The Asia Pacific Network Information Centre (APNIC) is one of five regional Internet registries that support the global operation of the Internet. A not-for-profit organisation, APNIC serves and represents the interests of more than 4,000 members across Asia-Pacific, including Internet Service Providers and National Internet Registries. The organisation is based in South Brisbane, Australia and employs professionals from across Asia-Pacific to meet the needs of this diverse and dynamic community, offering a unique multi-cultural working environment.
This commitment to service excellence is what led APNIC to select the Halogen TalentSpace™ suite to support its business needs. By using Halogen Performance™, Halogen Job Description Builder™ and Halogen Compensation™, APNIC is providing its employees with the tools and support needed to drive high performance and increase accountability and engagement.
Creating an aligned workforce
A few years ago, APNIC recognised it had outgrown its previous online performance management system and began looking for a solution that offered more sophistication in linking performance to goals at all levels.
"We wanted a stable product that was easy-to-use, but that could also provide more transparency and consistency to our processes," says Louise Tromp, Director, Human Resources, APNIC. "I researched possible solutions and asked other HR professionals for their input. Halogen was one of four solution providers we contacted to request a demonstration."
APNIC was impressed with what Halogen had to offer. "My HR team was included in every step of our discussions with Halogen, and as a member of the executive team, I consulted with senior leadership along the way," says Tromp. "After Halogen presented an overview of their solutions to our executive team, and once we saw how flexible and adaptable the solutions were to our needs, we knew Halogen was the right fit."
Having worked with a previous vendor offering talent management solutions, APNIC's HR team knew what needed to improve and had set 29 specific requirements for its new performance management system, such as:
- Linking position descriptions to the appraisal process
- The ability to weigh Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
- Soliciting 360 degree input from within the system
The organisation was also looking to further improve its HR systems, such as rating trends, and the ability to export the position descriptions for use in recruiting and other areas. As an internet-based company, APNIC was looking for a hosted solution as well.
"We prefer to go for cloud services rather than implement software. It's less maintenance and upkeep for our IT team," says Tromp. "We also wanted to use Halogen's Single Sign-On feature. Our developer implemented it quickly and said the API was the easiest he's seen."
Simplifying talent management processes
APNIC's HR team introduced the Halogen solutions via employee-wide training before and after implementation. APNIC rolled out the new Halogen processes for performance management and position descriptions in just six weeks, and then implemented the compensation process four weeks later.
With Halogen Performance, APNIC is now able to ensure its employees get the continuous feedback, direction, and development they need to be engaged and high-performing. Goal management is much more simplified and transparent, and employees can see the value and relevance of the work they do day-to-day.
"We made a few tweaks along the way in response to their feedback, and Halogen is seen as a major improvement over the old system," says Tromp. "Our managers and employees like that they can easily input team and individual goals and link them to corporate goals. And Halogen's multi-rater feature for collecting input from different managers is much easier to use than the standalone survey system we had before. We also love the fact that confidential feedback can be provided by anyone at any time."
In 2013, APNIC achieved the International Standards Organisation (ISO) 9001 certification, which formally recognised the organisation's superior management systems and high standards of customer service. ISO 9001 certification also demonstrates APNIC's commitment to gathering feedback and acting on it to ensure continual improvement.
Reinforcing culture and values through best-practice position descriptions
APNIC is using Halogen Job Description Builder as a strong foundation to automatically generate appraisals, assessments, and job requisitions based on position descriptions. Job requisitions kick off onboarding programs and learning paths for new employees. As a result, every aspect of an employee's performance, from expectations to behaviors, is reinforced at every touch point.
"Halogen Job Description Builder is helping us to reinforce our culture and align our organisation to our values in support of members' needs," says Tromp. "We view position descriptions as foundational to our talent processes, and with Halogen we have the flexibility to link specific sections in the position description to our employee performance appraisal forms to create a consistent language around performance."
Making informed compensation decisions
With Halogen Compensation, APNIC is able to ensure employees get fairly rewarded based on their actual performance ratings.
"Because Halogen offers an integrated system, our managers have the data they need to when making compensation decisions," says Tromp. "Important information such as compa-ratios, past appraisals, development plans and KPIs are all easily and readily available, so calculating merit increases and incentive payouts is easy to do because decisions are based on documented employee achievements."
Halogen Compensation's reporting framework also makes it simple and efficient for APNIC to identify inconsistencies in its budget distribution and address these as needed.
"I really like that we can view our compensation management processes in real-time to easily track progress and ensure compensation adjustments are on budget and on time," says Tromp. "The system is straightforward. The automated workflow and email reminders mean we don't have to chase managers to ensure tasks are completed. Halogen helps keep that part of our business moving."
A significant return on investment
From a business perspective, Tromp says the Halogen TalentSpace suite has provided a significant return on investment, helping to support its organisational objectives and providing cost and time savings.
"Purely from an HR perspective, a huge reduction in administrative overhead enables us to focus on more developmental activities. Halogen's support is fast and efficient, which gives us further confidence that help is there if we need it," says Tromp. "The Halogen solution does more than simply manage performance appraisals and the compensation processes. It's helping us to align and drive goals, and it's providing our managers with the tools they need to provide meaningful feedback and to reward high performance. And this is having a direct impact on employee engagement."
In late 2013, APNIC commissioned an independent staff survey to measure employee engagement and enablement to identify ways to improve employee effectiveness. Overall, the results were positive with employee engagement scores at APNIC exceeding the industry benchmark. The study also highlighted "several areas to improve employee effectiveness," according to the APNIC 2013 Annual Report, and "initiatives are underway to address these areas as APNIC continues to strive towards achieving its goal of meeting global high performance employee targets."
Now 12 months since the Halogen implementation, and after a second staff survey, APNIC has exceeded the benchmark for High Performing organisations globally. Halogen's transparent, flexible and easy to use processes and features have been a key factor in that success, by freeing up administrative time to focus on what matters most to employees.
"APNIC's core values are clear: We are passionate, we are professional, we are innovative, we are responsive and we are one team," says Tromp. "I believe that Halogen shares those same values and is truly helping us to further enhance the effectiveness of our employees."