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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.

 

Eduardo Salamanca de Diego (@esdediego) and Sven Denecken (@sdenecken)

 

 

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