The workplace is getting more complex problems to manage with
an ever-growing crisis of finding capable people to join in and engage
further to retain them for handling future challenges.
But many young people do not have the appropriate skills or there is a
silent laziness to adapt newer tools and technology to solve such critical
gaps between what education can provide versus what employers require.
So where is the gap?
As we experience work cultures across organisations large and small, the common factor between the ones doing good and those struggling to keep up with Talent challenges rests with the approach of Senior Management.
Notably, the busyness of business often makes Senior Management neglect the importance of hiring the right talent as the first right thing to do. This would of course require sparing time to spend with the Talent Acquisition Manager and interviewing candidates, but organisations seem too busy chasing clients rather than finding the right talent to do the talking and churning.
The education system is the second culprit and seems too lazy to train students on employability skills rather than theoretical academics. This phenomenon can be observed across professions, where a doctor would also want their children to be one, a Civil servant would want their ward to be a senior Diplomat and a teacher would love to see their best students turn into academics.
Finally, organisations rarely want to spend to find the current gaps of existing employees and provide learning and development plans based on such gaps. All of this becomes the Reporting Manager’s job and she randomly nominates people without assessing the true level and potential. This leads to the Peter Principle at a much early stage. Also, the benchmarking exercise can be done as a simultaneous affair, but who cares to bell the cat and also groom it in a single go?
The workplace is a mixed bag of competencies and talent across multiple skills with hidden values and psychological needs. Humans aren’t machines with lights glowing red and beeping to let us know something’s amiss.
An assessment done annually once does not cost a fortune and can deliver key indicators for organizational talent health indicators plus use the same to develop benchmarks for annual hiring at the start of every fiscal.
So why benchmark internal employees only?
There is a growing fancy to look at the external industry and determine the gaps. This is the most dangerous precedent we can set for ourselves, and specifically with talent benchmarking.
Every organisation has its own ways of doing things, which we call culture and which gets determined by the set of values employees imbibe as a part of the organizational culture. If this is determined based on external benchmarks or other organisations, we either do not need a set of values and mission statements which is exclusively ours in the first place or are simply trying to ape our competition to imbibe, and this way of managing talent can only lead us to be unconscious of our own uniqueness!
Assessing our own set of employees tells us our own levels across hierarchies, departments and locations. It tells us why we are lacking, where the gaps are prominent and how to deal with them effectively. This is an exercise which needs the seriousness of a monk in meditation, rather than using the concept of randomized sampling and determining the mean.
Where do you begin benchmarking?
The first aspect is to find the benchmarks for leaders. Because we must begin from the top. The top is where pruning and cleaning makes it look healthier; be it a tree or a haircut for a face. Begin always from the top.
The ability to lead teams
The specific areas of interest or type of teams one prefers to lead
The maturity level as a leader or future potential as a leader
Ability: The ability to lead can be forecasted using the Big Five or any other fancy assessment inventory, but few tools look beyond the factor of ability. To lead is all about our propensity to react to external triggers and our behavioral inclinations are a good place to look for. But our levels of intellect, our biases towards our preferences end up playing a more crucial role in our leadership gaps. The ability to lead itself is becoming infructuous nowadays as employees expect leaders to be People Scalers rather than leaders to scale the teams into higher echelons of growth and success.
Interest: Our interests and preferences are based on our expectations as a motivational preference, beginning with our academic inclinations. The Institute of Applied Psychometrics mentions four core areas of influence on our choices; Physiology or the physical preferences and limitations, Cognitive or the problem solving approach, Conative or how we have been guided or imbibed our interests based on factors like academics or social cultures, and Affective or traits which affect or limit us like temperament or sociability or aggression quotient.
Maturity: Our ability and preferences create a framework for us to develop certain levels of maturity for handling larger roles and responsibilities as a People Manager or People Scaler to ensure the right quality of interactive knowledge is delivered for the team beneath us to groom faster and scale higher. This is where the diagnostic tool of People-Task orientation has been found to be an excellent tool for assessment.
The purpose behind benchmarking
The data approach for benchmarking
The customization for purpose and outcome
Looking across and beyond potential
Data approach: The ability to fetch data for further analysis and analytics approach can be a big payoff in the long term. Organisations with key metrics at their command do better with Talent Management, as do every organisation with the right metrics and related data points to derive meaning and outcome.
Customisation: Legacy assessment firms are bound by licensing and founding principles to limit assessing for specific attributes rather than a customized approach. The dynamics of market-led economies demand assessments and Surveys to be customizable, in multiple languages and covering every new attribute rather than being limited to 4–5 key factors, as often noticed.
Potential: Should an assessment have the ability to denote potential for today? Albeit yes. But should it also capture the potential for tomorrow? While many may claim that future potential is difficult to predict, using predictive analytics, Pexitics Assessments and Surveys are able to provide a higher level of intelligence for organisations and Talent Managers to benefit from.
All of it should be a good go to start with. When are you starting your Talent Management program? Count me in if you need help and guidance!