Making it Work

Our Tandem finds ‘perfect partner’ for future performance in Swiss deal

The Dublin-based human resources company will continue to grow its business helping organisations improve their rewards processes after joining Swiss technology company Beqom

Aisling Teillard, founder and chief executive, Our Tandem: ‘To be able to transform, and give future generations an entirely different work culture than they have today, would be pretty cool.’ Picture: Fergal Phillips

Our Tandem, the Dublin-based human resources business, is aiming to accelerate its international growth following its acquisition by Beqom, a Swiss technology company.

Aisling Teillard, the company’s founder and chief executive, said the deal would help it to scale faster than planned and grow into an organisation that “touches the lives of millions of employees”.

Founded in 2015 and backed by Enterprise Ireland, Our Tandem will continue to trade under its own name and operate from Dublin as part of a move which both companies hope will transform the process of performance management in big enterprises.

Beqom is a compensation management company which allows clients to monitor employees’ rewards in a more intelligent, continuous fashion, as opposed to a once-a-year performance review which decides how a worker is compensated.

This vision aligned closely with the operations of Tandem which, since 2015 has been growing out its operations with a business model focused on changing how performance management operates.

“I always felt there was something not quite right about performance management. It was this annualised event, a one-hit wonder in the calendar year, and I could see that a lot of problems around that were connected to a lot of feedback throughout the year,” Teillard told the Business Post.

“People would arrive into their annual review not knowing how their boss felt about their performance one way or the other. And that could go two different ways – worker and manager could be completely aligned, or totally misaligned, and it was all due to the lack of feedback.”

Today, Tandem offers its clients, including 7-Eleven, the US convenience giant, and Swiss Re, the world’s largest reinsurer, with a platform which promotes continuous, real-time feedback for employees.

Among its innovations is a work passport system which allows employees to build up their own database which tracks their performance over a year. This passport stays with them even if they get a new boss or are moved to a different department, Teillard explained.

“The work passport is this idea that actually, employees can be centre stage in the whole experience. It’s really in their best interest to build up their profile, and keep track of their contributions, in one centralised place throughout the whole year. And they can keep that with them,” she said.

Post-acquisition, Our Tandem and Beqom believe they can offer a platform that covers both employee performance and compensation management, helping employees and businesses run their rewards processes better.

“It’s almost like we were having the same conversation, but just from different perspectives,” Teillard said of the two companies. “It was like finding the perfect partner. It was a bit like a marriage, except it was in business. “This is really the full wave of full organisational transformation. And it’s just the most exciting journey to be on.”

In the long term, Teillard said she wanted to change the way performance management operates all around the world.

“So many of the processes were built in the 1980s for a world that lived in the 1980s. So you had one boss, and it was usually a man, and he saw your memos and he told you if you were good or bad. But we just don’t work like that any more,” she said. “To be able to transform, and give future generations an entirely different work culture than they have today, would be pretty cool.”

This Making it Work article is produced in partnership with Enterprise Ireland