Thursday, December 17, 2015

Three Questions to Assess an Employee’s "Digital Fitness"

 "Digital fit" is about the business or talent’s capabilities to adapt to the digital dynamic.

Digital workforce is multigenerational, multicultural, multitasking and multi-devicing; digital workplace is more flexible and productive, propelled by technology to affect where we work, how we work and at what time we choose to work. However, it doesn’t mean you are perfectly fit in because you can play the latest digital gadgets, or you are an active user at multiple social platforms. So how to assess an employee’s digital fitness via inquiries?

“Fit” or “misfit” - which is the digital mentality? Digital fitness is about the business or talent’s capabilities to adapt to the digital dynamic –the accelerated changes or over complexity. You are fit to the digital new normal of CHANGE, not because you are fit for certain tasks or be compliant with order-taking only; on the opposite, shall you fear if you are "too" fit in a stereotype - fear of being a misfit is closed mind to keep status quo. It's fear that stops you, and it takes many forms, fear of change, fear of the unknown, fear of rejection, and all that you have come to know. The world has too many stereotypes, we need more rebels, generally, not running after a single cause! Misfit has a raw intelligence to think independently, creatively, critically or futuristically. Pioneers were considered misfits. So it takes the time to learn to feel confident to be different, to be unique, to celebrate and be proud of who we are, that's the digital fit to be authentic, creative and forward-looking.

Do you have digital competency in pursuit of discovery, autonomy, and mastery? In order to build a high-effective digital workforce, foresightful organizations should always look for the complementary mindsets, capabilities and skills that they don't have so that they can build a winning team and complement each other. There are some competencies such as self-awareness and interpersonal competence that are the focus of leadership development. Creativity has become the #1 desired quality for digital professionals. “Being fit” needs to be assessed in more holistic and profound way. For example, a people-oriental person is not always a good talent manager if he or she doesn’t have the wise eyes to identify the best talent, or a bigger heart to attract the people brighter or smarter than him/herself; or a management philosophy to bring the wisdom to the workforce; because there are talent arenas such as synthetic capability, not very specific skills, can't be easily analyzed and hence, a recruiter fails in fitting right person to the job. You can give most people skills easily when compared to trying to give/develop the ability, attitude, flexibility, intelligence, practicality, pragmatism etc.

Do you have the learning agility to keep yourself digital fit professionally? Digital is the age of information abundance. But knowledge life cycle is significantly shortened. Research shows that people are much better at remembering where to find a piece of information than the information itself. Therefore, learning agility is critical to fit in today’s digital dynamic, because you need to be resourceful and continue to learn and update the knowledge. In addition, being digital fit is the ability to understand, understanding requires a person's ability to grasp or comprehend information. Too often assumptions and prejudices get in the way of understanding. It is the responsibility of each to examine themselves and to make sure they are open to true understanding. From knowledge management perspective, what is necessary is to have the information organized so workers can access it whenever and wherever they need it, and build the “recombinating” capability to solve more complex problems and spark the next level of innovation.

People are always the most invaluable asset in any organization, digital fitness needs to be perceived via different lenses. Therefore, in order to adapt to digital speed, talent management is a critical arena to understand, develop, and retain the top talent in the workplace with positive atmosphere, growth mindsets, intellectual stimulation, culture of learning, open-minded leadership, and collaborative & professional working relationship to both unleash employees’ potential and drive organizational maturity seamlessly.


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