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Stuart Lauchlan

Head of Editorial At Sift Media

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sentiment has proclaimed that it wants to make HR “a weapon for transformation” by enabling practitioners to interact with workers in a more social way.

The Software-as-a-Service vendor made the statement as it launched the first fruit of its Rypple acquisition in the shape of a performance management application.
The offering dubbed ‘Salesforce Rypple’ focuses on the social nature of performance management by enabling users to give workers daily feedback and recognition via their employee social network rather than have to rely on annual performance reviews.
The product, which was unveiled at the vendor’s CloudForce user conference in San Francisco yesterday, also includes ‘badges’ and other social gaming concepts in a bid to engage employees, the firm says.
And it will lead to a revolution in the way that HR and employees work, claims the vendor’s chief operating officer, George Hu: “The old HR software was designed for HR managers, not for the employees. It assumed an hierarchical common and control structure that doesn’t represent the way that today’s workers want to work.”
The key question, he believes, is that if work is fundamentally a social activity, why can’t HR applications be social too? “Why can’t they be as collaborative as Facebook or as transparent as Twitter? We can take HR and make it a weapon for transformation,” Hu attests.
But why start with performance management?
“Aligning our employees is perhaps the most important element for us as employers. But more importantly, performance management is fundamentally broken. Performance reviews have to be the most hated function in the organisation today,” he says.
The “sad reality” is that most performance management tools have not been deployed to manage performance at all, but rather to manage employees, Hu believes.
“We need to empower our employees more. Salesforce Rypple is not politicial, it’s transparent. Employees can’t wait around to get a performance review once a year, that’s too slow – it needs to be real-time,” he attests.
The offering costs $5 per user, per month and is expected to be integrated with Salesforce’s customer relationship management applications by April at no additional cost for existing paying Rypple customers.
(The supplier appears to have moved away from using the more provocative ‘SuccessForce’ name that was bandied around when it first announced its takeover of the Canadian start-up – a name unlikely to have amused rival SuccessFactors, which is now part of SAP.)
But Salesforce has already integrated Rypple with collaboration tool, Chatter, to enable employees to thank one another using ‘badges’ that appear in their Chatter feed for others to see, comment on or ‘like’. The badges also become part of individual’s social profile. 
The aim of the move is to help break down department silos and provide managers with more visibility into who is contributing which information or comments, the vendor says.
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Stuart Lauchlan

Head of Editorial At Sift Media

Read more from Stuart Lauchlan