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Jennifer Renfroe

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Improving the Employee Experience

Posted by Jennifer Renfroe on Wed, Mar 25, 2020 @ 11:13 AM

Employee Experience

We’ve heard a lot about the customer experience (CX) and its impact upon professional services firms. However, another experience that is just as significant to firm success is the employee experience (EX). The employee experience involves not only firm culture, but also the means used by firms to encourage employee success. Let’s take a look at what can be used to ensure an exceptional employee experience.

Exceptional Onboarding

It is important to set the stage for a positive new hire experience. Therefore, the onboarding process needs to be effective and efficient in getting employees to the point of being productive as soon as possible. In order to avoid overwhelming orientation paperwork, there should be an online onboarding portal which can capture all relevant new hire information. For example, solutions like Deltek Talent Management offer such a portal. Additionally, there should be a person assigned to each new hire to provide guidance and resources needed for a smooth transition into the workplace.

Performance Management and Career Development

Employees need not only independence to do their jobs, but also room for growth. Another key feature offered by a solution like Deltek Talent Management is continuous performance management. Employee goals should be managed constantly giving them a chance to meet goals in realistic time frames. Both employees and managers can then see when those goals are met and what the next steps to take would be. For the future, employees need to see what upskills or reskills are needed for a transition into a higher or different level position within the firm.

Frequent Internal Communication

Internal communication within a firm not only disseminates significant information, but also helps develop a culture. Employees should feel a sense of community with their firm and be connected to the corporate brand. Providing frequent updates keeps employees in the loop which encourages engagement and productivity. This is particularly true for remote workers. Frequent internal communication will additionally earn employee trust which ensures longevity.

Follow Through on Employee Feedback

Employee feedback can be gleaned in a variety of ways. It could come from a routine feedback survey or even discussions during goal review. No matter where or how employee feedback is obtained, it must be reviewed and acted upon to ensure an exceptional employee experience. Generally, feedback is given because employees want to see changes that will positively impact the firm. Following through on employee feedback thus benefits everyone.

Share Positive Client Feedback

One sure fire way to keep employees motivated is to show how they have positively contributed to their firm. After hours of dedicated work, employees want to see how their projects came to fruition or how the product they sold solved their client’s problems. When employees hear compliments, it boosts confidence and proves that hard work does pay off in the end. Positive client feedback should be shared not only with the employee but across the organization as well.

Employee Experience Affects Employee Engagement

It is a fact that employee engagement directly impacts firm revenue. With an exceptional employee experience, many more employees will stay engaged meaning more success for your firm. Furthermore, those same employees will continue to grow with your firm eventually moving into higher level positions. This will avoid the cost of future top talent recruitment and save your firm money. Start working on improving your employee experience today and let Full Sail Partners know how we can help.

Talent Management

Topics: Professional Services, Employees, Communication

Effective Training is Key to Success for Professional Services Firms

Posted by Jennifer Renfroe on Wed, Mar 11, 2020 @ 11:35 AM

Employee Training

It is well known that clients hire professional services firms because they have a certain expertise and knowledge base. Therefore, it is crucial that employees of professional services firms are able to jump in and immediately handle the requirements of each project brought to the firm. One of the best ways to ensure that firm employees are ready for each new challenge is to have effective training programs. Trainings can range from bringing new hires quickly up to speed on firm expectations to teaching more seasoned employees a new set of skills to fit changing roles. The important piece is to ensure the trainability of these employees. How can firms accomplish this?

Have Strategic Training Process

Each training program should have specific objectives with measurable goals. The audience of the training impacts the approach used as well. Onboarding new hires is of course going to be different than teaching new skills to experienced staff. It is necessary to evaluate which training tools or platforms will be most effective with the varying learners. Also, what means will you use to measure learner knowledge? It is necessary for the firm to get a return on investment from these trainings as they are costly.

Effective Training Content

In order to meet the goals of each training, a structure must be determined. Start by focusing on what is to be accomplished in the training. For new hires, they must be able to digest the overall company policies and requirements plus their individual position responsibilities. Experienced employees are looking to learn new skills in a manner that makes sense and can be easily applied to meet their new expectations. At the end of the training, will these employees have what they need to efficiently do their jobs?

Optimize Engagement

Trainability of employees increases when they are engaged. First of all, choosing the most attractive content encourages engagement such as mixing it up with a variety of media options. Chunking material is a good way to ensure information processing without overwhelming the audience. Finally, offering incentives to learn such as prizes or fun swag during the training will promote engagement. Appealing to the audience improves their trainability.

Ask for Feedback  

When the training sessions are over, it is important to gauge effectiveness. One way could be through reporting features of the training platform used. Another option is to use feedback surveys. Through these methods, employees can show that they got value out of the trainings. Hopefully, they did, but if not, improvements can be made for the future to encourage the best learning environment possible.

Track Employee Training

Being able to quickly see what training a certain employee has received can also improve trainability. For many firms, this is done using a system that doesn’t allow for the employee or their boss to see what trainings have been accomplished. Instead, employers should invest into a HR solution that can track completed training programs and also provide a list of future programs an employee is expected to complete. As a result, employees will more likely be enthusiastic about their future growth at the firm.

Trainability Ensures Productivity

Firms want a strong workforce that can meet client needs, so trainability is essential. When determining the best training programs, think about how to meet the goals of the firm while engaging the audience. The return on investment from high employee productivity is worth the effort put into the pre-planning of training programs. Deltek Talent Management

Topics: Professional Services, HR

The Bright Future of Deltek Vantagepoint

Posted by Jennifer Renfroe on Wed, Feb 19, 2020 @ 11:30 AM

Deltek Vantagepoint

As the life blood of project-based firms, projects must be run efficiently and effectively from start to finish. Fortunately, Deltek Vantagepoint provides the functionality to give project managers more tools to run their projects. Furthermore, Vantagepoint seamlessly integrates your firm’s business processes using an impressive feature suite bringing business development, accounting, resource planning and project management together. By empowering the different roles within firms, projects are better managed and thus more successful. Let’s check out the power of Deltek Vantagepoint.

User Convenience

Deltek Vantagepoint is user-friendly with easy to understand workflows. The browser based Vantagepoint interface offers the ultimate convenience for its users. Additionally, in 2020, there will be an add-on for Outlook. Users will be able to manage Vantagepoint activities within their Outlook calendar. Synchronizing of contact records and smart scheduling will be available to make managing projects even more convenient.

Vantagepoint Project Hub

Project managers can get access to all they need to manage their projects through the project hub in Deltek Vantagepoint. In 2020, the project hub will be expanded to include more functionality. A new interactive Gantt charting tool gives project managers the chance to view their schedules plus change them via a drag and drop option. Also, a scenario planning feature and revenue forecasting tool will be added to the project hub offerings.

Data for Informed Decision Making

In Deltek Vantagepoint, there is a dashboarding framework that ensures project-based firms have proper metrics and information for informed decision making. There will be further expansion of the dashboard to include more visual dashparts in 2020. Currently, the Vantagepoint Intelligence (VI) module is available, but later in the year there will be VI Analysis Cubes which offer pre-calculated data for analysis by anyone in the firm.

Deltek Vantagepoint is Becoming More Powerful in 2020

There will be even more improvements to Deltek Vantagepoint’s functionality throughout 2020 further powering your firm projects. The 3.0 release in late January has already provided some dashboard improvements as well as the Gantt scheduling feature. With the second release, 3.5, the new revenue forecasting tool will be available, as well as the Outlook add-on and Intelligent Character Recognition (ICR) to enhance the mobile time and expense app. Finally, the 4.0 release planned for Q4 will focus on resource planning features like scenario planning and more revenue forecasting. Are you new to Deltek and Vantagepoint? Time to learn more!

New call-to-action

Topics: Technology Solutions, Professional Services, Deltek Vantagepoint

2019 Deltek Professional Services Marketing Excellence Award Presented to Full Sail Partners

Posted by Jennifer Renfroe on Mon, Feb 17, 2020 @ 11:30 AM

2019 Deltek Professional Services Marketing Excellence Award

Full Sail Partners is very excited to have been honored with the Deltek Professional Services Marketing Excellence Award for 2019. As a Deltek Partner, Full Sail Partners continues to provide sales, implementation, consulting, support and customization services for project-oriented professional services organizations. Our mission is to help businesses integrate their processes into one singular system, better understand and retain current customers, and increase market share. We leverage multiple inbound and outbound marketing strategies to drive awareness and strive to provide valuable content for Deltek Vision and Vantagepoint users.

“We are proud to be recognized by Deltek with the 2019 Professional Services Marketing Excellence Award,” said Sarah Gonnella, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Full Sail Partners. “Our marketing team continues to work closely with our internal Deltek experts to establish ourselves as a thought leader in the Professional Services industry and are dedicated to providing strategic solutions to extend Deltek’s already robust ERP products so clients can maximize their investments.”

Deltek is a leading provider of enterprise software solutions designed for project-based businesses, including professional services firms, to improve business performance, streamline operations and win new business. With automation of marketing, financial management, planning, tracking and administration of resources and projects, Deltek Vantagepoint and Deltek Vision uniquely integrate end-to-end business processes. Additionally, using the Blackbox Connector offering by Full Sail Partners, Vantagepoint and Vision users can connect their systems to other third-party software solutions further streamlining their business operations.

“Having strategic partners like Full Sail Partners provides us an opportunity to reach larger audiences and educate them on the benefits of our Deltek solutions,” stated Matt Strazza, Senior Vice President of Deltek Global Sales. “We value our relationship with Full Sail Partners and look forward to continuing to grow the Deltek community together!”

For more information, please email Full Sail Partners’ Marketing Communications Department. Interested in meeting the rest of the crew? Check out the link below!

Topics: Press Release

Get Ahead of the Hiring Competition

Posted by Jennifer Renfroe on Wed, Jan 29, 2020 @ 11:15 AM

Resumes

Recruiting top talent especially for project-based firms is a crucial and effectively a non-stop process. Since projects come and go, there is always the need for qualified team members to be able to jump in and handle them. So how do firms stay on top of the hiring game and get ahead of the competition? The answer lies in automating HR processes with a talent management system. Let’s check out some ways automation would benefit your firm.

Work More Efficiently

Automation with a talent management system helps both candidates and recruiters work more efficiently. Everyone has limited time, so having a fast means of scheduling interviews, matching job skills and quickly getting desired candidates on board is a necessity. Particularly when a project opens up, and a team needs to be assembled, time is of the essence. An automated talent management system handles the core HR processes for you, so everything runs much more smoothly. Additionally, good candidates that may not be available to work at that moment can be kept in a standby position which is monitored through automation.

Better Candidate Experience

Your firm’s chances of staying ahead of the hiring competition increases exponentially when job candidates are excited to work for your firm. With an improved candidate experience in the hiring process, top talent will feel confident that working for your firm is a good choice. Automated recruiting allows for communications to flow via email and follow up to occur in a timely manner. Hired candidates will also be on-boarded quickly and placed where their tracked skill sets are required. With an automated talent management system, candidates are left with a positive recruiting experience that will be shared with others that perhaps may become future employees.

Hiring More Diversely

Another plus is that recruiting automation ensures that the best talent is hired based on the needed skill sets for your firm. Human recruiting has a lot of bias and sometimes the same type of worker is hired. However, there are so many great candidates that can offer the team a wider outlook on handling projects. Whereas, automated hiring takes the bias out of the equation and only looks at the required certifications and job skills for working on projects. Studies have shown that diversity leads to a more productive workforce.

Automation is Attractive

From the perspective of both recruiters and candidates, an automated talent management system saves time and in the end money. Recruiters can connect with top talent more efficiently and talent has the opportunity to see what is offered quickly. Since projects need to be started as soon as possible and managed well, finding top talent is essential for success. Fortunately, automation is an attractive option for all parties to the hiring process and helps keep firms ahead of the hiring competition.

Talent Management

Topics: Professional Services, HR, Employees

2020 Trends in the Professional Services Industry

Posted by Jennifer Renfroe on Wed, Jan 15, 2020 @ 11:30 AM

Looking for Trends

Firms in the professional services industry must adapt to compete in today’s world. Through acquisitions and other partnerships, many professional services firms have been entering into new markets. These firms now have the need to offer a wider range of services to a larger client base. Additionally, many firms have increased their global presence which affects the way client needs have been handled in the past. Let’s check out the top trends for professional services firms as they deal with evolving client expectations and staying competitive.

On-demand Workforce

As new demands arise with the increasing service offerings by professional services firms to more clients, an on-demand workforce is necessary. This workforce can include contractors, part time staff and temporary workers in addition to full timers to meet staffing needs. Firm leaders will need to learn how to manage this future workforce and cultivate a culture that will be attractive to top talent with the key skill sets to render firm services.

More Flexible Service Rendering

Competition for the professional services industry has increased with rapid globalization. Clients expect professional services firms to support them and deliver high quality services from anywhere in the world. With location not being the priority, client demands can be met with operational and staffing flexibility. It is very important to stay abreast of who would be competent and available for doing the needed work.

Perception as Advisors

Professional services firms are changing the way they price services. There has been a shift from the traditional per-hour revenue model to a more value-oriented model. With value-based pricing, professional services firms are setting their prices primarily on perceived or estimated value of the service to the customer rather than historical prices. This value-based pricing encourages the relationship of a professional services firm being an advisor rather than just a service provider.

Leveraging Automation

With technology changing at such a fast pace, professional services firms are increasing their offerings with the use of automation. Using automation allows firms to simplify complicated and/or difficult processes saving a lot of time while delivering quality services. Automation also makes it easier to find the source of problems and provides the ability to remedy them quickly. Additionally, automation can help reduce errors and eliminate repetitive tasks.

Staying Competitive in Today’s World

Professional services firms must stay competitive in the global world of today. In order to do so, they must keep a pulse on their evolving client needs. Even more, they must be ready to provide a flexible workforce rendering quality services as fast as possible to wherever needed. The use of automation is a necessity for success. Furthermore, professional services firms must focus on satisfying their client expectations to ensure their services continue to be utilized.

Thinking Out Cloud

Topics: Tips, Building Business, Professional Services

Summary of Human Capital Management in 40th Annual Deltek AE Clarity Report

Posted by Jennifer Renfroe on Wed, Dec 04, 2019 @ 11:45 AM

40th Annual AE Clarity Report

Summary of Human Capital Management in 40th Annual Deltek AE Clarity Report

The results of the 40th Annual Deltek AE Clarity Report regarding Human Capital Management (HCM) indicate similar trends from the past few years. There continues to be a tight labor market, and firms still struggle with finding qualified candidates. With the talent that they do hire, firms are working to engage their employees especially by offering better career development which ensures retention. Let’s take a look at some of the key findings regarding HCM.

Talent Acquisition Challenges

The top three challenges firms are dealing with regarding talent acquisition are the availability of good candidates in the marketplace, the ability to offer competitive compensation and matching qualified candidates to open positions. Continuously nurturing qualified talent is must in this competitive talent pool. Firms must also take a hard look at their compensation plan to ensure they can recruit the desired staff to fill open positions. Utilizing a talent management software such as Deltek Talent Management will help with these talent acquisition needs.

Issues Regarding Managing Talent

Succession planning, employee engagement and performance management seem to be the primary concerns for firms regarding managing talent. Unfortunately, the report showed that only 45% of participating firms in the survey had succession plans in place. Lower on the priority list for firms were learning and development and recognition. Both of these actually go a long way towards improving employee engagement and should be looked at more closely. Therefore, it is wise to keep in mind that performance management is easily trackable using a talent management software.

Developing Talent

It is clear from the study that firms are in fact encouraging the development of talent that they are able to recruit. 75% of firms reported that coaching and mentoring are used to develop their talent with 54% using external education programs. 80% of firms prioritize professional licenses with 77% making conference attendance a focus. With the addition of 76% endorsing professional certifications and 72% offering continuing education reimbursement, the results show that firms are interested in investing in their talent which is always a plus!

Human Capital Should be Smartly Managed

Having the best talent in place now and a plan for the future is the secret to success for any firm especially project-based firms. With the constant flux in project management, talent needs to be qualified, available and engaged. Additionally, learning and development is crucial to not only keep employees retained but to ensure that projects are run as efficiently as possible. For a more detailed look at the HCM results from the 40th Annual Report available in the link below.New call-to-action

Topics: Professional Services, HR, Deltek Clarity Report

Preparing for 2019 Year-End

Posted by Jennifer Renfroe on Wed, Nov 27, 2019 @ 11:35 AM

Year End 2019

Year-End is coming! Don’t let year-end bring you down - create a plan and stick to it. A great way to start is by creating a checklist and calendar. Make sure your calendar includes all year-end deadlines: final AP and Expense payment processing, final timesheets due, and final bank reconciliation are all important items to include. Deltek issues a checklist yearly, and this is an excellent starting point to create the plan for your company. Once issued, it will be available on the Support Center site.

Top Items to Consider Adding to Your Year-End Checklist

  • Reconcile all cash accounts – Post all transactions in Deltek Vantagepoint or Vision. Verify your general ledger balances match your bank statements. Make all adjustments as needed.
  • Final Invoicing – Process all client invoices for the fiscal year.
  • Review outstanding Accounts Receivables – Follow-up with clients who have outstanding accounts receivables beyond 30 days. Send past due statements and/or simply give them a call. Enter the results of your collection efforts in the comments section of Deltek Vantagepoint or Vision Invoice Review. Year-end is an excellent time to collect your outstanding receivables. If you determine there is uncollectable AR, be sure to write those invoices off.
  • Review Unbilled detail - Time and expense transactions that cannot be invoiced to clients should be written off at this time.
  • Fixed Assets – Fixed Assets are larger purchases that are made throughout the year (i.e. equipment, automobiles, furniture, computers, etc.). This is the time to make sure all fixed assets are reported on the balance sheet if they are still owned. If not, record the sale or disposal of these fixed assets. Additionally, verify the depreciation on your fixed assets as well and make any necessary adjustments.
  • Employee Expenses and AP - Verify that all accounts payable vouchers have been recorded in Deltek Vantagepoint or Vision. Make your 401(k), SEP IRA, and Simple IRA contributions have been made, if you have not done so. Try and pay all your vendors and employee expense reports by year-end.
  • Notes Payable - Verify notes payable (i.e. loans) amounts on your balance sheet match the statements from your lenders and make all adjustments as needed.
  • W-9s – Order 1099 forms as soon as possible. Furthermore, make sure all W-9s from your vendors and/or contractors that have been paid $600 or more to throughout the year are on file. Don’t forget 1099s should be mailed on January 31st. 1099 forms can be purchased from most office supply stores, or you can order them for free from the IRS.
  • W-2s – If you run payroll in Deltek Vantagepoint or Vision, order W-2 forms. W-2s should be mailed by January 31st. W-2s can be purchased from most office supply stores.
  • Budget for next year - Create your GL budget for 2019.

Communication and Organization is Key to Success

Make sure all in the firm know what their role is for year-end, i.e. when final timesheets and expense reports are due. Put a year-end process in place, create a manual and checklist to use yearly, and you’ll be ahead of the game next year! Please note: Deltek will be issuing year-end updates for Vision 7.6 and Vantagepoint. If you are on 7.5 or older, you must upgrade to a supported version to receive a 2019 year-end update. If you are still on Vision 7.5 or an older version, contact Full Sail Partners if you have questions about upgrading to Vision 7.6.

Deltek Customer Care

Topics: Accounting, Support, Professional Services

Introducing New Features in Deltek Talent 16.0

Posted by Jennifer Renfroe on Mon, Nov 04, 2019 @ 12:36 PM

red-vector-logo-lo-res

The release of Deltek Talent 16.0 has offered users even better functionality further improving firm workforce productivity. This latest version of Deltek Talent was created with the intention of strengthening strategic partnerships and developing Human Capital Management (HCM) capabilities. Let’s take a look at some of the new features of Deltek Talent 16.0.

Talent Relationship Management (TRM)

Version 16.0’s Deltek Talent Acquisition module introduced Talent Relationship Management which helps firms stay ahead of recruiting. Firms can now create recruitment campaigns to build relationships with top talent and source for openings. This improvement allows firms to fill project positions quickly. The Acquisition module also contains workflow improvements and enhanced on-boarding features.

Core HR

Once talent is hired, the new Core HR module enables firms to more efficiently manage employee records. Project-based businesses are constantly changing and there are shifts in workforce expectations. As part of the 16.0 release, there are newly added fields providing the ability to process hires, rehires, terminations and job changes. Using this automated process, there can be more focus on HCM within projects that helps with strategic planning.

Continuous Goal Management

Employee engagement and retention is always a top concern for firms. With the new continuous goal management feature in 16.0, you can set and manage goals separate from the appraisal process. This change significantly simplifies the goal writing process requiring less time. There is also the option of no score appraisals and comments can be tracked. Giving employees the consistent and frequent ability to meet set goals is important to keep them engaged.

Learning Requirements

Deltek Talent 16.0 incorporates the Learning module which lays out course and curriculum deadlines, recurrences and deadline offset options. There is a new two-level process that replaces CEUs allowing for flexibility on a per course basis. Additionally, Deltek has partnered with Red Vector for e-learning content which elevates performance for project-based businesses. Firms are able to track training and development in one place. There are 130+ courses available covering project management, leadership and HR issues.

Enhance the Whole Employee Life-cycle

Deltek Talent 16.0 offers new features that support the entire employee life-cycle. From sourcing the best talent to tracking human capital per project, to ensuring project managers are always learning and engaged, this new release fits the bill. Ready to see this improved functionality in action?

Deltek Talent

Topics: New Features, Professional Services, Deltek Talent

Full Sail Partners is Excited to Win a 2019 Premier Award for Client Satisfaction from PSMJ Resources and Client Savvy

Posted by Jennifer Renfroe on Tue, Oct 29, 2019 @ 12:05 PM

2019 Premier Award for Client Satisfaction Full Sail Partners, a Deltek Platinum Partner, is pleased to announce that it has been selected as a recipient of the 2019 Premier Award for Client Satisfaction by PSMJ Resources and Client Savvy, creator of the Client Feedback Tool. This recognition only goes to firms in the AEC industry who have gone above and beyond to deliver a truly exceptional client experience. A Full Sail Partners’ distinction is that it provides client-focused technology solutions and services always considering what would work best for each individual firm.

Recipients of the Premier Award for Client Satisfaction are determined using data collected from 280,000 surveys across 300 firms. Based upon the surveys, firms which really stand out regarding client feedback are given this prestigious designation. This year’s award winners will be recognized at the 2019 PSMJ A/E/C THRIVE – The Growth, Profit, and Performance Summit on October 2-4 in New Orleans.

“Among other aspects of our CX strategy, Full Sail Partners has found great success in consistently using the Client Feedback Tool to gauge client satisfaction and make appropriate changes to improve client experiences,” stated Sarah Gonnella, VP of Marketing and Sales. “We are greatly honored to be one of only 23 firms to be recognized with this Premier Award for Client Satisfaction.”

About PSMJ: For more than 40 years, PSMJ Resources, Inc. has been recognized as the leading publishing, executive education, and advisory group devoted completely to improving the business performance of A/E/C organizations worldwide.

About Client Savvy: Client Savvy works with professional services organizations whose success depends on strong client relationships. Their commitment to clients is to help them align their client experience (CX) strategy, implementation, and measurement initiatives with their top strategic priorities.

“Since 2009, Client Savvy has partnered with PSMJ to recognize the professional services firms around the globe that achieve the highest standards of excellence by the metric hardest to achieve: excellence recognized by a firm’s clients. Of the hundreds of firms that participate in this benchmarking each year, only the top 30 are recognized. Full Sail Partners began their journey several years ago, achieving an Honorable Mention in 2018, and placing near the top of all firms in 2019. By integrating a thoughtfully designed client feedback process into their project management system, Full Sail Partners has assured their clients always have a voice,” stated Ryan Suydam, Chief Experience Officer at Client Savvy.

For more information, please contact Full Sail Partners’ Marketing and Communications Department. 

Topics: Press Release