Talent management for the digital future

The race for attracting and retaining talented digital experts, is on. One of the elements that stand in the way of change and retaining high demand skills, are that current traditional talent practices that are widely used, were build for a previous age, IT platforms and organizational dynamics.  The modern era demands pragmatic, evidence informed yet light touch and some resourceful co-creation and learning while experimenting with new models, such as distributed leadership.

What this means right now for talent and people development strategies in the digital world

To attract, recruit, onbo041712.Tina.Seelig.Color.Innovation.Engineard, retain and grow digital futures talent you need to differentiate your business from others by providing a work experience aligned to the values and expectations of your community, your talent market, investors and customers. This includes thinking about and planning for people strategies that will enable rapid business scaling and change using contemporary models and practices.

Research from the Centre of Positive Organizations indicates that positive leadership and organizations create extraordinary performance through positive climate, positive relationships, positive meaning and positive communications. This does not mean a business where the negative does not get addressed – in fact positive organizations enables organizations to deal more effectively with challenges. Gallup studies shows that positive leadership creates

  • a more positive mood
  • enhanced job satisfaction
  • greater engagement
  • improved performance

Applying 21st Century Talent and People Strategies are less costly, more flexible and generate better results

Creating a scaleable, human-centered workplace will generate attractive work experiences and create a strong and committed leadership cohort and brand. Examples of new practices include:

  • Letting go of old-school job descriptions and instead targeting individuals through matching their strengths with your organization’s strength profile and values. This will ensure better, socially diverse and targeted candidates are attracted and you achieve a higher retention rate. It also creates a better brand and competitive differentiation.
  • Recruitment using strengths-based interviews while assessing core traits and experiences from a person’s past, capability – the abilities and technical skills that a person can do and capacity – the strengths, appetite and values that determine what a person would love to do (based on the high potential model from the Centre of Applied Positive Psychology).
  • Designing and developing lean, smart and better ways of assessing people by letting go of personality tests that do not predict success. For example, developing a deep understanding on how to assess for motivation and identifying genuine potential for success  through machine learning tools will give you the edge.
  • Applying strengths-based, realistic and high potential interviews, and combining it with an assessment of the past, the present and looking to the future, will help you to truly begin to understand a person and your teams’ potential (and areas for unique and customized growth).
  • Creative on-boarding for you and your new team member to ensure a smooth integration and clear easy first 90 day including a customized guidance plan and action steps for team members as well as critical stakeholders, such as clients or investors. This will make a new person feel welcome and productive while you set them up for success.
  • Designing your culture with neurosciences in mind to ensure your people are motivated and flourish. Using a behavioral science approach also increases individual, team and organizational awareness and improve decision making.
  • Developing team member’s unique strengths to enable them to achieve their full potential, and embedding a strengths-development and solutions focused mindset for competitive advantages in not only talent retention, but your growth and profitability.
  • Designing management practices, compensation and reward approaches aligned with unique talent segments in mind will help you retain the values and purpose your business is found upon. This means fair payment and a commitment to helping them grow their financial wellbeing so that they focus on the task at hand while being empowered to make a positive impact in the world.
  • New team onboarding, alignment and development plans, including team leadership development while working on projects and building your talent pipeline. This means truly valuing teams and cross-functional team work.
  • Creating positive exit experiences when people leave the organization. This will promote your reputation and generate a network of loyal alumni.

“In the beginner’s  mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.” Shunryo Zuzuki

Design Thinking: An opportunity to reinvent learning and development

In the face of a fast changing and increasingly more complex world, many argue that creativity and innovation are crucial 21st century skills. Design thinking is capability that is gaining rapid adoption not only in Canada, but globally. This highly structured yet agile process not only enables creativity and innovation, but also a competitive differentiator that cannot be easily outsourced. It can be applied to develop new training programs, or to change the way training is delivered, or introduced as a simple process to embed a culture of experimentation, creativity and learning in an organization.  Training departments can offer it as a highly effective experience-based learning module for leaders at all levels in the organization.

For the HRMA Roundtable presentation, Human Resources professionals were given resources to

  • Explain design thinking and the benefits of design thinking to others
  • Reflect on the role of the training professional and how design thinking can be used to reinvent training and development and also create new programs in innovation in organizations
  • Use a simple design thinking tool – empathy mapping
  • Learn about a recent case study in BC where design thinking was applied to create a next generation Whole Person Leadership Development Program
  • Some lessons learnt on how to introduce design thinking into your own organization and clients

Watch the interview below with BC Human Resources Management Assocation about Design Thinking and Adult Learning.