Monday, October 14, 2019

Three Questions to Clarify Digital Workforce Fit

It takes planning, adapting, and innovating to enable true meritocracy as a system in which top talented people are chosen and moved ahead on the basis of their talent or achievement. 

Digital is the age of people-centricity. Going digital is an evolutionary path of pursuing the next level of organizational maturity and collective human progress via empowerment and democratic meritocracy. In practice, how to put the right people with the right capability in the right position to solve the right problems? Here are three questions to clarify digital workforce fit.

How do you know for sure the people being called “talent” are really that special? It will always take a long term journey for identifying, attracting, developing and retaining the right people with the right capabilities at the right position to solve the right problems. When it comes to evaluating digital fit from long term strategic perspective, the management must first assume the goal is to find the right person who not only fulfills the required needs of the work at the moment, but also has the potential to lead organizations up to the next level of the business growth and maturity. Talented people with digital fit are the ones who possess the right mind with knowledge, skills, abilities, and behaviors necessary to move your business in the direction it needs to go; they also demonstrate effective communication skills, collaborative problem-solving capability, learning agility, emotional intelligence, and team-working to overcome challenges. In today’s “always-on” and hyper-competitive environment, digital professionals often have to build multiple core competencies in order to be unique - differentiated themselves from competitors and become adaptive to rapid changes effortlessly. The right fit digital talent helps to accelerate business performance and build the organizational long-term competency.

How do you know you are eliminating unconscious bias? With increasing pace of changes and abundant information, do not always follow conventional wisdom or preconceived opinions, be a real critical thinker without being excessively critical. Check if there is a link between ‘bias’ and ‘perception’ in terms of how to make sound judgment, effective decisions and build trust. Usually lack of the breadth of knowledge or the depth of understanding is the root cause of poor judgment. For example, from talent management perspective: Do you judge or label people based on superficial physical identify or dig into cognitive difference? Do you really understand your people from mindset to behavior? Can you weigh performance and potential accordingly to fit your long long strategy? Etc. Often people have an unconscious bias; while themselves are also a victim of the bias. Thus, it’s important to be open-minded and insightful. Do not always follow preconceived opinions. Challenging those who refer to their “gut” instincts often goes some way to revealing their unconscious bias. Statistically, the majority of normal humans make their judgment based on intuition.They then quickly check the decision against (confirmation bias) "facts." This boils down to how much priming you have received into the subconscious. It takes some serious mental training and mindfulness to overcome cognitive bias, come up with a clear picture and arrive in a somewhat unbiased judgment.

How do you know for sure your training makes a difference to peoples' performance? Information is only a click away, knowledge could be outdated shortly. Hence, continuous learning and training become more important in the digital era. From talent development perspective, before you can train you need to first define the competencies required to achieve your organizational goals at a technical level, behavioral and attitudinal, core competencies, the generic and foundation skills/training that affect all employees and the management and leadership competencies. Then, succinctly identify what training is needed, and then, delivering those necessary skill sets to the business are critical deliverable for organizational goal achievement. Blend virtual training, formal & informal training, take advantage of the latest technology. Also, set measurement to make sure that training makes a difference to people’s performance and improve digital workforce fit. Recognize that talent is people and people have ambition and drive.  If you enable and empower people to achieve more, train them right, feed their ambition and drive, they are highly engaged and make a difference.

Developing high mature digital fit workforce won’t happen overnight, it takes planning, adapting, and innovating to enable true meritocracy as a system in which top talented people are chosen and moved ahead on the basis of their talent or achievement. The goal is to shape the digital workforce and workplace in the way people can relate to themselves and to their experience of the environment and others around them, create fresh ideas, unleash collective potential, and achieve higher than expected performance results.


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