According to a recent survey, approximately 76% of employees are looking for growth opportunities.
The call for global lockdowns amid the rapidly advancing COVID-19 virus and raging infection rates globally in the first quarter of 2020 was rather quick and left the majority of companies clueless as to what to do next. It happened so fast that it left no time for planning to manage talent and assets or to deploy a thought-out working model that would tide things over until the virus had blown over. Companies were in a tizzy as days turned into weeks and months and more, and as the virus ravaged countries across the globe, trial and error and ad-hoc measures and strategies were deployed to regain and maintain some control over operations and register any level of productivity.
Post the COVID-19 pandemic, companies and organizations faced further challenges to recover from revenue losses due to almost flatlined productivity rates. Other challenges included loss of skilled workforce, poaching of assets by rival companies, lost opportunity for personnel, no time for skills upgradation, efforts and time needed to adapt and embrace technology in the new working model, and obviously the great resignation, among and a slew of others. The circumstances and challenges at that time and thereafter gave rise to urgent need for new Human Resource Management (HRM) solutions, approaches, and strategies to ensure preparedness for any such eventuality and others in future.
Well, now that companies have rebounded, the situation seems to be a whole lot better than it was before the pandemic struck. Companies literally learned the hard way, and the workforce also stood to gain from the chaotic adventure of sorts. A watershed moment that has been having negative and positive effects thereafter is the Work From Home or WFH and Hybrid Work trends. While these were fine while the need lasted, companies have gone in full-swing to realign the work culture and add on a thing or two to the overall functioning of the corporate world and other sectors where manpower plays a major role.
Following the slowdown due to lockdowns, any agility that existed at the workplace before the pandemic, was rendered obsolete, and during the period of complete closure of companies, transportation infrastructure, and offices due to social distancing norms the situation only went from bad to worse. Pre-pandemic day focus was on talent management, of which the pillars were recruitment, performance management, learning, and development, and retention. Returning to the ravaged battlefield certainly needed new strategies and clean-up solutions to pick up the pieces, make headway, and regain lost time and revenues.
Currently, companies are focusing on bringing in an ‘agile work environment’ to make up for lost time, and this is completely fine because all parties stand to gain. Companies are focused on building agile leadership, integrating agile talent management frameworks, and creating agile teams aligned with the company’s talent management system. Popular consent among experts in HRM is that sustainable adaptability can be achieved by utilizing talent potential and everyone has natural talent. With this reinforcement in mind, the need to create the right environment and culture to sustain talent and skills of each asset is among the key focus areas across organizations currently.
Creating agile talent management framework includes a number of key steps and procedures, some of which include finding the talent needed to complement the company’s existing workforce, addressing business challenges, making quick decisions, responding quickly and adapting to shifting hiring needs, market dynamics, and candidate preferences. This also entails organizations changing personal outlook from that of the old, and becoming dynamic and flexible, and understanding the necessary steps to take to increase efficiency within the organization’s talent pool.
Also, agility cannot be forced from an employee and best said, it comes from the feeling of responsibility that each individual takes upon self and delivers as per their role. Agile talent management practices prioritize continuous learning, feedback, career development. In addition, the advantages however of an agile talent management framework includes being able to execute talent management strategy and improve employee performance, or simply to use it as a tool to maximize human capital. Moreover, as per agile methodology, companies will need to encourage flexibility and adaptability in project execution, which has shown to have more desired and positive outcomes, and success rates are only improving with this approach as you read. Furthermore, as candidates become increasingly aware about the concept of agile talent management and agile talent acquisition, the idea is beginning to form more solidly and more about the concept is being discussed on various channels.
A number of companies are exploring the options presented by agile talent acquisition, which is the approach of attracting, hiring, and onboarding new employees with the understanding or design to have employees who are adaptable, flexible, and responsive to changing business needs, and primarily to be assets in changing circumstances. While the better-known benefits or advantages of agile talent currently are cost savings, high speed of productivity, and expertise brought along by candidates, drawbacks include time differential, technology incapability, lack of commitment, and tax implications. According to a recent survey, approximately 76% of employees are looking for growth opportunities, and deployment of talent management framework can aid in indicating to the employee what more can be achieved and how benefits can be availed. This will enable building trust and confidence among existing talent pools, attract new talent, and help to retain existing assets.
Understanding agile talent management framework is important to be able to ensure success and desired outcomes, though the concept may be fairly new to many companies and organizations. However, it is critical to understand the design and follow through to reach planned goals. For example: the basics are to conduct scheduled maintenance of assets and employees as this will improve employee and organizational performance, and negligence will result in high costs of maintenance later on. This also applies to organizational performance, as monitoring and understanding the requirements before a potential glitch or shutdown ensures fluid operations.
Also, the talent management framework comprises a talent dashboard, which enables companies to discuss career growth, development, and training strategies for each employee. This dashboard enables all involved or engaged to be aware of details and removes potential grey areas with regard to processes and programs suggested, planned, or being deployed for specific employee/s. A talent management framework also enables companies to access appropriate resources and set a directional goal and to understand any skills that an employee may lack, and then effectively develop the available talent with a focus on combining business needs with employee goals. The framework enables understanding and deploying a succession plan, which can be made a part of the talent management framework to ascertain direction, identify talent gaps, and prepare for future possibilities.
Not having such or any formal talent management framework has been resulting in a number of organizations attempting to solve problems on an ad-hoc basis or by trial and error. Having an agile talent management framework provides major benefits and can serve to achieve goals more effectively and in a shorter span of time it would otherwise take with general or formal practices. Some of the key benefits of agile talent management framework also include smarter talent acquisition and management, talent development focus, accurate performance management, flexible succession planning, improved talent management, and synchronized results with talent strategy.
Basic steps to develop an agile talent management framework requires organization to ensure leadership buy-in, analyze organizational needs, review employee lifecycle, identify KPIs in talent management framework for success, adopt employee-focused approach, develop tools to ensure created framework delivers, Put framework into action.
Currently factors such as evolving market trends, technological advancements, shifting workforce dynamics, need for flexible hiring practices, availability of options such as remote or hybrid work, contract-based engagements, and cross-functional teams, among others requires a quick reconfiguring of HR from an administrative to a strategic and data-driven function. These factors coupled with the overwhelming sense of insecurity and uncertainty that the pandemic brought in its wake and stirred up feelings of restlessness and hopelessness requires that steps be taken to revitalize employee confidence and change negative perceptions to bring out the best in talent and motivation to deliver in line with diligence and responsibility. Agile talent management practices can serve to increase employee engagement as the craving is for new work experiences, opportunity for career progression, and need to be part of something solid and secure.
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