In previous blogs, we discussed that the next generation Talent Management solutions will no longer be the system of record merely of employee data but also of employee skills and potential. The reason is that employees nowadays, especially millennials, demand applications that are more focused on their career rather than on what their company believes should be their career. They are no longer interested in feeding systems with data; especially systems that do give minimal benefit in return.
In the battle for gaining and retaining the best talents, the challenge for any talent management vendor is to deliver applications that keep employees engaged with their companies and their work. In the end, everyone’s career should be linked with the goals of their company and projects. This is what every company is trying to achieve with their talents: to keep them motivated and loyal. Talents build the road they want to walk on. So companies must offer opportunities to build that road to the extent their land allows.
Bottom line also the companies will benefit, as not only the motivation will be higher, but also the quality of information, the collaboration spirit and the nurturing of hidden talents are effects that accelerate the performance of the enterprise. Of course this will only work if you are able to connect this new systems of engagement seamlessly with the process oriented system of records. If not, it is just noise on top of the existing work that needs to be done.
So it is all about turning around the priorities: build solution from the employee up, not the enterprise down. The company will benefit more if we do it this way.
Then what are the key principles we need to look when designing solutions that matter?
Keeping and attracting talents starts with offering opportunities to be and to keep engaged, so they can build the career they want. In this sense, we believe that next generation talent management applications need to be built around some key principles:.
1. Collaboration with context. Employees demand collaboration as an essential part of their work. This collaboration should be delivered within context, not via several tools loosely linked to the talent management applications and core HR systems. Collaboration should be the foundation to do things better. It should not be considered as another layer on top of the employee’s work. Instead, it should be within their work context; supporting the goals driving performance. Offering opportunities to collaborate and team up with peers improves considerably the likelihood of achieving goals.
2. Sharing work. When employees share work, they increase their professional brand; company’s benefit by increasing the knowledge shared and preserved and other employees can optimize their work by leveraging this knowledge. Remember, however, that this only works in a give and take model. Since users can do this in the context of their tasks and company’s goals, there is no need to start from scratch. More importantly, knowledge is maintained and quality is improved. The benefit goes both ways. The provider is recognized and the receiver learns. Sharing work enriches the company’s knowledge pool and the talents are kept motivated. It is also important that others can learn from the best.
3. Being a Mentor/Mentee. Mentoring has been seen traditionally as a top down relationship. Mentoring nowadays happens at all levels. As new generations join the workforce, working and communication styles change. Mentorship, in particular, is transforming from a career path to a way or learning. Today, employees are more likely to decide by themselves what to learn and who to learn from. They are building their own career path. Younger employees can mentor executives as well, take, for example, the use of social media. Executives can mentor middle managers about leadership. Middle managers can mentor aspiring managers about team leadership skills. By making this an organic process and not mediated by the company, the speed at which the company can spread knowledge increases. At the same time, employees have a higher sense of purpose and feel more valued because they are contributing to the common good.
4. Giving feedback. Receiving feedback is as important as providing it to the ones who judge your work. Feedback with context is essential. There is not a unique way to give feedback and it must be offered in all the ways possible. It can come from anywhere and from anyone. In the end, it is the employee’s responsibility to collect feedback, organize it and make it visible to the company. Hence, facilitating the opportunity to give and receive feedback in the context of your daily work is a must.
5. Branding. Becoming known for who you are and what you do is a key aspect of networking in today’s working environment. This is, however, just a starting point. Sharing what you want to achieve and which skills you can offer puts you in greater control of your career. Employers need to be aware that employees will only share if they benefit. Therefore, it is best to enable employees to define their unique brand and growth within their responsibility.
Offering all types of opportunities to keep the employees engaged is a win-win. Next generation talent management applications cannot ignore this if they want to be adopted.
Let us know what you think.