Hybrid Workplace – a New Norm
Before we delve into the topic of talent management for 2022, let’s set the stage. The shift to hybrid work is impacting the work experience at all levels, in all sizes of companies. CEOs everywhere are realizing that Covid-19 lockdown measures are no longer a matter of riding out the storm or waiting until things get back to pre-pandemic ways. As a result, some companies continue with the work-from home (WFH) model; others have adopted a hybrid work ecosystem, to be location-agnostic accepting that employees can work from anywhere.
Now is the Time for a Culture Check
Corporate culture is an essential consideration with respect to talent management. Does your corporate culture cultivate a sense of belonging in a time when online-based communication has replaced most face-to-face interactions? The culture a company sustains can give it a significant competitive advantage in the war for talent. It essentially sets the tone for how employees work together and interact with each other. According to the largest study of employee engagement and performance data to date, of 2.7 million employees across 96 countries, companies in the top quartile of employee engagement are 23% more profitable than those in the bottom quartile. So, it’s safe to say that sustaining organizational culture is an aspect that should constantly evolve as external factors change to maintain a company’s (and an employee’s) productivity, innovation and overall performance.
Sustaining Company Culture before it’s too Late
Often times, an organization’s culture is ignored unless the workplace becomes toxic. Committing to frequent company culture checks will ensure that, as you venture into the world of talent management in 2022, you will have cultivated a culture. That essentially sets expectations for how new employees will perceive your company, as well as behave and communicate. Waiting until employees feel disengaged or unmotivated can lead to considerable losses of an organization’s time and money. If a new employee walks into an organization that doesn’t have a team feeling or lacks clear signs of engagement, then that company risks losing both new and existing employees. Think of these things (culture and workplace) as we look into talent management for 2022.
Has Talent Management Changed?
The easy answer is “yes.” The more complex answer: Before Covid-19, talent management strategies were mostly prescriptive and administrative. Employees fell under an established set of talent management practices – such as graded or rated annual performance reviews – with a focus on managing and steering performance. The pandemic has changed all that. Today, talent management is much more personalized, purpose-driven, and closely tied to emerging technology. In the past, team members were expected to climb traditional, linear career ladders. Now, the ladders have given way to a more fluid method of career management, where companies have recalibrated to empower employees to take charge of their own professional development. With this shift, companies are refocusing to help employees find and identify opportunities that align with both their personal and professional ambitions.
Talent management and performance approaches are shifting, too, from top-down to increasingly open, and at times, employee-led. Much of this change has been fueled by the rise of new technologies that make opportunities more visible and accessible to employees and their skill levels and skill ambitions. Technology-driven talent marketplaces are cropping up everywhere, providing employees with access to any time, any topic searches, allowing for a deeply more personal and customizable experience.
Why Is Talent Management Important?
The phrase “talent management” gets thrown around a lot, but what does it actually mean? According to Gartner, it’s “the attraction, selection, and retention of employees, which involves a combination of HR processes across the employee lifecycle. It encompasses workforce planning, employee engagement, learning and development, performance management, recruiting, onboarding, succession, and retention.” Talent and talent management are key components of any business strategy. At the end of the day, people are the beating heart of a company. And talent mix is crucial, too. Without the right talent, you can’t satisfy customers, can’t continue to innovate in your industry, and won’t meet the benchmarks established by your leadership team. Without the proper level and combination of talent to support your business’s growth, corporate culture and overall morale suffers.
The talent pool has never been more complex, which means leaders need to dig deep to ensure their talent management strategies are innovative and employee centric. The businesses that are committed to managing talent well gain significant competitive advantage, as these companies can retain top-performing employees and make sure people continue to grow within their organization.
In the past, it was quite common for companies to keep expenses related to employees low in an effort to improve their bottom lines. In today’s more competitive landscape, investing in people has never been more important. Rather than prioritizing perks and benefits in an effort to retain top talent, businesses need to make investments that align with what their employees are really looking for: purposeful work, opportunities to develop their skills, and opportunities for professional growth and responsibility.
How Do You Pivot to New Ways of Talent Management?
Our new world of work is forcing all of us to rethink what we prioritize. While the ‘Great Resignation’ has motivated many leaders to prioritize recruitment and retention efforts to hold on to all-star employees. These are just a few elements of a total workforce strategy needed, not only to accommodate virtual work scenarios, but to manage talent and boost employee engagement throughout the entire employee lifecycle.
As employee expectations evolve and work operating models are recalibrated, here are some
suggestions to help you develop a workable talent management playbook:
- Create specific, detailed job descriptions
Whether you’re hoping to fill your role internally or externally, you need to go into your candidate search with a clear outline of exactly what skills and capabilities you’re looking for. Job descriptions should articulate the responsibilities your desired candidate will carry out, what competencies they’ll need to possess, and allude to potential opportunities for future growth. The more specific the description, the more specific the candidate.
- Articulate person-organization fit
It has never been more important for employees to feel connected to their organization’s culture and values. Consequently, HR and Talent teams must make sure that a candidate’s beliefs align with their employer’s mission.
- Provide opportunities for reward and recognition
Recognition needs to be part of your talent management strategy, especially as the war for talent intensifies. Gallup found that employees who feel they’re not adequately recognized at work are three times more likely to say they’ll quit in the next year.
- Inject opportunities for continuous improvement
Internal mobility is another non-negotiable when it comes to retaining top talent. A lack of growth opportunities is the second most common reason that employees leave an organization. Demonstrate with specific examples and criteria how an employee’s future with your organization has the opportunity to be very bright indeed.
What are the Key Benefits of recalibrating your Talent Management strategy?
An effective talent management strategy gives a company a major competitive advantage in winning the war for talent and ensure your business possesses the people and the skills needed to be successful in the new world of work. Here are some key benefits of deploying a new talent management strategy to fit the new ways people and businesses are working:
- Improve employee engagement and productivity
Identifying and nurturing employees’ skills and development is at the heart of every successful talent management strategy. Rather than allocating the same handful of employees to projects, steers those team members toward the risk of inevitable burnout. An effective talent management strategy ensures that people from across the organization have the opportunity to take on projects that align with business goals and priorities. This approach will likely lead to a significant performance boost. Gallup research notes that utilizing the skills and strengths of employees regularly increases their level of engagement by a factor of six times.
- Enhance retention
Currently, improving turnover rates and boosting retention are at the top of every leader’s priority list, and with good reason. Over the course of the last year, more than 38 million people voluntarily resigned from their roles. To prevent the Great Resignation from wreaking havoc in your organization, make sure your talent management strategy is designed to optimize your employees’ experience throughout every stage of the employee lifecycle. If you prioritize growth opportunities and encourage employees to play an active role in their professional development, you’ll be able to protect your organization from the worst of the resignation spikes that so many businesses are seeing.
- Be more agile
Agility is more than a buzzword; it’s a prerequisite for success in the new world of work. As the pace of change accelerates, every organization is going to need to pivot quickly to respond to situations as they evolve. A core component of agility is the ability to rapidly allocate talent as business priorities shift, and that is only possible with an effective talent management strategy. When you prioritize incorporating future-fit skills into your talent management strategy, you’ll have the talent and resources needed to respond to change quickly and be able to outpace your competition.
How to Upgrade the Employee Experience in the New World of Work
While the Great Resignation has motivated many leaders to prioritize recruitment and retention efforts, these are far from being the only elements of an impactful HR strategy. As priorities shift and the pressure to hold on to all-star employees intensifies, every business must have an overarching talent management approach designed to boost engagement throughout the entire employee lifecycle.
Although talent management is likely a familiar term, there’s still a lot of uncertainty about what goes into a superior strategy. And as we approach our next chapter, challenges are only going to get more complex as both business priorities and employee expectations evolve rapidly. So, what does it really take to get talent management right in the new world of work?
The Growth of the ‘Personal Brand’ as an Essential Aspect of Career Success
The concept of having a personal brand is something that has already become relatively common, but it will surely become even more significant in the next decade. This involves cultivating one’s image and reputation outside their business interactions. Having a strong personal brand will enable people to build up their professional networks and gain recognition for their skills and expertise. It is likely that companies and recruiters will place a greater emphasis on people’s personal brands when determining whom to hire or work with in the future.
To sum it up, in 2022 and beyond all organizations will need to have Talent Management top of mind as the workforce becomes increasingly globalized, technology-driven and competitive. The future of work has arrived ahead of schedule. In 2021, we started to realize that the pandemic was ‘not’ a temporary shift from the normal workday work world.
In the new world of work, simply being familiar with the term ‘talent management’ won’t be enough. Instead, HR leaders will need an in-depth understanding of the best practices that will optimize every stage of the employee lifecycle and the innovative technology that can be leveraged to take talent management strategies to the next level. As the world around us changes, it’s ultimately up to companies to understand the changes and adapt, to succeed in the new world of work.
As always, if we can be of service, please don’t hesitate to contact us. I will remind you again that the work you do everyday matters. If we can help you get better at it, we are ready to do so and honored by that. You can learn more about our services though the links above.