Roundup: Is Talk of Performance Management Just Talk?

HR Technology News Screens

Our weekly roundup of deals, product announcements and other HR technology news

Despite all the talk about improved performance management systems, just 2 percent of HR leaders world-wide say their existing systems deliver exceptional value, according to Mercer’s 2019 Global Performance Management Study. That’s nearly unchanged from six years ago, “Techniques like forced ranking, technology and continuous feedback have not achieved the desired impact,” said study leader Lori Holsinger. “Employees want a curated, customized experience tailored to their preferences and employers want a less laborious year-end process that is linked to other talent priorities.” The study found driving performance goals was the top reason organizations have performance management programs in place.

Gusto, provider of HR technology for SMBs, partnered with business management platform Accelo. The combined platforms will sync time-off requests from Gusto to Accelo’s real-time scheduling and resource management module, thus saving employers time by streamlining administrative chores.

Germany-based StepStone Group acquired 85 percent of Appcast, a U.S. provider programmatic job advertising technology, for about $78 million. StepStone was attracted to  Appcast’s scalable business model and saw Appcast as a next step toward strengthening its global business, executives said.

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Fidelity National Information Services launched a job board that targets electronic benefits transfer recipients and connects the companies that hire them with up to $9,600 in federal tax credits. Eligible candidates include food stamp or supplemental social security recipients, veterans, people unemployed for more than 27 weeks and those who live in low-income areas. Participating employers are eligible for tax incentives under the federal Work Opportunity Tax Credit. FIS is a financial technology company that does business processing EBTs.

Alight Solutions will acquire benefits technology and services provider Hodges-Mace. Terms weren’t disclosed. Alight providers technology for health, wealth, human capital management and financial solutions. The company said incorporating Hodges-Mace into its business will allow it to meet the needs “of employers of nearly any size and level of complexity, including employers smaller than what Alight has traditionally served.”

High agility and high resilience are key factors in preventing employee burnout, depression and anxiety, according to a study by engagement and performance firm meQuilibrium. The survey of 2,000 full-time employees found that 40 percent of those with high agility and low resilience showed signs of moderate to severe anxiety and depression, while those with high agility and high resilience showed the opposite: very low anxiety and depression rates. Workers with high resilience and high agility were 78 percent more likely to seek out new skills and keep up with innovation and upskilling, compared to only 1 percent of low resilience/low agility employees.

Intelligent technologies such as AI and automation will shape how consumers and workers accomplish daily tasks, according to Forrester’s newly released guide to the future of work. The report said job losses will total 29 percent by 2020, while job creation will total just 13 percent. Driving those numbers will be a drop in demand for single-domain and function-specific knowledge workers, physical workers, location-based workers, coordinators and cubicle jobs, while the need for human-touch employees, cross-domain knowledge workers, teachers/explainers and digital experts grows.  

Learning platform provider RealWear closed a Series B round of $80 million in equity and debt. The company said it will use the funds to continue market expansion and accelerate platform development. Led by Teradyne, the round also includes investments from Bose Ventures, Qualcomm Ventures, Kopin Corporation and investors from JPMorgan’s private bank.

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