Modern HR: Time for Innovation and Integrated Talent

Modern HR: Time for Innovation and Integrated Talent

Talent, Skills, and Capabilities Focus

Every industry is undergoing rapid technological, demographic, or regulatory change that is driving the need for new technical and professional skills in an environment where there is an acute shortage of resources.  The challenge for modern HR goes beyond finding and building skills but is also a deep focus on specialization.

Integrated Capability Development Replaces Learning

One of the biggest challenges companies face is a shortage of up-to-date technical and professional skills. Technical, managerial, and professional skill gaps take years to fill and will be difficult if not impossible to hire into these gaps. Organizations will need to take a look at current and forecasted skill gaps and build a culture of capability development. This will require organizations to reexamine how they address learning and performance management

A Change to Continuous Learning

A “continuous learning model” is one in which people receive some amount of formal training, coupled with a significant amount of coaching, support by experts, developmental assignments, development planning, and management support.

Continuous learning dovetails nicely into a continuous performance management feedback process that today’s millennial’s crave.  “A continuous learning model incorporates formal training, coupled with a significant amount of coaching, support by experts, developmental assignments, development planning, and support.” (Bersin 2014)

Redesigning Performance Management

In 2014 organizations should consider redesigning old-fashioned performance appraisal processes to focus on enabling high performance instead.  This is a shift away from competitive evaluation toward coaching and development.  Many companies like Adobe, Microsoft, New York Life, and Motorola Solutions have discarded their performance rating process in favor of a more agile, coaching-based, traditional developmental approaches.

Figure 6: Philosophies of Performance Management
Competitive Assessment Model Coaching and Development Model
Underlying Theory By carefully evauluating people against their goals and each other, we will create a higher-performance organization By identifying people’s strengths and weaknesses, we can coach and develop people to improve performance
History and Background GE, “the rugged individual,” competition breeds success, “Execution” drives results Professional Sports, Generation X, Generation Y Values, Tom Peters “In Search of Excellence”
Practices Quantitative assessment of performance, bonuses tied to specific goals and objectives, and comparative evaluation. Development planning, careful identification and communication of critical competencies, and self / 360 assessment
Belief We want “high-performers” in our organization We want “the right people” and “the right behaviors” in our organization
Benefits Reduces compensation expenses by focusing rewards to the highest performers. Creates a high-performance culture and a meritocracy. Improves overall organizational and individual performance and leadership capability. Increases alignment and teamwork. Engagement and retention rates improve.
What is Reinforced Organization as a collection of processes and high performing individuals Organization as a place for people to fulfill their potential and become successful

Feedback is a Gift

Feedback is a gift to give and a gift to receive.  Organizations need to create a culture of candor, feedback, accountability, and strong personal relationships.  Employees are craving more frequent feedback and more sources of feedback, both informal and formal.  This type of feedback drives employee engagement and passion, which in turn drives discretionary effort. The following chart represents Bersin’s design principles for a modern performance management.

Figure 7: Design Principles for Modern Performance Management
In the Past Today
Annual appraisal and rating Continuous feedback and coaching, treating “feedback as a gift”
Forced ranking No forced ranking and no rating at all in many cases
Annual goals and objectives Quarterly or regular goal-setting with informal check-in process
Annual talent reviews by team Continuous talent reviews by peers and managers
Development as afterthought Development as core, managers rewarded for “talent production” not “talent hoarding”
Recognition by manager Recognition by peers, manager, team leaders
Career plan for promotion and HiPos Career plan for everyone, with open movement and career mobility
Focus on moving up or out Focus on moving across, down, up, and around
Compensation based largely on ratings Compensation based on performance, potential, market demand for position, critical nature of role, customer impact
Bell-curve distribution of raises and financial returns High performers receive much higher levels of compensation than median or middle

Employee Engagement and Passion

“A highly engaged employee is one who delivers discretionary effort.  What leads someone to deliver discretionary effort? It takes a working environment that is friendly, flexible, fulfilling and purposeful.”  Companies with a recognition-rich culture have a 31 percent lower voluntary turnover rates than their peers.

Part of building passion is hiring the right people. You should recruit people who believe in what you do and fit into your environment. Your work environment should also be enjoyable, collaborative and fun.  Organizations should continuously monitor employee engagement through exit interviews, open blogs and wikis, and ongoing communication activities with people at all levels.

Be ready and get prepared for a changing and shifting workforce culture as workforce demographics change.  Adopt new technologies that support innovative talent and recruiting strategies for the future.

This DATIS Blog was written by Erik Marsh, DATIS, on Jan 22, 2014 and may not be re-posted without permission

The preceding article summarizes a few key points made by Josh Bersin in the Bersin 2014 Predictions.  The ideas and concepts above are derived from Josh Bersin.




Written by Erik Marsh

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