Reading through the release notes for Q1 2016, a few features and upgrades caught my attention and I am sure it would be an exciting read for many of my friends as well.I would say that these would be some of the “WOW” features that SuccessFactors added with Q1 2016 release.

Here is a list of features and upgrades that are personal favorites but I would highly recommend you all to go through the entire release notes and updated guides.Just like the past 2 releases, this release of Q1 2016 would amaze you with some great functionalities. With such great improvements being introduced in each release it is all the more important to be updated in order to avoid providing wrong information to our customers.

Some key features which are my personal favorite are listed below, but there are plenty more in this release. And as I always say “You may have to try it to believe it”. 🙂

Apprentice Management – New Module within Employee Central

With Q4 2015, SuccessFactors released a great feature – “Contingent Workforce”, which is of great help to many customers who contract workforce either directly or through a third party vendor. Before the introduction of Contingent Workforce, it was very tedious to maintain such contract employees and most customers end up keeping them out of system which further causes additional efforts to manage.

Once again SuccessFactors built in a great feature with Q1 2016 release, Apprentice Management. This new module supports the planning, distribution, and management of apprentices. It supports the calendar view for the apprentice supervisor including group selection and event creation, provides the calendar view for the on-site supervisor along with the home page tile for on-site supervisor and apprentice supervisor. This would be an Admin Opt in feature.

Document Management – With Q1 2016, employees can now generate the documents designated for self-service themselves. This makes it lot more easier on part of HR or Admin, who may need to generate even basic documents for employees and send them via email or print to hand them. The feature can be activated via provisioning.

Time and Attendance – Employee Central

With Payroll Time sheet released in the recent past, it was very much expected that SuccessFactors would come up with major enhancements to both Time Off and Payroll Time sheet to make it a more robust system. Enhancements with Q1 2016, would enable you to feel more confident about the product as a whole.

With Q1 2016 release:

  • Organizations can now allow their employees to convert all or part of any recorded overtime hours in the Payroll Time Sheet into hours accrued in a new ‘Time Off in Lieu’ time account. This would be an admin Opt-in feature. This is a very beneficial to many customers as they would definitely like their employees to avail compensatory off, using their overtime hours, instead of paying overtime monetary gain. 
  • Once you have defined your holiday calendar for the year, the absence counting method now includes an option enabling you to take account of public holidays when calculating an absence. This would be an admin Opt-in feature. 
  • This is a very useful feature with this release for Time and Attendance, where Collision checks are now introduced for duration based time recording, which means it is no longer possible to record a new absence, attendance, or on-call time on a day for which a full-day absence has already been recorded. This would be a universal feature pushed to all customers.
  • Often we face a challenge in marking the absence where an employee who is sick and for whom it is not possible to give a return date on recovery. Mostly, in such cases, we end up putting some end date and change records after employee returns. But with this release now it is possible to enter absences with no specific end date. This would be an admin Opt-in feature. 
  • You can now interrupt accrual postings for an employee who is on leave, depending on the type of leave the employee is taking. For example, you might determine that an employee on unpaid leave should not get any accruals. This would be an admin Opt-in feature.

Workflows – Employee Central

  • Dealing with workflows in SuccessFactors is always a challenge because so far workflow works only with reporting hierarchy. At times when you are implementing position management, it becomes very difficult to convince your customer that workflows are not dynamic to route through positions. BUT now you can enable the routing of workflows based on the position hierarchy, starting with a position, a subject employee’s position or the initiator’s position. It would prove to be a very helpful enhancement to workflows. This would be an admin Opt-in feature.
  • EC Reporting for Workflows – The previous version of the report “Open Workflow Requests” reports four different names: (1) The employee for whom the workflow request was created, (2) the employee who created the workflow request, (3) the last modifier of the workflow request and (4) the owner/processor of the workflow step. Now, the report provides all approvers, also when the workflow configuration is more complex, i.e. the approver type is (1) Role, (2) Dynamic Role, (3) Dynamic Group, (4) Position or (5) Position Relationship.  In case of (2) Dynamic Role, it’s required to consider the different resolver types as “Dynamic Group”, “Person” and “Position”. Furthermore, the last approver and the respective approval date is reported. You may need to activate it in provisioning.

Performance and Goals

With some significant additions to the functionality for Performance and Goals module, many fancy features have also been introduced to support user interface. Most of the features with this release makes the Performance and Goals information come in handy to employees by bringing it on new People Profile.

  • Continuous Performance Management (CPM) enables managers and employees to conduct structured 1:1 meetings, allow employees to capture their achievements and connect to those discussions. You can activate the same via provisioning.
  • Team Overview tab used to appear for non-manager roles with blank page, but with Q1 2016 release you can now hide the “Team Overview” navigational tab and functionality for Non-managerial roles using “Roles Based Permissions” for PMV12 and PMV12A. This can be activated from provisioning.
  • Changes to “Ratings” now automatically reflect in the “Summary” section when the form auto-saves. This is a much awaited fix to the performance forms and a great step towards user comfort.
  • The performance management data purge, which was earlier supported in PM v11, is now fully supported in PM v12 and PM v12 Acceleration as well. This will be a universal feature.
  • If employees who report to you have different goal plan eligibility and you perform “Group Goal Assignment” for your entire team, the goals will be assigned only to those employees who are eligible for the goal plan. This will an Admin Opt-in feature.

Succession and Career Development

  • If an employee, who is nominated as a successor to a position is terminated, a notification is sent to the responsible succession planner. The notification informs the succession planner that the employee has been removed as a successor, because he has been terminated. This would be an admin Opt-in feature.
  • Cascading picklist is now enabled with Talent Search v2. It is now possible to configure parent child picklists, values in the child picklist are shown filtered based on the value of the parent picklist.

Recruitment Management

  • Customers using the Outlook Integration for interview scheduling can upload a list of available rooms, which allows interview organizers to book meeting rooms, view meeting room availability, or change already booked meeting rooms. This is an admin Opt-in feature.
  • Interviewer status will now be fetched at regular intervals, whereas before the status was only fetched when the Organizer clicked on the Booked Candidates number from the Interview Scheduling Dashboard. This is an admin Opt-in feature.
  • Two new tiles (number of open requisitions and number of open jobs) are now available on the new SuccessFactors Home Page. This is a universal feature.

Happy Learning,

Success is simply human! 🙂

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