As the new year progresses, it’s a perfect time to reflect and reassess personally and professionally. Businesses use strategic planning and budgets to reflect that same thinking at an enterprise level. However, all too often those choices are rushed—and even forced—based on constraints and lack of time. More importantly, people tend to be considered last on the list.
This year, take the time as leaders and HR professionals to reflect on your role and your department’s role when it comes to your organization’s people. Think of it as a talent management resolution (TMR).
Here are seven trends that affect people and should influence your TMR.
- Embrace a blended workforce. With low unemployment, we need to find the right skill set for work assignments. Contract employees may have more specialized skills. Women who left the workforce to raise families are looking to come back. Retirees are living longer and many want to work again. Your workforce has an opportunity to be more diverse than ever. Are you up for it?
- Keep employees engaged in an effective environment. Technology can cut costs or create efficiencies. The only problem is it can also alienate employees and weaken relationships. Use technology to strengthen relationships, include remote workers, and improve collaboration. Engagement is about relationships and connections, not efficiencies.
- Create a more positive experience for candidates from sourcing to onboarding. Employee experience is all the rage—and for good reason. It seems to take on importance, however, after an employee gets settled. We must remember the experience starts before they ever take the job. Modernize your recruitment systems and efforts to come across as relevant. Do what hardly any employers do—offer considerate, genuine feedback along the way. Demonstrate confidence in new hires, and make it a priority to give them a quick win or success when they first begin. Last, truly onboard rather than orient. Paper-pushing orientations do little and are passive and boring. The onboarding process should include an ongoing journey that integrates new hires into the way the company works and how you like to get things done.
- Use the appropriate training format. Online learning has its place, and so does face-to-face learning. The trend shouldn’t be to move training online but rather to find the best way to achieve our goal—to create better, more powerful learning experiences for employees that have a real effect on the business. Sometimes real networking is needed and helpful. If you do move to online learning or collaborative online training experiences, make it good.
- Refocus your attention on hiring for attitudes and behaviors rather than qualifications. We typically hire for expertise, and then we fire because of attitude, poor cultural fit, and soft skills. Remember to use the hiring process to build your company brand, and make sure the company’s values and ethos are advertised in the public domain. Most important, determine how your organization can screen for cultural fit as well as job skills.
- Have a plan to keep your very best. Retention is key again with our current low unemployment rates. Managers need to understand why people stay, why they leave, and the influence they have over those factors. Creating a “stay plan” that determines the risk of potential departure on your team and the ability to address those risks early can have a significant bottom-line impact.
- Business has gotten tougher, and we need to as well. Resilience or mental toughness has become a key survival skill in this new and disruptive world. To what degree have we created that skill set in our workforce? The companies that have will surpass those that have not.
What will your talent management resolution be?
Brad Federman is the Chief Operating Officer for F&H Solutions Group. He also contributes to the Arizona Employment Law Letter and can be reached at email@example.com.