Even though the landscape of talent management continues to change dynamically, the basic tenets of creating a sustainable model of people management remain the same.
When talent leaders think about how to redefine the way talent management is done in the years to come, technology and the advent of all things digital comes to the forefront. Whether it be related to revamping the performance management systems or addressing succession planning challenges, to ensuring that regular learning and development initiatives become a part of the company culture--the need of the hour is to develop a new code for talent management, said Prakash Rao, Founding member & Chief Experience Officer-SaaS, PeopleStrong, at a recent People Matters & PeopleStrong Roundtable discussion hosted in Mumbai.
Measuring the measurable
Organizations across various sectors are going through a major overhaul of performance management systems wherein various companies are trying to find the right technology to enable them to tackle the challenges of measuring the right metrics for employees at different levels.
“There is a transition phase going on wherein leaders are moving from the Bell Curve system to Real-time Rating,” said Mayukh Maiti, Executive Vice President of HRIS, Projects, Infrastructure & Administration, Tata Capital. “Some managers are not giving the ratings. It all depends on where an organization lies on the spectrum. It is crucial that managers keep on experimenting in this new digital age and build an agile HR framework.”
Even within the same organization, not every employee can be rated on the same set of metrics. For different employees with varied job roles, HR managers cannot follow a blanket system of measuring performances in one singular manner.
“Within the organization, there are micro-cultures which warrant different mechanisms of performance management,” said Bidisha Banerjee, Group Vice President, Learning Culture & Employer Branding, Welspun Group. “The key is setting the goals through a system where you have to put a measurable technique to it.”
As companies move towards a model wherein employee engagement is the key to ensuring employee productivity, the way talent leaders conduct performance management reviews also needs to change.
Leaders can move into a feedforward mindset from the traditional feedback thought process, according to Sanjay Srivastava, Director of HR, Boehringer Ingelheim.
Creating capable leaders
Another major aspect of talent management that is seeing a major mindset shift is the equation of succession planning, according to talent leaders who attended the roundtable discussion and brainstormed on ways to tackle the challenges that are common across various organizations and sectors.
Identifying the right-first-time managers is the key to ensuring that there is a healthy pipeline of leaders to take up the senior roles. However, leadership is a skill that needs to be honed and built.
“Why do you make a person a people manager? A lot of it goes into building the new muscle among employees to become people managers,” said Shachi Kaul, Senior Vice President, HR, RBL Bank, talking about investing in the right human resource and identifying the right leaders.
Being in-tune with the employees, ensuring that as HR leaders you keep track of what keeps the employees efficient and productive by leveraging technology if need be, can go a long way in not only enabling employees to take on a more senior role but also help the organization have capable leaders in the driving seat.
Just being an exceptional individual performer is not indication enough that the employee would be a successful people manager. Leading the team along with leading the self is crucial when an individual performer becomes the leader of the team, said Divya Jha, Lead, Diversity & Inclusion, Employee Engagement & Campus Relations, Godrej Agrovet Ltd. Taking stock of the competencies and capabilities of each individual performer and having an open mind about choosing a leader who might not fit the bill for the top individual can go a long way in ensuring that you create a high-performing team.
“It is about going beyond senior management and leadership. It is about extending the mindset to the middle management and communicating the wealth creation opportunities to them,” said Amit Gupta, Senior President and Head HCM, YES Bank, shedding light on the compensation and benefits aspect of ensuring that employees are valued, rewarded and appreciated for the work that they put in.
Leading people of different calibre is the most important factor, especially in the digital age.
Keeping in mind the upskilling needs of the organization and individual leaders as well, sometimes promoting the person who can motivate others to work and take pride in their work can ensure the creation of a high-performing team, noted Vivek Jain, Senior Vice President, HR, Kotak Securities.
Articulating the larger organizational aims and sharing the big picture goals not only with the leadership but also the middle-managers is essential to ensure that every employee at all levels of organizational hierarchy is aware and excited about the company's goals.
When speaking about how managers are chosen in a logistics giant such as Blue Dart, Namita Patwari, General Manager, HR, Blue Dart, shared that when the delivery executives are empowered to choose their immediate line managers, most of the leaders who rise are the ones who have hands-on experience and have been on the ground as delivery executives themselves.
It is precisely why getting innovative with the succession planning process and introducing change management as an inherent component of the digital strategy can help make the organizational journey more seamless in the times to come.
Having touched upon the various aspects of talent management, the undeniable fact remains that leveraging the right kind of technology is going to be crucial for talent leaders to thrive in the digital age. Understanding what each employee brings to the table, knowing their career aspirations and connecting those with the larger organizational goals is going to be the key to achieving the right balance between a sustainable growth culture and scaling up a productive workforce.