In the summer, one of my favorite things to do is lay on the warm beach, sun beating down on my back, reading a good book. To me, there’s nothing better than losing track of reality for a couple hours in the adventure of an imaginary character’s story.
I’m jealous of the authors who have the talent to craft these stories. The wonder and creativity in their brains is something that I struggle to recreate on my own. Yet my inability to write long stories contributes to my abundant appreciation for the sneak peek into their ingenuity.
Girls rule, boys….
Harlequin, a leading but relatively small publisher of books for women, employs some of the most talented writers from around the world. These clever minds produce a broad range of books including fiction, romance, young adult, nonfiction, and more.
Harlequin is well-known in the international publishing industry as an innovator in women’s literature. This unique environment of creativity contributes to the company’s growing success in an age of declining popularity for print.
In early anticipation of the digital boom, the company’s distribution center, Harlequin Sales Corporation, completely upgraded its Buffalo, NY facility to state-of-the-art stature. Harlequin was the first publisher in the digital market, and luckily so, because now the majority of readers prefer a quick downloadable e-book over my personal preference, a crisp paperback.
Masterminds behind the books
The corporate culture at Harlequin Sales Corporation differs from that of other businesses. The company encourages inventiveness and imagination, and success is measured by hitting certain metrics that align to company goals, company values and mission, and individual achievements.
However, evaluating this success is a tedious task as its employees are comprised of both salaried and hourly-paid individuals. Each role requires a personalized performance review form and evaluation, and the company’s director of HR, Marylou Domino, completed this task each night via a stack of papers and manual data manipulation and number crunching.
To continue with its reputation of innovation, Harlequin Sales Corporation selected a customizable cloud-based HR solution to automate the goal-setting and performance review process for its employees.
Now Marylou can type personal and group goals into Harlequin’s new performance management system once and cascade those goals down to the appropriate employees. There’s no longer the need to manually input all 210 employees’ goals onto a paper-based performance sheet and then calculate the mathematical percentages by hand or with spreadsheet formulas.
The company has automated the performance review process and has even provided salaried employees with the option to self-review electronically in the system.
With clearer incentives and goals, Harlequin ensures that the books available for purchase or download are high quality. Whether you’re looking for biography or thriller or paranormal romance, Harlequin pushes the boundaries and launches new stories in up-to-date formats.
After the summer ends and the winter months set in, I’ll transition away from my beach setup. You’ll find me curled on my couch with a warm cup of tea and a good read. As the folks at Harlequin know, for a woman like me, every season is reading season.
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This blog was originally posted to SCN on SAP Business Trends.