, good practices, especially good documentation will be critical when such a lawsuit is filed. Let me tell you about a recent experience I had. Through a mutual friend, I was introduced to the CEO in the healthcare field, and he agreed to meet with me to talk about Dovetail’s HR help desk product. After hearing what our product could do, he commented, “Unfortunately, we won’t …
HR has had difficulty getting approval to spend money on HR technology. One of the biggest obstacles has been their inability to justify an investment by putting together a proper business case for what they want to purchase. One component in putting together a proper business case is measuring performance by capturing appropriate metrics. So, now the question is, “Are we currently measuring anything?” and if not, “What should we measure?”
Apparently, this is not as simple a question as one might expect. Many organizations are capturing certain metrics, but there is disagreement as to whether these are the correct metrics to measure. Lance Haun recently wrote a blog post, in which he cited a survey conducted by Focus that asked HR folks, “What are the most important Metrics you use to measure HR’s value in the organization?” The top …