As the talent market and business climate evolves, there is also an evolution happening to the strategies around talent and culture. We are moving from an industrial era mindset and approach in our education and development to a continuous learning approach in how we grow the talent and the skills that we need for the future of our businesses.
The days of long tenures at businesses and thinking that the skill sets someone gained with a college degree are enough to keep them employable is changing rapidly. The new skill set that is needed is an employee’s ability to continue to learn, change perspectives and be open to doing things in new ways. Adaptability and resilience are no longer buzzwords that we talk around in organizations; they are power skills that all strong employees need to have to help organizations navigate the future of business.
The responsibility to build this employment development strategy of the future requires a commitment from the organization as well as the employee. Here are tips to help you create a long-term view that supports the employees and the growth of the organization.
1. Adjust your interview approach.
A talent acquisition strategy that ensures your culture can evolve into a culture of learning requires different questions and capabilities that you are looking for in the interview process. Consider incorporating a long-term employee aspirations discussion. This shows potential employees that you are invested in their success, both during their time at your company and beyond. Ask questions like this: Where do you want to go? What are you most passionate about? What are your long-term aspirations, and how can the company support them?
2. Build entrepreneurial skill sets into your development and performance strategy.
When you allow your team to utilize and refine their entrepreneurial skills, they can build their resiliency and adaptability muscles. This doesn’t mean that employees are entrepreneurs and will leave, but it allows the organization to foster a culture of innovation and creative problem solving, which could ultimately help breed better solutions and results in the business. When people feel safe to try new things and to think beyond the way things have always been done, it allows for an environment of growth in their day-to-day activities.
3. Create a talent scenario plan.
Talent scenario planning involves proactively managing one of the greatest risks in your business: your talent and labor force. Many leaders are aware of this risk, but they do little to proactively manage the risk and mitigate its impact on the business results of the organization. Talent scenario planning involves assessing the greatest risk areas for your business as it relates to talent. Consider the following scenarios:
• Do we have succession plans for the critical positions in our organization?
• Do we have a development strategy that is building future skill sets before we need them?
• What do we do if technical or specified skill sets are unavailable in the market at the level we need to grow the business?
Talent strategies of the past are not going to solve the business problems of the future. I believe the companies that take a proactive approach to the future of talent in their organizations will be the ones that are prepared to adapt as the market and the business climate adapts. As you look at the next 10-15 years of business, talent acquisition, growth and retention will likely be one of the biggest risks that your business will face. We cannot wait until the risk is affecting our business results to plan. We have to take a long-term view, early, to truly mitigate the risk for our businesses. The learning velocity of our organization will become the competitive advantage of the future.