Is there an uplift of talents?

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Jill Kissack, Kincentric

September 16, 2021





The disruption caused by the pandemic has resulted in a dramatic change in how, when and where work is done, and the job market will never be the same again. Employees are no longer willing to revert to pre-pandemic work methods, resulting in “Talent revolt”And create a world in which employees have a stronger hand to dictate terms of employment, allowing them to demand more flexibility in how, when and where they work; salary and benefit increases; and even culture shifts and advancements in DE&I initiatives.

This talent uplift should not be seen simply as an employee revolution but as a driving force for organizational change. Smart leaders will use the lessons of the past year and a half to create meaningful change in the workplace, workforce, and work itself, enhancing the employee experience to create a culture in which employees feel inspired, respected, connected and engaged.

Embrace the Uprising of Talents

So what should organizations consider when looking to create new work environments and operating models that best meet the needs of employees as well as the business?

  1. Be intentional with your hybrid strategy– As more organizations move to a hybrid model, guidelines should be given as to when and where employees will work on site. Consider instituting fixed schedules, taking into account the needs of teams as well as individuals. Adapt workplaces to create fewer private offices and more open spaces to support collaboration and networking. Maximize tools and technologies such as video conferencing and virtual whiteboards to enable onsite and remote workers to have cohesive experiences and opportunities for meaningful collaboration.
  1. Sort out your talent management philosophy—Examine your human resources policies, processes and procedures to make them fair to remote and on-site employees. Make sure remote employees aren’t overlooked for extended assignments or promotional opportunities. Given the dramatic changes over the past year and a half, you may also need to re-evaluate the importance of certain functions to determine which ones are truly critical to the business in the aftermath of the pandemic – think frontline workers. line in the retail and hospitality industries, without the presence and continued performance of which entire organizations were doomed. Once the most critical employees and functions for the business have been identified, double the retention and engagement efforts. And remember, sometimes turnover isn’t always bad, unless you are hemorrhaging from high potential employees or are unable to keep operations going.
  1. Explore new talent pools—Consider applicants who come from non-traditional recruiting centers. Look for skills and alignment with culture versus years of experience. Use freelancers or contractors for “tour of duty” projects with a definitive end date. Once you’ve hired, be sure to tailor your onboarding program to build strong relationships early on in an employee’s tenure. Conversely, be careful not to alienate outgoing employees. Many employees who left the workplace during the pandemic due to difficulties balancing their family’s needs may now be ready to return to full-time or part-time positions.
  1. Make sure you have engaging leadership at all levels—Ensure that your leaders have the right professional skills as well as the good human skills lead by a return to work. Are they showing care and compassion? Are they connecting with their team members, in person or remotely?
  1. Act-Listen-Adjust“There has never been a more important time to listen and respond to employees. But it’s not just about measuring engagement; it’s about using employee feedback to drive talent and business decisions. Identifying and shaping the moments that matter in your organization will be a must in successfully leveraging the talent revolt. It means asking the right questions of the right segments at the right time.
  1. Go deep into succession planning—Make sure your succession plans are intentional; go deep into the organization; are data-driven; and represent ethnic, gender, cultural and experience diversity. Evaluate and assess your leadership pipeline to ensure that the talents best match your organization. Who is there for the long term? Do they have the agility to adapt to change effectively? Does their EQ match their IQ? Do they have the right interpersonal skills as well as professional skills?
  1. Develop clear and creative professional paths—Employees want to chart a course for their future, but just under half (45%) of all survey respondents do not feel positive about career opportunities in their current organization. If you don’t clearly articulate the path forward for an employee, you can rest assured that there is another organization or recruiter who is happy to do so. Make sure you identify growth and skills development opportunities for employees at all levels and have candid conversations about skills gaps and growth opportunities so employees understand and align with the vision of their future.
  1. Invest in DE&I“Today’s employees want to work for a goal-oriented, people-centered company that makes DE&I a top priority. They want open and transparent communication from leaders and believe their organization should lead the charge in creating positive change in the workplace and in the community. DE&I is important to the vast majority of employees, and not just to underrepresented talent and communities. In fact, more than three in four job seekers see diversity in the workplace as an important factor when considering employment opportunities, and more than 50% of current employees want their workplace to do more to increase diversity.1
  1. Design and align your HR function for success—Gone are the days when transformational HR initiatives could be rolled out over months or even years. It is imperative that your HR function uses the best organizational design, the best operating model and the best technologies to enable it to remain agile and continue to lead in the face of uncertainty. Take a look at the structure of your HR team (s), redefine roles and responsibilities if necessary, and invest in HR now to achieve short and long term organizational effectiveness.
  1. Rethink your culture—A strong organizational culture helps attract and retain employees. Culture has become even more fundamental to business success over the past year, and many executives have taken a fresh look at whether they have the right culture to make their future business priorities a reality. A successful culture is one that is aligned with strategy, shaped by the actions and decisions of leaders, and reinforced by organizational decisions.
  1. Glassdoor, Diversity and Inclusion Workplace Survey, September 30, 2020. https://www.glassdoor.com/blog/glassdoors-diversity-and-inclusion-workplace-survey/
  2. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2021 Report, https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/jolts.pdf


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