Today’s author is Liz Sebag-Montefiore, 10Eighty’s Founding Director who has provided HR solutions to a wide range of industries since 2005, working with numerous firms to understand their needs and is a great believer in the power and intelligence of networking.
Fuel50’s latest seminar provided some food for thought around the theme of the changing workplace and job design. Workforce needs are changing and globally CEO’s believe the biggest challenge their organization faces in meeting their strategic objectives is having a sufficiently agile workforce.
Anne Fulton told us that talent management remains high on the agenda as automation and disruption in the marketplace means roles are disappearing at an unprecedented rate. It is essential that organisations are able to reskill the displaced workers even when they are not sure that their needs will be. In the face of a volatile environment is concerning to find that 40% of HR practitioners believe their organisation has insufficient talent resources to meet strategic business objectives.
The talent wars are over and talent won
Research suggests that 78% of employees would choose to stay if they knew what their career would like for the near future. Staff are energised when they have clarity on the opportunities open to them and a leader who is concerned to coach and develop them. To compete in a dynamic environment, organisations need to be able to design career paths that engage and motivate their people in this new environment.
Anne proposed the redesign of the career model along these lines:
- Reimagine the organisation as an institution with citizenship and purpose
- Listen to employees and stakeholders at all levels
- Reinvent HR practices – focus on teams, agility, and inclusion
- Adopt a growth mindset and enable every employee at any age to grow
- Act local, empowering management to do what’s right in every community
Career pathing is the employee experience
The idea is to design meaningful career paths across the talent lifecycle – from recruiting through onboarding, performance, development and mobility through to the alumni stage. This involves crafting personalised work proposals based on individual career preferences and organisational needs to maximize both current performance and long-term goal alignment with an agile workforce that can be readily reshaped in response to evolving market conditions.
We have all long recognised the importance of the employer brand in terms of recruitment and onboarding and the value of facilitating promotion from within the organisation. Fuel50 say that organisations who support more junior candidates to acquire the skills necessary to ‘step up’ reported 50% better overall recruitment metrics.
Organisations are flatter and less hierarchical which means that for many employees the career ladder no longer provides obvious career progression. Tenure in roles tends to be of longer duration with changes in role sometimes involving a steep learning curve. In order to leverage talent and aspiration, we need to cultivate internal talent mobility.
The smart organisation must find profitable growth for the enterprise and the employee. A competitive environment means we need people who bring their ‘best self’ to work. This requires lateral growth thinking as well as forward focus, where career pathways are not necessarily seen as linear, but stretch and growth focussed.
At 10Eighty we believe that peer-based mentoring is a valuable exchange mechanism to address specific skills needs. However, as well as developing mentoring skills in the workforce there is a major problem in that many organisations seem to have trouble in defining what potential means!
Micro changes for macro impact on engagement
Fuel50 uses a performance vs. passion matrix to align talent with needs and do some customised job-sculpting that optimises potential. Every small change towards aligning work tasks with employee talents results in increased engagement. Sculpting job roles to meet employee aspirations will increase engagement and business performance, by up to 30% and that affords the organisation the talent mobility they need. In the modern workplace development initiatives need to be employee enabled, facilitated by the worker
In an agile career world, we need people who have broader more diversified capabilities, while also having the opportunity to maintain their connection to a specific area of expertise and competency as they move up towards higher levels of contribution. Research shows that on-the-job development opportunities, such as lateral moves, increase engagement by up to 30%.
In terms of mobility, Anne suggests that placing up-and-coming leaders in situations that provide the right degree of ‘stretch’ affords the opportunity to observe their resiliency, how they react to stress, so identifying potential derailers before they become problematic.
A striking point was made that only 18% of organisations keep in touch with their ex-employees. Failure to maintain contact with alumni is missing out on a huge opportunity; tap into the alumni population as they are a source of know-how and referrals that is invaluable. This is a particularly telling finding: employee referrals/alumni network was rated as the most effective recruitment strategy by 40% of respondents.
Career enablement drives business outcomes
The seminar concluded with a round-up of best-in-class practices:
- Invest in talent mobility
- Build an agile career development mindset
- Enable careers at all levels
- Empower managers to become career champions
- Build leader coaching capability
- Increase visibility of workforce talents and career paths
In short, when career enablement is done well it makes a real difference for everyone – best in class career practice organisations had 3x the revenue per employee than organisations who had not developed their career enablement practices.
Find out more
If you would like a demo of our career pathing software Fuel50 please complete the short form.