New innovators: Tandem
Award-winning HR platform offers continuous performance feedback and goal-setting
Aisling Teillard and Jim O’Brien have worked in HR, performance management and people development for all of their careers. Now they have joined forces with fellow HR and communications specialist Clare Bonham to launch Tandem, a HR platform for large organisations that allows managers to provide employees with continuous performance feedback, and to set and assign them goals and priorities.
“As more and more organisations begin to realise they need to do more to attract and keep ambitious employees, Tandem offers them a platform that can help ensure people stay engaged and motivated without adding to their workload,” Teillard says. “Tandem can transform the way organisations manage personal growth by delivering personalised coaching dashboards to employees and managers alike. Tandem is also the only feedback product that integrates easily with other ERP [entreprise resource planning] systems and, as such, can be scaled to meet the demands of large enterprises.”
Tandem was set up in 2014 but the co-founders began to work on their idea in earnest in March 2015. The company employs three people and is about to add jobs in sales and marketing. It currently outsources its technology requirements.
Clients include ABN Amro, estate agent Savills, Alfa Bank, US-based project management company Wrike and Swiss banking group Pictet. The company has also recently established links with the Global Growth Group, a network of independent HR consultants in more than 40 countries.
Teillard estimates the start-up costs to date at about €120,00 combined with “endless hours of our blood, sweat and tears over the last year”. The company has been supported by Enterprise Ireland’s Competitive Start programme for female founders, which it runs in conjunction with the NDRC where Tandem is now based.
The inspiration for the product came from O’Brien’s experience of more than 20 years in performance management. “While training managers, I realised they always accepted that continuous feedback was essential to support the growth and development of their people and manage performance. Yet it was consistently neglected as managers were too busy or never prioritised it,” he says. “We wanted to fill that gap by giving managers a tool they could use on the go and give employees the development they are hungry for.
“Tandem’s uniqueness is in how it manages both employees’ and managers’ growth. It ensures developmental feedback is prioritised and generates self-awareness through personalised coaching for managers and employees alike. This dashboard not only showcases how much growth and development has already taken place but offers insights into areas that can benefit from further focus as well as coaching tips to drive improvement.”
Before moving into performance management consultancy, Teillard was HR director for software company SAP and O2 Telefonica, and headed the digital HR division for Europe and global analytics for the wider Telefonica organisation. O’Brien has been running his own consultancy since 2005 and Bonham, Tandem’s chief operating officer, is also ex-Telefonica having led the global HR technology team there for eight years.
“Organisations frequently lose key employees and the number one reason people move jobs is to develop their skillset and ultimately their career,” Teillard says. “Tandem provides an answer to those development needs, and takes quite a different approach from most of the feedback tools already on the market. It is designed to help create a workplace environment that accelerates growth for people, which will in turn drive performance.”
Last October Tandem won the international Disrupt HR competition held in Paris and judged by HR luminaries including Josh Bersin.
“This was great validation that our product is unique and set to disrupt HR technology and the future of work,” O’Brien says. “This is a global solution and we already have companies using Tandem across Europe and Russia and we’re seeing a big demand from the US after our recent competition win.”