“I guess it’s not working for me here anymore. I am going to find something else,” is a distinct resonance of an exasperated employee. And when he finds a better job than the one he has, the first thing he’d do is slide out the door without causing any fuss, which displays an invisible, impervious wall – between what employees would like to assert and what the leadership team can stand to hear.
‘To retain or not to retain?’ is straight outta discussion. If an organization wants to escalate the productivity and subsequently the revenue, then it needs to reduce the recruitment cost and utilize it on the retention policy and talent management system. Advocating the same and helping organizations retain their employees, Fuel50 entered the market in 2011. Within its six year of existence, the firm has already established itself as leading and award-winning career pathing software that delivers engagement and retention impact to employees in companies like Citigroup, eBay, Texas Health, and Ingersoll Rand.
For more than past two decades, the primary method of talent management technology has been ‘process automation tools’. Anne Fulton, – a serial entrepreneur, organizational psychologist and recognized talent management expert – knew there had to be a better way. Recognizing that increasing need for the better way, she along with Jo Mills, – a domain expert in career engagement and Development – started Fuel50.
We got an opportunity to speak with Anne about the journey she has been through so far. In an interview with Insights Success, Anne gave some thought-provoking insights about the company and the industry. Here is a piece of interview of Louis with Insights Success:
Kindly brief us about Fuel50. Also, tell us what’s special about your organization.
Disrupting HR Technology with an employee-centric approach to talent enablement, Fuel50 are up-ending traditional approaches to performance and talent management by enabling employees to drive their own growth and performance with their career pathing software. Founded by Anne Fulton and Jo Mills four years ago, Fuel50 career path software is multi-award-winning cloud-based interactive talent enablement software that is now used by 75 clients in 33 countries and 28 languages, serving hundreds of thousands of people across the globe to deliver greater career growth to employees and improved retention and engagement to the businesses that deploy Fuel50’s career pathing enablement technology.
Fuel50 delivers a true “talent marketplace” which enables employee to navigate their future, find experiences, stretch assignments and mentors to fuel their career growth, while also enabling leaders to find talent for their future pipeline, gigs, projects, assignments or roles. It provides a platform through which our client organizations can deliver an agile, lateral career path and growth proposition to their employees, and motivational insights to the career aspirations of employees to their direct managers leading to improved retention and engagement at work, along with dramatically improved “career conversations” and leader career coaching. For example, a Fuel50 pilot with 500 engineers at Ingersoll Rand delivered an 11% improvement in Manager Conversations compared to 2% improvement in the rest of the business, showing that even engineers can deliver improved coaching conversations (as measured by Aon Hewitt Engagement Survey 2015).
Career pathing answers the critical question for employees where can I go in this organization? What does my future look like here?
The career path software suite includes a set of proprietary FuelFactor™ exercises — Values, Talents, Engagers, Agility and Pathway preferences and matches each individuals unique factors using machine learning to organizational roles and opportunities.
In short, Fuel50 enables our clients’ employees to “own” their careers and get a line of sight to career opportunities within their organization. It also provides insights for managers to engage and motivate each and every employee, and enables HR to deliver a strategic, impactful career engagement initiative with ease and confidence. Every client that deploys Fuel50 gets an immediate impact on engagement.
Achieving industry and global acclaim with winning Awesome New HR Technology Award in 2014 and 2015 Excellence in HCM Technology for Career Planning, Fuel50’s values-led approach has been endorsed by the founder of LinkedIn, Reid Hoffman in his book The Alliance, where Reid takes his executive leadership team through Anne Fulton’s values led approach to career growth discussions.
What really inspired you to establish Fuel50?
I and Jo co-founded Fuel50 from our shared vision to create a better career experience for employees and to deliver a better talent experience for organizations, particularly now we are in the midst of career disruption and the war for talent remains rife. My life-long passion for designing a predictive career experience combined with Jo Mills, an experienced Organization Development practitioner with a passion for career coaching came together to create Fuel50 as the leaders in the global career pathing marketplace and as a challenge to old-school Talent Management Technologies.
What are the different products and services provided by your company, setting you apart from your competitors?
Fuel50 are the only HR Tech solution that starts with the employee experience at the forefront. We create a talent-mindset that starts with your talent and then helps leaders and HR practitioners to get insight into the talent and engagers of their people and a lens to the talent capability across the entire organization. Being employee first, we lead with gamified card sorting exercises that help people identify their key values, engagers and talents and then build a talent matrix that can be used by the organization to align talent with changing business demand. Performance conversations are transformed and leaders can become true talent-agents for their people, helping grow the workforce capability, starting one person at a time, but aligning and leveraging talent across the workforce. This is truly performance management re-imagined.
“Currently, there is little competition and certainly no other career pathing technology is as effective, elegant, or embraced as Fuel50.” Starr Conspiracy Intelligence Unit, 2016
What are the key attributes that helped your company overcome the challenges, which the company faced during its establishment?
Fuel50 have built a team ethos where our Fuel lies regularly “do the impossible” like delivering a predictive career pathing solution in 10 languages in 6 months, or slaying giants like Walmart, eBay or Citibank on a micro sales team, all the while relying on our clients to tell their success stories. We have always believed in delivering a Tiffany’s like experience for our customers, where there is layer upon layer of delight in working with us, so that they “love us more after implementing than they did when they signed up” according to Jo Mills, President of Client Success with Fuel50. User adoption statistics averaging 84% uptake show there is a high demand for career pathing intelligence for employees, who hunger to know what is ahead for them, and far outstrip other HR Technologies uptake statistics.
From your point of view, what is the current HR industry scenario?
The HRTech landscape needs disrupting in that it is not delivering the performance improvement gains that we would have expected by now with the traditional top-down, compliance driven approach to talent management. The employee experience and career pathing enablement has been completely neglected across the industry landscape, and it is this gap that led Anne & Jo to build the Fuel50 pathing solution that delivers an employee enablement experience so they can grow their own performance and futures, while delivering engagement improvements that lead to improved customer service, and even higher revenue per employee as shown by our best-in-class research across 100 participating organizations across the globe.
With the continual advancements in technology, what are the opportunities and challenges Fuel50 has faced?
Being a new player in the field Fuel50 has been able to utilize UI/UX design principles from the get-go meaning that we get great user feedback describing Fuel50 as “genius!” “eye-candy” and similar. We have also been mobile and phone friendly since day one, as we have found most people want to think about their careers somewhere between work and home, which often means on their phone on the bus, train or ferry to work.
What benefits your clients gain while doing business with you?
Clients have access to career framework experts as they implement Fuel50 so that we can deliver an agile, updated career framework to the business in as little as 90 days. We make our clients look like heroes to their employees with feedback like “best thing HR ever did for me” and receiving President’s Awards for their contributions to the employee experience.
Tell us little bit about the activities that are taken place at Fuel50 to maintain a flexible work environment.
We have a culture of work-hard, play-hard at Fuel50 so employees will be encouraged to follow their passions and dreams both at work and outside of work. We believe in “drinking our own champagne” so employees have regular career strategy sessions with their manager to create opportunities for contribution and growth that are aligned to their interests, values and talents. We believe in allowing people to “play to their talents at work”, so use our own software with the Performance vs Passion Talent Matrix ™ to allow employees to communicate what skills and talents they are using when they are having most fun at work and then create more opportunities to align those talents to work opportunities.
The entrepreneurial wave is taking place all over world. Every entrepreneur is coming up with new ideas making the competition cut-throat. What would be your advice to those aspiring start-ups in the HR industry?
Our advice to other budding HR Tech entrepreneurs would be to listen hard to HR decision-makers, and even more so to their employees to understand their real pain points and to help them find a solution to those problems. Fuel50 is the result of a lot of conversations with executive level HR practitioners and industry analysts as they try to solve talent problems within their business and deliver improved business outcomes.
Considering the mindset of millennials, what footsteps the company has prepared to take place in the near future?
Fuel50’s TalentMarketplace, currently in beta, will be released before the end of the year allowing employees to search for a gig, and find stretch assignments or mentors to grow their careers while allowing leaders to search for people to fill key openings or projects. Having just secured our Series A funding with Rincon/ Bonfire here in Los Angeles we will be scaling our Client Success and solutions teams fast to meet the growing customer demand.
About the Leading Entrepreneurs of Fuel50
Founder and CEO of Fuel50, Anne is a serial entrepreneur, organizational psychologist and recognized talent management expert. She has been involved with Career Assessment and coaching through her entire career, is an expert at assessment design and development and was delivering customized predictive assessments with her business Talent Technologies in NZ, where she also distributed SilkRoad Talent Management Technologies. Anne believes her key talent is in attracting great people to the business and creating a culture that allows people to fully leverage that talent to maximum business impact. Anne’s executive portfolio includes Sales, Marketing, and Finance.
On other hand, Founder and President Product & Client Strategy, Jo is a domain expert in career engagement and development and has designed strategic career engagement programs across a wide variety of corporate and government agencies, generating engagement uplift and organizational value across 3 levels – individual empowerment, manager enablement, and business success. Jo has ownership for ensuring Fuel50 product development and client initiatives are in line to deliver to these objectives, building a scalable global product that highlights individual potential and supports organizational success.
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