Published on March 14, 2014
8 Reasons to STOP managing your people with spreadsheets
Everyone loves a good spreadsheet. However, if you have more than a few hundred teachers, staff, and administrators, tracking performance, professional development, and compensation is the stuff of nightmares. Spreadsheets and paper-based processes can’t give you deep, real-time insight into how your employees are performing or how to make them— and your district—more successful. A talent management system can. Our clients shared their reasons for making the switch from spreadsheet to software. Which one tops your list?
…switching to a talent management system can significantly—and quickly—reduce the costs and time spent associated with managing performance, development, and compensation. Reason #1 We never had enough time. If you’re relying on spreadsheets to track professional development, compensation, performance evaluations, and classroom observations, you’re also spending a lot of time finding and filing information. Manual tracking doubles your administrative workload—which leaves far less time to implement the programs and strategies that can catapult your district to top tier status. A talent management (TM) system slashes the hours it takes to access employee data, which in turn reduces administrative effort and saves money. In the corporate arena, studies show companies using integrated talent technology see 26% higher revenue per employee.1 How does this apply to K-12 administrators, for whom reduced budgets, not increased revenue, are key drivers? By taking a page out of the corporate playbook, districts switching to a talent management system can significantly—and quickly— reduce the costs and time spent managing performance, development, and compensation. 1 Bersin, Talent Management Systems 2013: Market Analysis, Trends and Provider Profiles, p.21.
Reason #2 We needed to reduce data entry mistakes. With all the manual entry involved in spreadsheets and docs, mistakes are bound to happen. Plus, it’s difficult to track reviews and compensation plans that require approval from multiple people, and there’s always a risk of compliance snafus if you can’t prove that training’s been completed. As your district grows—total public elementary and secondary enrollment is expected to increase every year from now until 20202 —the potential for mistakes and compliance errors grows, as well. With a TM system, however, you can eliminate duplicate efforts and put the kibosh on human error. 2 Digest of Education Statistics, Institute of Education Sciences National Center for Education Statistics, US Department of Education, page 10, accessed on January 6, 2014, at http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2012/2012001.pdf
Reason #3 We couldn’t take action on our performance management results. Performance management and professional development plans should work in tandem. Yet creating plans from spreadsheets and annual reviews doesn’t really work, does it? Without a way to integrate evaluations and observations with individualized development, annual performance reviews simply aren’t actionable. A TM system puts purpose and value back into the process. It links performance with recruiting, onboarding, leadership development, learning, and compensation—from week to week, not year to year. According to the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, “More crucial than any other element of school-system management may be human capital operations. Dramatically improving the quality of teaching requires that a system be able to monitor personnel; gauge performance; and competently manage hiring, transfers, benefits, employee concerns, and termination.”3 3 Frederick M. Hess and Jon Fullerton, The Numbers We Need: How the Right Metrics Could Improve K–12 Education, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, No. 2, February 2010, page 4, accessed on January 6, 2014, at http://www.aei.org/files/2010/02/18/02EduHessFeb2010g.pdf.
Reason #4 We couldn’t access data quickly for administrators and school leaders. It takes time—hours and hours—to compile employee information. Yet administrators and school leaders expect you to deliver that information in mere minutes. With a TM system, you can immediately access training records, reviews, and succession opportunities—the whole kitchen sink. You’re always prepared for audits and ready to meet with your school board and grant funders with the info they require. The result? Because you’re up to date on training and development requirements and government regulations, you can worry less about compliance audits. Because you can look across and into your entire organization to determine future leaders, you’re making long-term decisions that ensure the success—and reputation—of your district. “The public and private sectors already rely on quick access to performance and compliance data to make smart day-to-day decisions and drive long-term strategies; school districts can do the same by using a TM system to look more deeply into the operational and instructional leadership factors that directly affect student performance… illuminating why those results look like they do and what might be done about them.”4 4 Ibid, page 2.
Reason #5 We needed scalability to manage increasing enrollments and hiring. If you’re struggling with manual tracking now, imagine the paperwork you’ll have as your district grows. Growth is a given: according to the US Department of Education, total public elementary and secondary enrollment is expected to rise every year from now until 2020.5 Unfortunately, the number of spreadsheets and the growth of enrollment have an ugly one-to- one relationship. Many clients sought us out when they realized their manual processes simply wouldn’t be able to keep up with increases in hiring. The right system will allow you to manage more employees thanks to more visibility into compliance tracking, workforce planning, and recruiting. According to a joint study by IBM and the Human Capital Institute, the education arena was least likely to use “enlightened talent management practices.”6 And yet, studies of school districts that incorporate integrated talent management practices “reveal an association between such an approach and more successful reform efforts, including more ambitious instruction.”7 5 Digest of Education Statistics, page 10. 6 Ellen Behrstock, PhD, Talent Management in the Private and Education Sectors: A Literature Review, January 2010, page 2, accessed on January 6, 2014, at http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED509967.pdf. 7 Ibid, page 4.
Reason #6 We needed to retain our top teachers and administrators for quality performance. Your people are a powerful resource, and recognizing top teaching and administrative talent is key to keeping them. If you’re relying on paper-based tracking, you’ll never know who your top talent is. Half of today’s beginning teachers will voluntarily leave the profession within their first five years.8 40% of the nation’s veteran teachers are now 50 years or older and will likely retire in the next five years.9 With tools designed to identify and incentivize high performers, a TM system helps you hold onto your superstars. Studies have found that organizations with tightly aligned talent processes experienced 40% less turnover of high performers.10 Vanguard districts have the opportunity to do the same by integrating talent management processes to ensure great performers stick around for the long haul. 8 National Education Association, “Research Spotlight on Recruiting & Retaining Highly Qualified Teachers,” accessed September 30, 2013, at http://www.nea.org/tools/17054.htm. 9 National Public Radio, “Record Number of Teachers Set to Retire,” accessed on September 30, 2013, at http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=18583812. 10 Bersin, Talent Management Systems 2013: Market Analysis, Trends and Provider Profiles, p.21.
...organizations with an integrated talent approach have an ‘87% greater ability to hire the best people’ Reason #7 We needed to find the right talent quickly. As a result of the growing skills scarcity, the fight for top talent can be brutal. Add the impending talent shortage thanks to the Baby Boomer exodus, and sourcing talent can feel like a scene out of the Hunger Games. Taking advantage of social recruiting is critical to nabbing the best and brightest new hires. Yet connecting candidate networks with career opportunities while capturing referrals can be difficult—unless you’re using a TM system. Studies show organizations with an integrated talent approach have an 87% greater ability to “hire the best people.”11 A TM system helps you use your networks, social media, and employee referrals to find top talent in less time—and with less paperwork. 11 Bersin, Talent Management Systems 2013: Market Analysis, Trends and Provider Profiles, p.21.
Reason #8 We’re sick of slugging it out with our core HRIS/ERP provider. Love is a battlefield—and so is the talent management arena. Our education clients who relied on HRIS/ERP systems found them good at payroll and recording information but woefully ineffective at talent-specific processes like identifying their next principal or assistant superintendent. There’s a big difference between an HR generalist—most ERP providers—and a true TM specialist. Only a specialist’s tools are designed to help manage talent and performance in a simple, easy way. Clunky ERP solutions disengage and frustrate employees to the point they stop using them altogether. Our clients were relieved when they discovered they could get solutions that were both tailored for talent management and easily integrated into their existing HRIS/ERP.
csod-industry-brief-education-2014 Spreadsheets can’t bridge the gap between people management and your district’s goals. An integrated talent management system helps you find and keep the best teachers and administrators, plan for succession, and spend less time on data gathering—and more time on improving classroom performance. But where do you start? Check out Cornerstone. For more than a decade we’ve helped 1,500 clients source, develop, and retain their talent with tools that are both powerful and easy to use. Start the conversation at csod.com/k12. Cornerstone OnDemand is a leader in cloud-based applications for talent management. Our solutions help organizations recruit, train, manage and connect their employees, empowering their people and increasing workforce productivity. To learn more, visit csod.com/k12.
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