What’s Really Holding Your Talent Management Strategy Back-

What’s Really Holding Your Talent Management Strategy Back?

Can your HR strategy keep up with the rapid changes that your workforce is experiencing?

A collaborative survey between Fowey Group and SumTotal has revealed that less than half of organisations are confident they have the right talent management approach, and showed HR teams feel unprepared for modern workforce demands.

Advancing technology and evolving employee expectations are entwining to form a modern workforce that many HR teams are not ready for.

With growing skills gaps in the mix, the pressure on organisations to rethink their talent systems is increasing quickly…and some organisations are having a hard time keeping up.

The workforce is changing faster

The survey results showed how workforces are changing, with 33% reporting flatter organisational structures, and 30% now having more flexibility over when and where they work.

Not to mention the impact of digitalisation, with more than 2 in 3 (68%) seeing more and more impact of virtual technology on their workforce.

Keeping tabs on what employees want is a challenge in itself, as 95% of HR professionals believe employees’ expectations of their organisations are changing.

A lack of employee loyalty emerged as 42% of employees work where their skills are in demand rather than because of company loyalty, highlighting the growing challenge of retention.

With these levels of change and pressure it’s no surprise that only 44% reported having confidence in their talent management strategy being prepared for the modern workforce.

“What we have found with this research is that many organisations are not only unprepared, but worried about their ability to meet the expectations of the modern workforce,” said Larry Neal, CEO, The Skillsoft Group.

“In not having a clear strategy for their talent management, many organisations are risking losing out to more agile, innovative and proactive competitors.

This research highlights the challenges that most organisations are facing, but also demonstrates the ways in which they can overcome them as well.”

Where should HR focus?

With rapidly increasing challenges for HR teams, it can be difficult to know where to best focus efforts.

Whilst much of the commentary of the past 7 years has focused on how to attract the new workforce of millennials, it’s been too easy to overlook the growing trend for people to work into older ages in their careers.

“Focusing on millennials and technology disruption can detract from addressing other major workforce trends” commented David Wilson, CEO of Fosway Group.

“The workforce is aging and becoming more diverse, virtual and freelance working are on the rise, and skills gaps continue to grow. Employees with the right skills are in high demand so there is huge pressure on organisations to deliver a strong employee proposition.

This research reveals real answers for how HR and learning can attract, retain and develop the talent required to help their organisations succeed.”

What’s holding HR teams back?

When asked about barriers to tackling change in the workplace, almost 9 in 10 (88%) found time management and prioritisation to be the big killers of effectiveness.

Another challenge when meeting the expectations of the modern workforce is current management teams, with 86% find managers’ skills and attitudes to be an issue.

A huge 82% were also reporting a lack of investment as holding them back.

These results illustrate how difficult it is for HR professionals to gain buy-in for the investment they need to overcome the challenges of building a modern workforce.

“HR’s key role is to mobilise the commitment of its decision makers and stakeholders to act today and begin to transform their approach to talent management today, in order to be prepared for tomorrow”, the report said.

Learning & development is more important for employees yet still lacking

One of the key trends to come out of the survey, showed career and personal development to be of growing value for employees.

Over two thirds of respondents (69%) expect personal and professional development to be more important to their employees in the future.

This fits in nicely with the need to close the skills gap, as 67% also reported a growing need for employees to learn, and get up to speed, more quickly than before.

On the flip side, the results also showed that most HR departments are still not up to scratch on delivering the development that employees are looking for.

A hefty 69% said they still have work to do before they will be ‘ready’ to meet the career development needs of the modern workforce, and 42% simply stated learning & development are not yet ready.

In addition, internal talent mobility came out as the furthest from being ready for the modern workforce.

“It’s about more than having a development plan though, it’s about investing in individual’s succession and progression, talent pooling and bringing internal employee mobility and talent management from the upper echelons and top tier talent, to the wider workforce,” said the report.

And it isn’t only digital skills that are a problem in the modern workforce though. This deficiency has long been recognised, but there are more skills gap that are causing a problem.

Consistently, less than 30% of organisations reported that they have all the skills they need to succeed, for every skills area covered in the research.

Soft-skills and personal effectiveness skills came out as the second most lacking, after digital skills.

Surprisingly, only 11% of the HR professionals surveyed said their people had all the soft-skills & personal effectiveness skills they need for success.

Which means those organisations who do invest in developing the soft skills of their managers and employees have the chance to gain a clear competitive advantage.

And the first step to doing that is always to assess and identify where the deficiencies really are, using evidence-based assessment tools like The Predictive Index®, CATIL® 360 or the Selling Skills Assessment Tool™, and then targeting your training, development and coaching directives to the precise needs of each individual in the organisation.

Does this article resonate with you? What HR hurdles is your business facing?

Please share your comments, thoughts and experiences below!

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