UpMo and Rypple look to take talent management and performance management, respectively, and put them into a social media environment to help increase how employees interact around these initiatives.
UpMo calls itself a social talent engine that gives employees insight into their internal career options. Basically, the tool increases the visibility of talent throughout the organization so that managers can find the good talent they already have, and employees can be seen for the valuable resources they are.
In the case of Rypple, this tool is focused on changing the performance review process to be a more ongoing and interactive conversation. It provides a platform for managers to coach and recognize employees so that instead of a single performance review event, the reviews and the feedback take place over all of the employee's projects and activities.
These are pretty cool tools, but the key is the social aspect of these tools. These companies have recognized the desire employees have to interact more across all levels of their organization. They also take into consideration how people work today -- more are virtual; managers handle bigger, more diverse teams; and employees have the desire to work for a company that has an attractive culture (albeit, an online one in this case).
While it might seem like these cutting-edge tools would be used primarily by the cool kids in Silicon Valley, they are a reminder to all companies that the future of employee engagement is not what we've used in the past. Even the older generations in the workforce are tired of boring, static performance reviews and stagnant organization charts.
It's also a reminder that HR needs to work strategically to create and maintain a strong culture. And that's not going to be in the form of a monthly company newsletter, or the occasional Hawaiian Shirt Day.
So check out UpMo and Rypple to see if they might fit with your company. It will be interesting to see how employees balance the growing list of internal and external social tools with actually getting work done. But it's clear there is a market and a desire for increasing employee engagement.