Gary Valkenburg, Founder & CEO
What is a HR manager’s worst nightmare? A disengaged, unmotivated workforce. In the New York Times bestseller, “Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us,” author Daniel Pink notes that as the number of jobs that require cognitive skills increases, “people” are becoming more important than ever. Equally vital are the human resources technologies, without which hiring and retaining talent could become even more challenging. For Gary Valkenburg, CEO and Founder, World Manager—a global online software company specializing in HR and training—the light of this realization struck when he was an international training coordinator at Planet Hollywood.
“While working with worldwide HR teams, I realized there was really no control or consistency between organizations and their employees on a global scale,” says Valkenburg. An executive couldn’t keep tabs on its offshore workforce due to the lack of reliable technologies. Valkenburg knew that the HR world needs a user-friendly, mobile platform that would allow companies to train, track, and communicate with employees and oversee company compliance. World Manager took its roots from here— translating the vision of a connected, engaged workforce into reality, through a single platform.
Today, World Manager offers a suite of integrated tools that enhance training, communications, operations, and human resources—an end-to-end package for resilient employee engagement. The solution integrates trending technologies as per the tune of millennials and latest demands. “With social platforms including Facebook and Twitter, we enable our brands to link themselves with their employees, irrespective of location. It gives everyone the voice and sense of belonging within a team,” says Valkenburg. World Manager has architected this engaging environment by bringing a dashboard in front of every employee and empowering them to communicate with any colleague or executive across the world.
The Mobility Makeover
“Any new technology must be mobile responsive, especially when it comes to employee engagement,” says Valkenburg. World Manager’s platform allows organizations to reach their employees and deliver content irrespective of their geographical constraints. The platform also makes inroads for HR teams to exchange information in an interactive and engaging mobile atmosphere, while monitoring an employee’s lifecycle; from recruitment and on-boarding to exit interviews. “HR administrators can quickly and easily create content and deliver it instantly across the organization,” remarks Valkenburg. World Manager has over 30 integrated tools encompassing four suites that are built on the bedrock of mobility.
With World Manager, HR teams can coordinate the entire recruitment process, including candidate communication from their mobile device. New employees are kept informed about the wider business happenings through home dashboard notices, news, forums, and image galleries—bringing a sense of social connectivity and inclusion.
When used in conjunction with our Performance Appraisal tool, a business can ensure that performance objectives are properly set and accurately measured in a timely manner
“For brands that are taking their first step toward mobility makeover, we initiate with picking out the ‘hotspots’ that need attention and restoration,” says Valkenburg. These are the sensitive areas that impede an organization’s role in “making their employees tick.” Companies that lack user-friendly technologies or a culture of motivation, sharing, and collaboration are the ones that carry countless hotspots. World Manager helps illuminate these gaps on the radar so they can be addressed without any further ado. “This way we connect all the dots and merge every aspect of HR—recruitment, training, development, and retention—while imbuing the ‘taste of social platforms’ to upheave communication quotient,” he adds. This will captivate employees to work in unison toward the common goal of their organizations.
An Orientation Spin-Off
Orientation processes play a vital role in keeping an employee’s blaze after recruiting. World Manager’s next generation orientation solution, Onboarding, makes this task easy by facilitating managers with a paperless and more effective document management process—to retain smart and reliable people. It is a new chapter that goes well beyond the traditional orientation, reducing turnover and encouraging workers to stay with an organization for a longer tenure. Globally, World Manager has enabled a myriad of companies to solve their Onboarding conundrums.
In one instance, Bras N Things—Australia’s leading fashion lingerie retailer—was able to achieve significant financial savings and streamline its processes by utilizing World Manager’s online recruitment tool. “Even though the client only had 48 hours to migrate to our platform, our tool facilitated an effortless transition,” says Valkenburg. World Manager gave the client’s team a much simpler and user-friendly interface to manage their Onboarding process.
Going an Extra Mile
The suite of World Manager is also equipped with the KPI tools, which expands the functionality of the company’s expertise to keep the individuals’ performance in check. “When used in conjunction with our Performance Appraisal tool, a business can ensure that performance objectives are properly set and accurately measured in a timely manner,” says Valkenburg. Its comprehensive reporting capability allows HR teams to analyze the KPI results in isolation or link the scores with Performance Appraisal results to complete the cycle of employee evaluation.
“Another key differentiator is our ‘Implementation Packages’ which help a firm go live,” continues Valkenburg. With its implementation packages, World Manager does all the heavy lifting and builds the forms, appraisals, application forms, employee surveys, exit interviews, and full training in just a span of success of ‘Implementation Packages’ lies a decade long juggling act between ‘what the brands want’ versus ‘what is new in the industry.’
“It is like a war waging in our product meetings. For every upgrade or package we release, there is a week of long discussions before arriving at a conclusion.” Such brainstorming sessions are the foundation of every conference, innovation, and the value that World Manager brings to its client’s table. “As a CEO, I do my best to personally engage with as many brands as possible that join the World Manager community,” adds Valkenburg.
Within the community, World Manager is known for its VIP Treatment policy. Through this initiative, the company provides account manager, upgrades, and customer support to its clients without charging a dime.
Setting the Stage
Along with plans to quickly get a foothold in the U.S. market, World Manager is also setting the stage to unveil version 8.0 of its platform. “This is a two-million-dollar upgrade going live for free to our global community,” says Valkenburg. Both the dashboard and mobile versions are getting a complete overhaul.
"We connect all the dots and merge every aspect of HR—recruitment, training, development, and retention— while imbuing the ‘taste of social platforms’"
World Manager is also gearing up to unveil its ‘Education suite,’ for their brands in Asia Pacific who are working on traineeships in confluence with government certified education programs. “The suite is 100 percent mobile-friendly and is embedded in the World Manager platform,” says Valkenburg. Its key features allow external teachers to communicate with, as well as train employees in the workplace.
Learning from a UFC Fighter
As a fanatic of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), Valkenburg has learned many valuable lessons, which he instills in every walk of his business journey. “The toughest and scariest men and women step in the ring, become champions; and then one night after years of dominating competition, out of nowhere, get knocked out cold,” exclaims Valkenburg. But, the lesson to learn from this defeat is their comeback. “They don’t retire or quit. They go back into training, discover their mistakes, work hard to overcome them, and finally bounce back to win again,” he states.
The CEO sees the business world as his own octagon, where he fights to stay at front of the competition and business disruption. “At World Manager, we face the situation together, work on our mistakes and areas of opportunity, and come out to play stronger and smarter than before. It is this never-ending quest for excellence that has helped us retain over 90 percent of our brands in the past decade,” remarks Valkenburg. Such vehemence has empowered World Manager to leave a long lasting mark on hundreds of brands, spread across 50 countries. World Manager intends to keep marching forward with its slogan: Respect Our People; Love Our Product; Create Raving Brands. “These are not just fancy words for us, but the reflection of our values as to how we operate internally and how we sweat externally to stir a revolution in the employee engagement arena,” concludes Valkenburg.