Locally designed software that improves performance reviews and helps identify talented workers is gaining international customers as the downturn forces them to focus on business survival. Sonar6 is launching its online human resources model which gives businesses a better view of what makes their organisation tick.
The Foundation for Research, Science and Technology, through its business arm TechNZ, provided investment of $500,000 into a $2.5 million project to help Sonar6 develop scientifically based assessment tools for modelling staff performance.
TechNZ senior business manager Joseph Stuart says the software changes performance management to a continuous improvement rather than a yearly review.
“It means a shift away from staff merely showing up for the job but focusing on the real prize."
Sonar6’s local customers include Fronde, Axon, Intergen and TradeMe.
Its smallest user is a local retailer with seven staff and its biggest is an Indian services company called CMC Limited.
It is also pushing ahead with deals in the United States, United Kingdom and Australia.
Around 60 per cent of Sonar6’s customers are in New Zealand.
Staff and managers work online, using colourful graphics and a series of drag-and-drop sliders on a scale to measure competencies and achievements. The data creates in-depth performance reviews online which give the company a clearer picture of its most valuable staff.
Sonar6 claims the software is easy to use and requires no software installation as the system operates through a web browser.
“The economic downturn is an opportunity for businesses to be more aggressively tuned into managing their star performers and identifying those who are achieving their goals,” says Sonar6 co-founder Mike Carden.
Chief operating officer Pete Weaver says the programme focuses people on achieving their set goals and provides a common language around performance, with a result that overall productivity improves as workers take more interest in their jobs.
Weaver says the TechNZ investment made Sonar6 focus on its own achievements and enables it to leap ahead of competitors, many of who have large research and development budgets.
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