How Saba's Talent Management Strategy Is Changing Our Culture

by Debbie Shotwell | Posted | Culture

How Saba\'s Talent Management Strategy Is Changing Our Culture

Research shows it. A productive, positive employee experience has emerged as the new contract between employer and employee. And just like our customers, we at Saba want to create a great employee experience for our people. We know that when we're united - around our goals, our culture, and the growth and development of our people - that's when we're most successful.

And to be a trusted partner to our customers, it's important they know we use our own solutions to deliver on our talent management strategy.

We call this talent management approach "Drinking our own champagne."

I happen to love this phrase! It means each day we use Saba Cloud and TalentSpace to:

  • Help our people collaborate and connect
  • Align on goals
  • Track and measure development, and
  • Provide continuous coaching and feedback.

It's what our people expect and it's what they deserve.

Here's a deeper look at how we enable our talent management strategy through our solutions:

Focus area 1: Align on goals

To be successful we need every employee to use and develop their talents, skills and experience in a way that helps them grow but that also helps move our business forward in the right direction. Goal alignment is critical here.

To ensure everyone's individual contributions are aligned to the needs of our business, we've made it a priority for our people to use TalentSpace to set and track their goals. This approach has made a real difference in how we monitor our progress at both a corporate and an individual level because the information is centralized within the system.

Almost 90% of the organization are tracking goals in TalentSpace. As a result, we can see progress on organizational goals and drill down into individual employee goals to see how things are progressing and where adjustments may be needed. We can even see who has been keeping their goals updated or not!

Of course, a key requirement for this kind of visibility is for our leaders to connect regularly with their people about goal progress. That's where ongoing performance conversations come in.

Focus area 2: Support ongoing performance conversations between managers and employees.

At Saba, we encourage frequent one-on-one meetings as foundational to creating a culture where people feel supported in their roles. It's why everyone in the organization participates in Performance Management Essentials training (delivered by our fabulous Strategic Services team) to boost their knowledge on the value and impact of ongoing performance conversations and their role in making them successful.

We want conversations surrounding performance to lead to meaningful talks about career aspirations and learning opportunities, and so we use TalentSpace to facilitate these conversations. With built-in conversation starters, automated agendas, instant access to goal progress, feedback, development activities and meeting minutes, TalentSpace provides a centralized view of the most important things managers and employees should be talking about.

These conversations are critical to creating an employee experience that matters to our people. And while we want to give them feedback and coaching to be their best selves, we also need to hear from our employees about what is and isn't working. It's why creating a feedback culture is another key component of our talent strategy.

Focus Area 3: Create a feedback culture

While our people are giving and receiving feedback in one-on-one meetings, we also want them to be comfortable with giving feedback up and across the organization.

We use Saba Pulse 360, our always-on feedback tool, as a critical way to get ongoing insight into how all of us are feeling about our work and our organization. This simple three-question survey is available to employees' right from the Saba dashboard. It helps us stay in tune with what employees feel about their work, our leadership team, and the organization overall.

Over time, these regular measurements of employee feedback and sentiment create a clear and evolving picture of our organizational health and engagement. We then create an action plan to address problem areas, measure the impact of our talent initiatives (e.g. do our people feel aligned across the business?), and course-correct where needed.

We also encourage employees to share feedback and recognition with one another. One way they can do this is through Saba Cloud's social recognition capabilities. These "Impressions" are a fun and engaging way to give kudos to a colleague. And our employees embrace it!

Each month, more than 500 "Impressions" are delivered to employees via Saba Cloud in recognition for their skills, knowledge and "extra mile" effort. This peer-to-peer recognition is extremely impactful.

Managers and employees can also share feedback with others via TalentSpace. This feedback automatically rolls into one-on-one meeting agendas as a discussion topic, but what I really like is that employees also receive a weekly email digest of the feedback they've received. That digest encourages employees to log into TalentSpace and read the feedback they've received in detail - and acts as a reminder to share feedback with others!

Focus Area 4: Build a collaborative, engaging learning environment

Career development is important for every employee to meet his or her long-term goals, but it is also important to the success of our business. Our employees expect (and deserve!) meaningful skill and career development opportunities, so developing our people is core to our talent strategy.

We use Saba Cloud to centralize all of the learning and development our employees engage in. It enables us to embrace the new ways people learn - social, informal, video and mobile, collaborative, etc. while also measuring the impact of these modern learning experiences alongside formal learning programs our organization delivers.

As a global organization, it's also critical that our people can connect and collaborate in real-time and so we use the collaborative and social capabilities within Saba Cloud to facilitate these interactions. We have built a vibrant, social, and collaborative employee community that enables our people to cultivate ideas and solve problems effectively. This has been an integral part of bringing our two companies together as one team.

A fun social learning program we launched in recent months is Saba Reads. In this community, employees worldwide are discussing the book The 5 Second Rule: Transform your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage by Mel Robbins. It's a joy to see our employees posting about the book and sharing their thoughts about bringing courage to work.

This talent strategy is a journey

"Drinking our own champagne" has been a unique and delightful experience at Saba, but it's not been without challenges. Change is hard. But we are committed helping our employees be successful. We don't want our employees to "just" come to a job, but to feel connected to our overall success and strategy.

Our customers trust us to help them take care of their people because we lead by example. What we commit to our people is what we commit to our customers. I look forward to sharing more of our talent management journey in the coming months!

Driving the Future of Performance Management

Discover how you can maximize your employees’ potential and realize brilliant outcomes for your organization.

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Driving the Future of Performance Management

Discover how you can maximize your employees’ potential and realize brilliant outcomes for your organization.

Download Now

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