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SuccessFactors Survey Highlights Challenges of Managing Talent in Times of Uncertainty

London – 30 September 2008 – The economic slow down is resulting in the lowest performing staff staying put in their jobs, keeping company payrolls fat with low performers, according to a new study conducted by global research team at SuccessFactors, Inc. (NASDAQ: SFSF), the global leader in on-demand performance and talent management solutions. Sixty seven per cent of the respondents indicated that under performers are less likely to leave in times of uncertainty. Not only are organisations carrying the “dead weight” of these low performers, but they must also depend on them to carry the company through the time of uncertainty. To overcome these hurdles, companies must manage smartly, and consider strategies to retain top talent.

The SuccessFactors study, entitled ‘Talent in Uncertainty’, which surveyed 164 HR Directors and Senior Managers across the UK and Ireland, highlights the challenges of managing talent in times of uncertainty. The threat of economic recession means organisations also face another danger – paralysis. Mixed signals translate into workers not being able to act with confidence, and a higher dependence on managers for decision-making. The survey found that 65% of respondents claim that mixed or conflicting signals from management are the primary cause for confusion around expectations and execution.

SuccessFactors also asked respondents how rapidly they could commit people resources to new courses of action. The answer reveals a potentially crippling lag between decision and action. More than half (54%) stated that it would take 1-3 months to re-align their talent to respond to changes in their environment. In a fast moving, global economy, one month could mean the difference between sinking or swimming.

“Without the right tools in place to empower the effectiveness of individuals, organisations will have to deal with the fallout from the stresses created by uncertainty and lack of internal visibility in the workplace, such as unmotivated and unsatisfied staff,” said Andy Leaver, Vice President of EMEA Sales for SuccessFactors. “In short, companies cannot afford the frustration and confusion caused by mixed signals from management or the lack of agility to effectively commit people resources to new courses of action. What’s needed is smart performance management to provide insight into high and low performers, strong goal alignment to end confusion, and the ability to know the specific competencies of your people so you can respond faster to restructuring demands.”

“Organisations that lack visibility into the real performance of their people can get stuck with a costly situation of low performers hanging on to their jobs,” said Erik Berggren, senior director of research at SuccessFactors. “There is generally a strong relationship between individuals’ commitment levels and their willingness to stay with an organization but that relationship can show false in tougher times, with improved retention rates – but quite possibly, the wrong retention.”

A more detailed overview of the research findings is available at

About SuccessFactors, Inc.

SuccessFactors is one of the fastest growing public software companies and the leading provider of on-demand employee performance and talent management solutions. The company enables organizations of every size, and across every industry and geography, to achieve high-performing workforces through goal alignment and execution, talent development and planning, and pay-for-performance initiatives. From 92 customers and approximately 282,000 end users in 2003 to more than 2,140 customers and 4 million end users today, SuccessFactors' solutions are widely deployed across 60 industries in over 185 countries in 22 languages. Founded in 2001 with offices around the world, the company employs more than 700 people, all passionately focused on revolutionizing the future of work. For more information, visit:

For further information, please contact:

Kim Squire
Devonshire Marketing
Tel: 0870 7000 166

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Devonshire Marketing in the following categories: Education & Human Resources, Computing & Telecoms, for more information visit