Topgrading has definitely improved Netsurit’s performance. Prior to Topgrading we made 3 serious management mis-hires, and the re- placements have all been A Players. We’ve Topgraded the whole company and our sales and profits have skyrocketed.
- Orrin Klopper, Co-Founder
No. of Employees: 145
Industry: Outsourced IT Services
- Improved from 9% to 75% of those promoted to management turned out to A Players or A Potentials, with Topgrading
- Recognized as one of the top companies at the Microsoft Partner awards, winning the “Microsoft Small Business Specialist of the Year 2010”
- The A Players have definitely improved the quality of the services provided
- There’s been a dramatic reduction in employee turnover
Company History: Netsurit is a South African managed outsourced IT company that specializes in the maintenance and servicing of small and medium enterprise (SME) networks.
Orrin Klopper, the co-founder and entrepreneur of Netsurit became involved in the IT industry when he was still studying at Rand Afrikaans University (RAU) in 1994, selling shoes and clothes at hostels for spare cash while finishing his B.Com degree. It was then that he met Rian Van der Walt, now Netsurit`s Technology Director and one of Orrin’s best friends. Rian at the time was selling computers and engineering calculators while finishing his engineering degree. Because B.Com wasn`t such a demanding degree, Orrin decided to do an extra major in Computer Science and found it extremely interesting. Rian saw Orrin’s sales abilities and approached him to sell computers and engineering calculators. Orrin started selling computers and engineering calculators in 1995 and at the end of 1996, he decided that providing technology solutions to customers was really his true passion.
In true dotcom style, Orrin and Rian started their operation from home in 1997. By the end of the following year, they came up with a concept of focusing on providing outsourcing services and support to small to medium enterprises (SMEs). In 1999, the duo signed their first office lease agreement and Netsurit was born.
How much has the company grown?
Netsurit opened its doors in the late 1990s and today has 145 dedicated, technically skilled employees serving 160 clients in South Africa. Since implementing Topgrading, sales have increased by $3.2 million over the last 2 years.
Why was Topgrading embraced?
- The need to get the right resources/people for the job and to have high performers throughout the organization
- The need to retain key employees and decrease staff turnover as a result of the competitive IT industry
- The need to remain profitable and competitive
Netsurit’s CEO, Orrin Klopper, attended a Gazelles “Birthing of the Giants” course at MIT — an entrepreneurship leadership program designed to help entrepreneurs drive their companies forward and it was at this course that he was introduced to the concept of Topgrading.
- “We made use of the Kaplan & Norton Balanced Scorecard model, as a performance measurement tool for each employee in the business
- We amended each employee’s Balanced Scorecard to make it similar to their job descriptions but with more emphasis on measurable accountabilities. Each employee’s balanced scorecard consists of 4 (four) “perspectives” as per the Kaplan & Norton Balanced Scorecard model:
- The Financial perspective
- Customer perspective
- Internal Business Process perspective
- Learning and Growth perspective
- We maintained an excel spreadsheet with the monthly scores of all the employee’s results and split these into 3 (three) sections: Top 20%, Middle 70% and Bottom 10%
- We hold monthly people matrix meetings to discuss the performers in the business (our A Players), those that need coaching/training (B Players) and non-performers (C Players) of the business and ways to manage them out
- We maintained a Network (Virtual Bench, to make sure that we always have a pool or resources to fill the vacancies)
- We now use two interviewers for crucial jobs using the chronological (CIDS) interview and the Topgrading Interview Guide.
- We hold monthly Line Manager meetings where Line Managers are trained in Topgrading best practice
- We have made Topgrading part of our Strategic Planning – it is what makes up our People Strategy”
Topgrading Results: Success in promoting people has so dramatically improved that Topgrading is being implemented for hiring at all levels, as well.
Today, Netsurit is recognized by the industry as one of the country`s top outsourcing businesses for SMEs and is one of Microsoft`s Gold Certified Partners. The most recent acknowledgement of Netsurit’s success was its recognition as one of the top companies at the 2011 Small Business Partner of the year Conference.
2011 Microsoft Small Business Partner of the Year
2010 Microsoft Small Business Partner of the Year
2010 MSP Global Top 100
2009 Microsoft Networking Infrastructure
2008 African ICT Top SMME Achiever
2008 Microsoft Citizenship Initiative Award
- Staff turnover was a considerable challenge for Netsurit. Given the high turnover rates in the IT industry and the age demographic employed in IT roles, Netsurit was being severely impacted by high employee turnover. The cost and the impact to staff morale were significant. Since the implementation of Topgrading, turnover rates have dropped steadily. Huge cost savings for job advertisements (external recruitment) have resulted.
- The Balanced Scorecard has been used extensively in the business to align business activities to the vision and strategy of the organization, improve internal and external communications, and monitor organizational performance against strategic goals. The Norton Balanced Scorecard results have been above 60% company average, and the target is 75-80% for 2011.
- Netsurit conducts an extensive client satisfaction survey each month. ‘Client care’ is a measure of clients’ overall satisfaction with regards to services.Client care ratings have steadily risen since introducing Topgrading!
At Netsurit we live by our cause "Supporting the dreams of the doers.” The cause simply states that we want to support you as much as possible, in order for you to reach your dream. Netsurit has a dream management program for employees, with dream facilitators, that encourages and motivates employees to not only dream, but to also strive to realize them. The dream program truly ensures that Netsurit is a unique place to work. We were awarded the 2010 Dream Manager and Grant Award.