Our Tandem | beqom

Reimagining performance and rewards

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beqom Acquires Our Tandem to Transform Performance and Rewards

30th August 2022 beqom, the total compensation management solution, today announced the acquisition of Our Tandem, a continuous performance management platform that drives people development through personalized feedback, coaching, and goal setting. This industry-first move aligns personalized rewards with meaningful behaviors, goals, and skills, transforming how companies reward and recognize their people, attract and retain top talent, and address pay equity and transparency. 

With over 65% of US workers and 73% of UK workers seeking new employment in the last year and increasing public pressure to address pay disparities caused by inflation, hybrid work, and other factors, companies can no longer hold on to outdated compensation and rewards models. In order to retain and attract employees, brands are shifting to a people-centric compensation approach and prioritizing tools that have a meaningful impact on the employee journey touchpoints while ensuring overall employee costs are transparent and optimized. 

The combination of beqom and Our Tandem provides a continuous performance and reward solution that offers personalized rewards aligned to real-time performance data and feedback, skills, behavior, and goals along the employee touchpoints, giving employees a feeling of purpose and engagement. This one-of-a-kind solution ensures that rewards are individualized, fair, and within budget through a powerful optimization and governance engine. 

Our Tandem was established in 2016 in response to a market gap for which there was no complete solution: total performance management software. Founded by Aisling Teillard and Clare Bonham – all HR experts and HRIT professionals – the platform was designed to be a comprehensive, sustained feedback solution that fosters more personalized, meaningful, and engaging experiences for both employees and managers. 

“Our Tandem has been a leader and a supporter of the shifting needs of individual organizations and the workforce, and we are ready to take our next step and join forces with beqom,” said Aisling Teillard, CEO of Our Tandem. “I have no doubt that the combined power of these two solutions will further transform how organizations manage and reward employees along their journey and build happier higher performing teams.”

“This acquisition represents an exciting step forward, not just because of the combination of the products, but because of the combination of the people. We found in the Our Tandem team a perfect match with the beqom culture,” said Fabio Ronga, CEO of beqom. “beqom’s vision has always been to help customers effectively leverage their talent to drive their business, so combining Our Tandem’s innovative continuous performance solution with our unique total rewards platform offers a true breakthrough in employee management.” 

The companies will continue to operate under their respective brands while placing focus on integrating and growing both the Our Tandem and beqom teams and accelerating the combined product roadmap.

The acquisition was led by beqom and Sumeru Equity Partners, a technology-focused growth capital firm that first backed beqom with a significant strategic investment.Venero Capital Advisors served as the financial advisor to Our Tandem.

About Our Tandem

Our Tandem’s dual purpose performance platform coaches both managers and employees to ignite and sustain workplace cultures that inspire. Designed to empower employees to unlock their potential and performance, while supporting managers to accelerate their coaching capabilities. Delivering an engaging experience, through crowdsourced real time feedback, regular check ins, configurable performance review templates and a unique 360 development experience, Our Tandem delivers a truly transformative performance management experience.

About beqom

beqom provides a cloud-based compensation management solution that unifies all compensation and rewards processes on a single platform, from salary and bonus to deferred incentives and sales commissions. Designed to meet the sophisticated needs of leading enterprises, beqom enables companies to attract and retain talent, engage and motivate employees, control costs, streamline processes, and ensure fair and compliant pay. beqom integrates seamlessly with core HCM software, providing the best-of-breed capabilities needed to implement effective compensation strategies worldwide, without compromise. beqom is used across all industry sectors by leading global companies.

Media Contact

Aisling Teillard |CEO | Our Tandem | aisling@ourtandem.com 

It is more important than ever for organisations to foster a sense of belonging in their employees. The feeling of belonging has become challenged over the past two and a half years as we’ve moved away from in-person interactions and found ourselves relying more on virtual meetings to stay connected with our colleagues.

HR and senior management must be aware of new demands when it comes to creating and sustaining a true sense of community within their organisations. This can be challenging in the era of hybrid working, whereby organisations are not only trying to increase the flexibility of working arrangements, but are also offering more remote working policies, which can decrease opportunities to experience the company culture in person when on the job.

We must embrace the fact that the typical idea of what we used to call a workplace no longer has any limitations. Instead, we can focus more on human needs and wants to stay healthy, productive, creative, social, and inspired. However, to address this, organizations need to combat three major challenges with remote and hybrid working:

  1. Workplace Socialising

Work is not just a job; it can also be the opportunity to have meaningful connections with other people. This can be the main reason why many people miss the office. Those who are eager to return to the office may experience a sense of belonging, or perhaps it is this sense of belonging that encourages them to return to the office in the first place. But what are employers going to do for those who can’t return, due to Covid or other personal reasons? If, aside from personal circumstances and constraints, people decide to remain at home or continue to work in physical distance from others, how can we truly cater to their need for meaning and purpose, and ensure that they feel included in the next chapter of the company’s cultural evolution?

Nurturing a sense of belonging while working from home is challenging. This should encourage discussions about what leaders need to improve upon to enable a relevant sense of community and culture while people are distributed and/or in different circumstances. People are, above all, social beings, and creatures of habit. But no matter how many virtual social gatherings we have added to our schedules, it doesn’t measure up to the real thing. People are longing for the connective tissue and social glue we once took for granted.

  1. Culture Fit

To elevate the importance of diversity, companies need to harness an inclusive culture where people feel valued and respected for their differences. Whether this is at work or in any other area of life people tend to gravitate towards what is simple and easy to understand. Therefore “culture fit” is a popular approach to hiring and promoting talent, it is a lot easier than diversity-inclusion-belonging. When you finally start to talk about the fact that diversity comes with a cost, things like hiring for culture add-on (ensuring that whoever joins adds something new to the team) rather than culture fit really come to life.

  1. Letting Your Culture Evolve Naturally

The temptation to cling to the past is strong. However, external changes (such as a pandemic) force cultures to evolve. And when cultures survive in the face of external changes, the temptation is to add to them. However, each crisis gives way to a new version of the world, and just because a system managed to survive an actual crisis doesn’t mean there is no need to change it. It’s like a heavy smoker, drinker, or overeater who is hospitalized from a heart attack and manages to survive; the answer is not to smoke, drink, or eat more, but to change those habits. And changing habits involves replacing old practices with new ones, rather than relishing the opportunity to go back to the past.

In the wake of Covid-19, we need to figure out how to create a sense of belonging and community within organizations where fear and anxiety are replaced by flexibility, and freedom.

Although nobody knows what the future will bring, we can expect a wide range of approaches to making hybrid and/or remote working work for employees. In future, offices may play more of a collaborative and creative role for in-person encounters, and checking-in with colleagues for social interaction. No matter what approach your organisation chooses, it is vital to ensure your employees understand your rationale, and to evaluate what works, and what doesn’t, and to be ready to adjust accordingly.

Are performance and culture issues something you want to improve upon in your company?  If so,  book a free demo with one of our performance management experts today to see how Our Tandem can benefit your team and transform your performance management.

So where are we now with CPM and how has it fared?

There’s been a mixed reaction to the introduction of new performance management practices and it’s evident that the mixed outcomes reflect the mixed choices in how it was implemented. For many, bringing in continuous performance management meant an entirely new way of doing things, out with the old and in with the new. They threw out the traditional layers of ratings, calibration and even the end year meeting, in favour of continuous dialogue without the daunting imposition of the rating. While this worked for some, many neglected to inject moments of accountability into the practice, leaving it to managers to define their own practices, with loose guidance. Without clear direction, their management teams created their own practices, shadow ratings, shadow calibration practices and indeed sometimes the pure lack of conversation dominated the agenda, leading to a let-down in the whole experience for those involved.

Others tried to tie the old world and the new world together, introducing continuous performance management on top of already complex practices, effectively burdening the manager with both the old world practices with the new layered on top. This mixed bag led to confusion, a lack of clarity on what the new practices brought to the table when the old practices continued to be the dominant player, bringing it with some cynicism and a lack of belief in true change.

And then there are those who got it just right, defining the new practices and supporting managers with the skills to execute on it. Introducing technologies that ensure those practices were sustainable and measurable over time, so that they could effectively understand the true impact on the organisation. Many focused on the growth of the individual to accelerate the performance and so positioned the growth mindset at the heart of the experience.

Our learnings on the not so new practices are that they can be deeply effective when implemented well. Key features of a good implementation include supporting managers with the skills to have good coaching conversations, great technology enabling, sustaining, and measuring the experience and a fresh experience that puts people at the heart of the process. Ultimately, every organisation must define their unique approach and incorporate best practices. Tamra Chandler puts it best in her book ‘Why is performance management killing performance’ when she states:

“Every organization is unique; therefore, every organization deserves a performance management solution that supports that uniqueness. Even discrete employee segments have attributes that can differ greatly …. when you drill down to the individual level, we all know that each and every one of us is our own special snowflake. No two of us are alike, so what works well for one may not work for the other.”

Do you want to join some of the world’s best performing companies in availing of a HR platform that not only improves performance and engagement but also empowers your employees? If so,  book a free demo with one of our performance management experts today to see how Our Tandem can benefit your team and transform your performance management.

What can leadership teams do to address diversity, equity and inclusion in ways that can enhance workplace culture? We compiled a number of straight-forward tips that can help your organisation improve your DEI strategy and address any issues you might be facing.

  1. Review the behaviour of your management team

Are there toxic leaders who don’t make their team feel valued or who exhibit bias in your organisation? These very leaders are why good employees resign, even if they don’t have a new job lined up! Don’t shy away from having a straightforward conversation with any manager showing toxic tendencies and give them an opportunity to change.

Remember, the best thing a leader can do is lead by example. Leaders have a responsibility to establish the tone of the organization and maintain it. They also need to make sure managers follow suit and next-level leaders have the training to do the same.

  1. Watch out for diversity issues

What might be considered “normal” in many workplace cultures may possibly alienate a section of the workforce. For instance, Ruchika Tulshyan, author of Inclusion on Purpose, gave the example of companies that routinely host social events that include alcohol. Such occasions can exclude employees whose religion, culture or health prevent them from drinking.

The best approach is to hold frequent group listening sessions and provide opportunities for private one-to-one conversations. In group meetings, you can identify individuals who dominate as well as those who might be excluded or undermined.

  1. Listen to your employees

Gather the perspectives of a wide range of employees regarding the company’s DEI initiatives. Are they constructive? Do they make a difference? What could be done better?

Once you gain this feedback, it’s important to act on it and highlight to employees the steps you are taking in response. Applaud team members for their input and share the positive changes with their colleagues.

  1. Foster a sense of community

Does your company have a genuine, compelling DEI program? Do your leaders build a team spirit and camaraderie? This is something that has become increasingly difficult to do with the expansion of remote working since the pandemic.

However, there are several ways to foster a sense of community even in the wake of Covid-19. To get started, designate time during the week for employees to get together for an event that is not related to work. This way, they can share information about what’s going on in their lives such as hobbies, social activities etc. Even if certain team members are working remotely, you can have a virtual “happy hour” to make them feel included also.

  1. Allow your team to open up

Promote an open culture whereby everyone feels like they can freely give feedback without fear of adverse reactions. An atmosphere in which individuals can openly and honestly express their views not only helps eliminate bias but also leads to constructive debates that can ultimately boost the business.

  1. Prioritize diversity from beginning to end

Organizations need to be conscious of the need to train for diversity. It’s not going to happen by itself. This training should happen throughout the year; not just as one annual exercise. This is training that should be carried out at all levels within the organisation, from bottom to top.

Integrating DEI practices into every aspect of your business should include hiring, training and performance reviews all the way through to exit interviews. A comprehensive approach and all-in strategies are the only ways to succeed.

Are diversity and inclusion issues currently impacting your business? We’d love to have a chat to help you find out more about how Our Tandem can help. Get in touch here.

In a world of hybrid work, dispersed teams and a new office culture, technology can help us positively impact employee connectivity, performance and business results. Companies have had to adopt new virtual work environments, teams dominating our agenda alongside other collaborative tools. However, these tools don’t help someone develop, grow or manage their teams performance. It’s no wonder many companies have turned to ‘new generation’ CPM systems since they can help HR, managers and employees manage a dynamic way of working.

  • 90% of c-suite leaders say HR tech has helped assist business priorities.
  • 83% of HR leaders stated it enabled them to be more flexible and responsive to changing priorities.

The lack of “normal” everyday interactions means it’s more important than ever to make your approach to leading people more human centric. It’s crucial to make those more than ever needed meaningful connections with your people. That smile you got from your boss at the coffee station validated your value and appreciation, that camaraderie at the inhouse team meeting that made you feel part of something bigger than yourself.

That advice following a meeting on where you shone and where you missed the mark, all lost to a world of teams where there’s no place for feedback, coaching and individualised appreciation. We need to reconstruct these moments but in a new way that takes us into meaningful personal connections that build trust and relationships which will drive high performing teams. There is some well documented research that indicates that high performing teams have a 5:1 ratio, that mean they give each other 5 pieces of feedback for every 1 piece of constructive feedback.

In contrast low performing teams had a 3:1 ratio. Consider whether your environment is driving an environment where manager are compelled to give their individual team members 5 pieces of positive praise, so they build the trust and licence to have that more constructive development conversation. Not easy to drive, not easy to measure, until now.

If you’d like to find out more about how Our Tandem can help your company improve on its performance management practices contact sadhbh@ourtandem.com.

At the heart of every performance conversation, whether it’s real time feedback, check ins, formal reviews or growth and development conversations, is a relationship based on trust. It’s from there that we can bravely address constructive feedback, open up about personal ambitions, agree on a growth plan that defines an individual’s future. Without trust at it’s centre, the conversation, no matter how sophisticated the practice, will fall short of what it sets out to do. However, building trust between manager and employees has always been a great challenge for HR, as how do you build and measure something that can be as unquantifiable as trust.

So if our challenge is to ensure that our managers and employees have trusted relationships, so that our processes, such as real time feedback, check ins and reviews, can have real benefits, where can we begin our efforts.

Our first stop is to acknowledge that we are all blinded by our own perspective, We see the world through a lens that only we, as individuals, look from. This can blind us from a wider perspective on an individual and restrict us from seeing what others see in that person.

To eliminate the blind spots, we must bring wider perspective. Enter crowdsourced feedback, where peers, stakeholders and a wider cohort of individuals can contribute meaningful feedback to an individual. In order for that to happen effectively, we need a means to support people to give feedback in the optimal way.

Alternatively, you find yourself with a praise culture, where people are happy to give feedback but reluctant to share the more growth oriented and constructive feedback that can play a valuable role in accelerating someone’s potential and performance.

Building feedback cultures that embrace growth and constructive feedback with the same ease we embrace praise, takes time and focus but many organisations have taken this path and reaped the benefits of a growth mindset in their cultures.

Are performance management issues currently impacting your business? Why not reach out to us here and we can discuss how Our Tandem can help.

The next stop in the journey is to help employees take greater ownership to build their own perspective, helping them to avoid the same blind spots that create Manager bias. Many performance management frameworks have a self evaluation element to them and it often kickstarts the process for employees to self evaluate their work to date. It sounds great in theory but this can be the very practice that starts the bias in the process, that leads to some of the more worrying trends, such as gender pay gap challenges.

One of the challenges that should be considered is that your female workforce are far more likely to bias their own self evaluation with modest and under rated performance than your male workforce. Consider the studies from the National Bureau of Economic Research where Christine Exley and Judd Kessler tested the hypothesis of whether women undersell themselves when it comes to their own self assessment.

They found that women, despite doing better than men on average, rated themselves lower on the self assessment questions. The differences were striking. “ when asked to agree with subjective statements such as “I did well on the test” on a scale of 0 to 100, men averaged a rating of 61 while women scored a mere 45.

Intriguingly, the authors assert that the gender gap was not a function of confidence. Even when participants were told how many questions they got right and how they fared relative to others, the gap in self-promotion persisted. Thus, despite being provided with “perfect information about their absolute and relative past performance”, women were more likely to belittle their achievement when asked to evaluate their own performance on the very same test. (Gender Equality at workplace: Promoting Self- Promotion in Women, Financial Express).

Many other studies point to women’s modesty in self evaluation and reflection of their own performance and we can’t ignore the impact on the perception of the receiver of same. If managers receive self evaluation that indicates a poorer performance than warranted, we already bias their view and condition to them to consider that employee may warrant a lower rating than deserved.

So how can the future of performance avoid the bias, and ensure that equality exists for all to ensure that their performance process doesn’t bias the outcome.

Traditionally the ‘how’ or the behaviours of an individual has had lesser focus but there has been widespread changes over the recent years, with greater emphasis moving to ‘how’ the role was performed, not just the tangible outcomes of the goals. The future of performance will embrace the ‘how factor’ and will have a language to discuss it, a means of measuring it and a way in which we can help it remove the biases that can often occur.

The first step on this journey is to identify the behaviours that matter most in your organisation. While most organisation have worked out their values and their behavioural competencies, for many organisations they have yet to be embedded into everyday language and understanding of their people. This means there’s no frequency to including it in your performance practices. While many organisations will put a mid-year/end year rating on the ‘how’, it lacks context as it happens so infrequently. As a result, many consider it subjective or biased in nature.

 In order to bring the behaviours to life objectively and fairly, we can ask people to include our behaviours into their feedback, use prompts and suggestions to give them an understanding as to when we see those behaviours in action. It may not feel natural at first but overtime it will embed, as your people practice their behavioural language frequently. Frequent check ins should also embrace the behaviours, looking at how we are living them and where we have gaps.

We can also encourage our people to understand their ‘personal brand’ – how others perceive their behaviours by giving them clear means of collating information about themselves, regarding their behaviours. Acknowledging it’s not a natural thing to ask someone ‘what do you think of my behaviours’, we can provide templates for how you ask someone to comment on a behaviour. Given that peers will not comment poorly on a behaviour of a colleague for fear of damaging the relationship, then reverse the ask. Facilitate colleagues to ask others on their strength behaviour.

The absence of data (on what they don’t acknowledge as a strength) will be as powerful as the data itself. If we are collating data from others on all of the behaviours, offer soft language by which people can reply. With these practices, we can embed the behaviours into everyday life in a way that is comfortable for your people to engage with.

If you’d like to find out more about how Our Tandem’s unique approach can help transform your organisation’s performance management, contact our VP of Sales & Marketing, Sadhbh Carson on sadhbh@ourtandem.com to arrange a chat and a virtual coffee.

When looking at the future of workplace performance it is often built around the factor of 2.

  • It takes 2 to measure – the ‘what’ (goals) and the ‘how’ (behaviours) to bring a stronger combination of factors to objectively measure the true nature of the performance delivered.
  •  It takes 2 to build a trusted relationship so that the conversations can become meaningful. Without trust, they are just another meeting in the diary. In order to build trust, we need to bring objectivity through a wider perspective of views and remove the biases that can sometimes unintentionally occur.
  • It takes 2 to bring performance to life, through a coach and a player lens, where our managers bring the role of coach to the relationship and the players show openness to being coached.
  • It takes 2 to build a rich feedback culture, generously giving and requesting feedback from others.

When we focus on the core relationship of the two key parties, helping our managers become great coaches, and helping our employees drive their own growth and development, we can empower both parties to optimise their experiences. Experiences is the key word here, because we should no longer take the view that performance management is simply a process we run but instead look through the lens of the experience that performance management delivers for our people. Through this lens we can transform our performance management practices to not only manage performance but inspire our people.

Technology can play a vital role in driving the right outcomes for that core relationship. Providing the right coaching at the right time for Managers who find themselves in conversations that require skill to navigate. Putting tools in the hands of our employees to support them to drive their own development, prompting them to request feedback, and understand the patterns of feedback coming to them so that they can articulate their place in the world effectively. Supporting them to have the conversations required to accelerate their development and their career aspirations. It enables us to accurately measure and track the experience for our population, understanding how it may translate differently for different profiles, genders and populations throughout the organisation.

It is more important than ever for employers to create meaningful change, particularly with marginalised groups or those who are underrepresented within the workplace. This ensures that your people feel heard and can contribute to the workplace in a meaningful and positive way. That is why we have listed the top five questions every company should ask when examining their diversity and inclusion strategy.

  1. Have females received the same amount of feedback and check ins as their male peers?

  2. Is there the same level of ambition in development goals across peers from differing diverse groups?

  3. Are you transparent and fair when it comes to pay?

  4. Are you allowing employees to voice their opinion and feel heard without fear of consequence?

  5. Do we have a greater value on certain behaviours in our organisation and are we clear how they translate into everyday performance, with clear measures, so that we avoid the subjectivity gap?

At Our Tandem, we understand the importance of not only delivering a great performance experience, but assessing the employee experience within it. This means measuring leadership effectiveness, coaching capabilities and what drives an employee’s development and growth. Our platform allows you to tap into insights around what really matters to your people. This analysis then provides HR with the information they need to successfully improve the employee experience.

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