Monday, September 19, 2016

Managing Talent in Digital Ways

A digital way to manage talent is truly about investing human capital and manage people in a holistic way.

The digital dynamic continues to evolve with increasing speed of change and rapid integration of the business across the globe. People are always the most important asset of the organization. Talent Management is throwing fresh challenges and calls for radical change to be embraced. Because people are the cause, purpose and the center of changes. Talent Management is and should be the agent of change. They need to be involved in all steps of change and continually need to both drive and adapt to changes. What are the digital ways to manage talent today?  


Define and develop talent fitness: Digital raises the bar both for leadership and employee qualification or “fitness.” Each organization must be able to articulate clearly what constitutes “talent,” how do they define the right people, and what’s their philosophy and practice to put right people in the right position at the right time, and how do they measure talent? Talent is not equal to experience, just like wisdom is not always proportional to one's age. There is different talent requirement to fit in different positions. What you can and should do is to provide the talent development opportunities for people to hone their talents and let them shine. However, such talent development programs are not “one size fits all,” solution, also it’s not enough to just invest in dollars on employees, and not just training for the sake of training because people have different strength, they think differently, learn differently, have different interest, motivation, and goals.The key point is to customize training to the needs of the organization. Identify areas of improvement individually, and provide training on the specific aspect that will help the company and employees to align the corporate strategy with employees' career goals.


Continuous performance management: Digitization has a direct impact on the way companies manage talent and their performance. There is a need to evaluate the performance of employees in more objective and continuous way. Performance Management shouldn’t be just an annual routine focusing on the past, but an ongoing feedback/feedforward tool to become future-driven and improve digital talent management effectiveness. It is essentially moving away from appraisals of performance to managing and optimizing future performance. The performance review process should be used as a coaching tool; to not only let the employee know how they are doing, but to let them feel as though they have a voice, and they are an integral part of the company. Performance management systems and processes are gradually moving away from a static, unidirectional, and time-bound avatar to a more dynamic, continuous, and interactive state. Improved transparency, goal tracking, real-time feedback/forward, and enterprise-wide acknowledgment/recognition of achievements are some of the key drivers, which result in the adoption of digital and social performance management systems. Talent/staff managers need to continuously check: Do managers add value to the employee's professional or personal goals, and objectives as well as the other way around? Should employee performance assessment be based on mindset (their thought processes), behavior or outcome? Behavior and outcome are not, or should not be mutually exclusive, you need both and they need to be aligned. That's why a good manager is a very valuable asset.


Develop the Best Practice and Next Practice to enforce digital ways for talent management: From an organizational development perspective, the emergent digital platforms and collaboration tools provide significant opportunities in tuning organizational structure, and experiment the new way to run the business or do things, adapting to a continuous changing surroundings.
(1) Define your circles, roles, and authority through the members of your organization.
(2) Deep listening practice with collective/Internal communication
(3) Enforce iterative communication and cross-functional collaboration
(4) Team Inception Practice; collective/external collaboration; gets teams off on the right foot.
5) Dynamic Facilitation Practice; Peer-based Feedforward Practice; collective/internal & external interaction; continuous adjustment, antifragile
A combination of all above. Very much about individual performance tuned in a collective setting in a dynamic digital environment.


Digital is the age of people-centricity, digital means flow, information flow, knowledge flow, and mind flow. Most organizations fail to manage talent effectively because they focus on improving the processes with silo mindset. They fail to look into the system holistically. Managing talent in a digital way truly means to see through talent from different angles, also integrate talent management, performance management, change management and strategy management, etc., into a holistic people manage solution for investing human capital and achieving high ROI for the long term.


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