Posts Tagged ‘human resources’

Have Rockstar Employees? Here’s How to Keep Them Happy.

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Any smart company knows its success is largely predicated on the retention of its top talent. Get into too much of a brain drain, and your company’s outlook can change in a matter of months. Once A-players start leaving, other A-players take notice and are more likely to leave as well.

The easiest way to avoid a mess like this is by keeping your rockstar employees happy. You might think it takes a Porsche to do it, but that’s not the case. In fact, it’s simpler and more commonsense than you might think.

Here’s Daniel Debow, writing for GigaOm:

So how can your company keep its stars engaged? It comes down to creating a culture of communication — one in which employees know where the organization is headed, how they fit into these plans, and what’s expected of them. Here are a few key strategies your agency can employ to make this happen.

You’ve heard all the strategies before: create a culture of education, provide regular feedback, hold weekly 1:1 meetings, manage the grunt work fairly, and publicly acknowledge good work. Nothing new, right? Right. All such old and humdrum stuff that many companies still fall into the trap and wind up losing top talent. Maybe it’s time to brush up on the basics again?


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Oracle Fusion HCM: It’s Early, But It Looks Very Promising

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I watched the most recent webinar on Oracle Fusion HCM last week.  As someone who works in the trenches of HCM/HRIS every day, I must say I was impressed with what I saw and heard.  There are still a number of unanswered questions, but those will likely be explained over the next couple of months and most certainly at this year’s Oracle’s OpenWorld.

The Fusion Human Capital Management (HCM) modules being offered do not represent what you would consider a full suite of HCM products (for instance, there is no Recruitment module), but it’s a beginning — a strong beginning.  The message about co-existence (implement Fusion modules that solve a business problem and use the delivered integration with your existing PeopleSoft system) is a savvy — and logical — first move.   Already this message is making hay with some of the prospective Fusion clients (who are also PeopleSoft customers) I’m talking to.

One thing you hear from up-and-coming and niche vendors is that when the RFP is issued, Oracle can’t check yes to all of the boxes with Fusion because they are still building out functionality.  With the co-existence strategy they are talking about, Oracle Fusion HCM can not only check ‘yes’ on all of the RFP requirements, but they can now go head-to-head with an HCM SaaS offering.  It’s that compelling.  No longer can Fusion be dismissed as vaporware before moving to the next topic on the meeting’s agenda.

What was of most interest for me regarding the SaaS offering is that, unlike some other vendors, Oracle is allowing for “upgrade protected” personalization and extension of the application using the “Composer Tools.”  More on this will be revealed in the months to come, but from what I saw it was pretty impressive.

So while there still remain questions, the testimonials by the Oracle HCM Fusion early adopter clients prove that Fusion HCM applications are here, and are real.

Time to start thinking about what Fusion means to your organization.  Do you have serious plans for Fusion? If so, on what timeline?  We’d love to hear your views in the comments.

(Naturally, if you want to discuss the future of your HCM system as it relates to PeopleSoft and Fusion, I’m happy to chat with you.  Drop me an email and we’ll get going.)


More links:

MIPRO Consulting main website.

MIPRO on Twitter and Facebook.

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CFO: ‘Pay Freezes Are Melting’

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Good industry trend news from

If your employees’ salaries are still frozen or reduced from where they were in the premeltdown days, your company is behind the times.

A noticeable thawing is in progress, according to new research from Towers Watson. Among 381 U.S. organizations that were surveyed, only 9% have frozen salaries for management, professional/technical, and administrative employee groups in 2011. That compares with 17% to
20% in 2010.

For executives, salary budgets are frozen at 13% of survey participants, less than half as many as last year. Even hourly workers are doing better, with 12% of the organizations freezing their pay, compared with 20% in 2010.

Not only are salary freezes melting, but merit raises are making a comeback. On average those polled have budgeted 3% base salary hikes for every employee category, the most in three years.

Interestingly enough, the reversal of pay freezes and introduction of pay hikes isn’t focused on retention; it has its sights set on recruiting.

The motivation for the strategy shifts is not so much employee retention as employee recruiting, says Laury Sejen, global practice leader, rewards, for Towers Watson. In 2008 and 2009, few companies had trouble attracting any type of employee. Now 54% report issues with finding enough people with critical skills, and 37% are encountering the same with finding both high performers and those with high potential. “There’s a sense now that you have to be broadly competitive on base salary levels because the market has started to move again,” says Sejen.

No question the market is changing.  Where is your organization along the recovery curve?  Are you witnessing the same phenomena that’s being reported by Towers Watson?


MIPRO Consulting is a nationally-recognized consulting firm specializing inPeopleSoft Enterprise (particularly Enterprise Asset Management) andBusiness Intelligence. You’re reading MIPRO Unfiltered, its blog. If you’d like to contact MIPRO, email is a great place to start, or you can easily jump over to its main website. If you’d like to see what MIPRO offers via Twitteror Facebook, we’d love to have you.

More business posts.

The Dark Days of Speed Trumping Value

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Lately, all I seem to hear is, “How fast can you upgrade my HCM?  How fast can you deploy my new Talent Management solution?”  It’s all about technical achievement and getting ‘solutions’ in place as quickly as possible.

What is this fascination with speed to implement/upgrade a technical solution without consideration for what value it brings to HR, its customers and ultimately the business?  I know the word value is insanely abused in this business, but it’s the reason you endeavor on an implementation or upgrade in the first place: to improve HR and bring the business a true benefit.

Regardless, this seems to be a common theme recently – organizations being sold on the idea that faster is better, maybe because it’s tangible, check box-able and involves far fewer headaches than looking in depth at business process and function.

The pitch is going like this lately: We can provide you with a rapid upgrade; we can deploy our solutions faster than the competition, on and on. One vendor I know actually measures its success by how fast the product goes into production, as if they are shucking corn instead of trying to affect a positive change within the business. Where is the business value in that? A system that’s in production that the users really don’t know how to use, a system that IT doesn’t fully understand how to support and one that gains no benefit from rethinking, retooling, or reworking their business processes to be either more efficient or enabled to support the overall corporate initiatives.

I don’t get it.  To me, that’s chasing the wrong thing.  And what bothers me is that organizations are buying into this pitch, which not-so-coincidentally mirrors what likely is internal sales pressure from the vendor’s management to get sales rolling again.

I recently spoke with the new HRIS Director at a Silicon Valley firm. When talking about their last HCM upgrade, she said it was quick, it didn’t require much of HR’s time, and it was cost-effective, but what it didn’t do was add any business value whatsoever.

Another HR Director whose company recently deployed a new HCM solution under the faster-is-better philosophy said at the end, they had a system that just “happened” to them. They didn’t change anything other than the software.

So what will it take for Human Resources and their IT partners to stand back and say, let’s take the opportunity to enhance our value to the business by looking at our processes, understanding how we can better enable our users and customers and then how do we continue to measure and monitor our effectiveness and contributions to the company?

Software for the sake of software is academic, nothing more than a technology experiment.  If you don’t know why you’re doing something – or if you’re only doing something to prove that something has been done —  perhaps it’s time hit the brakes and ask, “What am I trying to accomplish here?”

And if you’re like any of the stories I’ve been hearing lately, don’t be surprised by the silence.


MIPRO Consulting is a nationally-recognized consulting firm specializing in PeopleSoft Enterprise (particularly Enterprise Asset Management) and Business Intelligence. You’re reading MIPRO Unfiltered, its blog. If you’d like to contact MIPRO, email is a great place to start, or you can easily jump over to its main website. If you’d like to see what MIPRO offers via Twitter or Facebook, we’d love to have you.

More management posts.

Another Common Customization in PeopleSoft Benefits Administration

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Today, we’ll get a even deeper into the PeopleSoft Benefits Administration guts. (Please see my previous post for the first dive.)

As mentioned before, the delivered functionality of the PeopleSoft setup tables and the Benefits Administration process can’t handle every aspect of the new-hire processing requirements.  Another common issue is that not all employee benefits become effective at the same time; some benefits become effective immediately, while others do not become effective for 3 months.

Here’s the scenario, which is similar (though more complex) to the first one we examined:

  • All non-electable benefits are effective as of hire date
    • Leave plans (Vacation and Sick)
    • Company-paid basic life insurance.
    • Company-paid basic Long Term Disability (LTD)
  • All electable benefits are effective after 3 months following hire date
    • Health plans (medical, dental and vision)
    • Employee-paid supplemental life insurance
    • Employee-paid dependent life insurance
  • Employees have 30 days following effective date to enroll in electable or voluntary plans
  • Accrual rates and insurance coverage levels determined by the terms of the plans
  • Leave accruals are based on hours worked and processed biweekly (every pay-period)


Enrollment in the non-electable plans is tied to HIR Event which might not be finalized for as many as 120 days.  Multiple pay-cycles could be processed prior to HIR being finalized, resulting in leave plan accruals, employer paid insurance costs and possibly imputed income calculation not being triggered and recorded within payroll.

Therefore: leave accruals/balances and employer costs will have to be manually adjusted

Here is an easy solution:

1. Add IMM Event Class to the Event Class table, assign a higher priority than the HIR event.


2. Insert IMM row to the appropriate Event Rules (open only leave plans).


A Common Customization in PeopleSoft Benefits Administration

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Today, we’ll get into some PeopleSoft Benefits Administration nerdery.

Frequently, the delivered functionality of the PeopleSoft setup tables and the Benefits Administration process (don’t you just love COBOL?) can’t handle  every aspect of the new-hire processing requirements.  One common issue is that employees are given 30 days to enroll, while all the benefits become effective immediately.

Here’s the scenario:

  • All benefits effective as of hire date
  • Employees 30 days to enroll
  • Payroll runs bi-weekly
  • Leave accruals are based on hours worked and processed biweekly


Enrollment in leave plans tied to HIR Event which might not be finalized for 30 days or more.  Payroll could run twice prior to HIR being finalized, resulting in leave plan accruals not being triggered.

Therefore: leave accruals/balances will have to be manually adjusted.

Here is an easy solution:

1. Add IMM Event Class to the Event Class table, assign a higher priority than the  HIR event.

2. Insert IMM row to the appropriate Event Rules (open only leave plans).


PeopleSoft 9.1 Recruiting Management: An Overview

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As any HR pro has learned from the past 18 months, sweeping changes in the economy create changes in recruiting concerns.  Chief among these is theOPSE_logo misperception that talent is easier to find now because of a saturated, supply-side market.  That is correct, but it’s also largely irrelevant when it comes to smart recruiting.

Getting talent is not the issue; the raw applicant pool isn’t the clear answer.  Finding the right talent, for the right position, at the right time is still the key.  The challenge to HR is now to get to the right person  instead of sorting through a hundreds of resumes in brute-force fashion.  Having an solid, systematic way of putting the best candidates on top of the pile is even more important than ever; in other words, smart filtering and screening processes matter.

If an organization is looking within its own walls, sourcing right internal candidate is equally important.  Why?  These days, the candidate’s old job may not be available if placed in the wrong new position.  Productivity is not lost just by a new (and wrong) person in a job but also as a result of lost productivity in the old job.

If you’re a PeopleSoft shop, how nice would it be to be able to tie these requirements directly into your PeopleSoft applications and business processes?  Well, that’s what PeopleSoft Recruiting Management is all about.


PeopleSoft HRMS 9.1: An Exploration (Part 1)

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Now that Oracle has announced the general availability of PeopleSoft HRMS 9.1, I wouldOPSE_logo like to take some time over my next three blog posts to discuss some of the mainline enhancements that are relevant to PeopleSoft shops.  This is a widely-anticipated release, and there’s some powerful stuff in the 9.1 version.

Before we get too deep, I would like to outline the organization of the HCM product line so that PeopleSoft customers are aware of the various products that make up the suite of products.  Simply stated, Oracle has grouped the products into three core suites:

  • Foundation Applications – Core HCM, Global Extensions and Workforce Management
  • Service Delivery Applications – Self Service, Help Desk and HR Portal
  • Strategic Applications – Integrated Talent Management

Let us begin by identifying the point products that make up each suite.


Employee Performance Reviews: It’s Time to Make Them Meaningful Again

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(Ed. Note: Lenore S. Litwin is MIPRO’s Human Resources Director.)

It’s almost that time again at many companies, and it’s the time that most HR people dread.  No, it’s not open enrollment, but rather performance reviewperf-review season. What was probably a good idea at one time has morphed into a process that is hated and dreaded by both managers and employees alike.

And really, to be candid, what is the point? Why are we wasting valuable time talking about things that have already happened – sometimes months ago? And since the performance review period is almost always tied to salary reviews, the employee just wants to get to the bottom line.  The review discussion is just a prelude to the “real” point of the process, so the review platitudes and preamble isn’t meaningful as it could be.

Such was the case here at MiPro last year – performance reviews were, in a nutshell, a waste of time. Our President, our Executive Vice President and I agreed on that – as I am sure our employees did.  Our consultants know how they performed on a project when the project ends – why talk about it again months later? Our Client Executives knew how well they were meeting their quotas. I knew we needed to do something – but what did we really want the process to accomplish?  Here’s what:


Vinnie Mirchandani: Top 10 Stupid Salespeople Tricks

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A fantastic post by Vinnie Merchandani that resonates with everyone here in the office.  An excerpt of the Letterman-style top 10 list:

10 ) "We want to be a partner, not a vendor". OK, in that case we want a board seat and some equity….

9 ) " Just wanted to make sure you saw this about competitor XYZ". Usually it is something unflattering from the press or an analyst. I tell my buyer clients to respond: "Attached is what that a competitor sent us about YOUR company". That stops the negative traffic pretty quick. Negative selling usually boomerangs – few buyers find dirt about your competitors that titillating.

8 ) The opposite of 9 – "we have very worthy competitors" – smothering them with respect. Buyers do not expect you to respect your competitors, just differentiate against them. Focus on features, performance where you are better. You spend a lot of money on competitive intelligence. Share it effectively, positively.

It’s too bad, really, because these tricks are the new scourge of sales catchphrases that everyone is using.  I hear it all the time and see it in marketing materials from all sorts of IT vendors.

I don’t know if this is just the new crop of sales positioning zingers or failed attempts at corporate transparency (hint: transparency does not equal honest-sounding sales spin), but really, is this the best IT/HCM/ERP marketing has to offer?  Where’s the respect for the client and his/her needs in all of this?