Via Industry Week : 4 Ways to Transform Your People Strategy for Industry 4.0
To make the latest technology pay off, you’ve got to develop the talent and skills of your workforce.
Imagine you’ve been asked to oversee building a brand-new manufacturing plant optimized with the latest digital technologies including advanced robotics, sensors, 3D printing, data analytics, automation and the Internet of Things (IoT). You have a limitless budget except the company requires that all of the technology remains on a Microsoft DOS operating system.
Ridiculous, right? Even if you could find some things that might work, making that plant Industry 4.0 competitive would be an impossible task.
Still, many manufacturers are doing something similar with their workforce. They’ve focused on investing in new technologies, while operating on outdated people strategies. Meanwhile, the gap continues to widen between the skills that available workers have and those that manufacturing jobs demand.
Here are four key areas to help you update your talent strategy from a traditional to an Industry 4.0 approach:
1. Traditional Approach: Product first, people second
Product is king. Many manufacturers focus on how they need to change the product before they think of the implications for their people. Workers have to adopt the changes or risk their jobs.
When the labor market was flooded with qualified manufacturing workers, it was often relatively efficient to take this approach. But as manufacturing jobs grow more complex and the pool of interested and qualified workers dwindles, a product-first approach is more likely to breed resentment among workers or drive them out completely.
Industry 4.0 Approach: Build change champions
Implementing change in the world of Industry 4.0 depends first on getting employees to embrace the changes. That process starts by developing “change champions” who are ready to embrace innovation and have the ability to influence others in their networks to adopt transformation.
These champions are usually digital-savvy, can listen to others’ issues with empathy, and have excellent communication skills.
Manufacturers should aim to build 15-30% of their workforce as change champions, spread across mission-critical roles, from frontline leaders to plant managers to advanced technical experts.
2. Traditional Approach: Employee engagement is a bonus, not a necessity
Traditionally, decision-making in manufacturing was made from the top down, with lower-level workers awaiting instructions from their managers. In that environment, having an engaged workforce was a bonus, but less important than having people who could effectively implement orders.
Industry 4.0 Approach: Operationalize engagement skills
As manufacturers are increasingly driving toward lean, high-technology environments, it’s critical to have a highly engaged workers who take ownership over their work and can quickly solve problems. In fact, DDI research shows that companies with high leadership quality and engagement are nine times more likely to outperform their peers financially.
Many manufacturing companies have no idea how to solve the engagement problem, or try to solve it with short-term employee incentives they hope will improve engagement. But the best way to address the problem is to operationalize engagement by training leaders in how to demonstrate key engagement behaviors—including selling the vision, inspiring passion, providing timely feedback, delegating and following up, and helping to close skill gaps.
Applying these skills must become a part of the way the company operates, not just a “nice to have” value.
3. Traditional Approach: Hire for skills and experience
The common-sense approach to recruitment in manufacturing is to hire people who have the experience and skills to meet the demands of the job. In the environment of Industry 4.0, however, the pace of change has accelerated, quickly making skills and experience irrelevant. Instead, personality is proving to be much more relevant on the job.
In fact, a 2015 study by The MPI Group showed that, at more than 300 manufacturing sites, poorly selected personal attributes and competencies were much more likely to be the cause of termination than technical and professional “know-how,” education, or past achievements.
Industry 4.0 Approach: Hire for learning potential
Industry 4.0 leaders must demand a radical shift in their hiring and promotion practices to focus less on skills and experience, and instead look for individuals who demonstrate strength in agility, continuous learning, interpersonal communication, and proactive problem-solving skills.
Manufacturers should start by looking for these skills within their existing workforce, and ensure that these skills are either already present or developed in their leaders before they apply these radical new criteria across their frontline hiring practices. Otherwise, companies may see an uptick in turnover and worker dissatisfaction as workers who are ready to learn, grow and adapt feel thwarted by their leaders.
4. Traditional Approach: Learning to be a leader happens by trial and error
Manufacturing leaders often determine their approach to leadership by observing their bosses on the job, and end up copying the behaviors they like or vowing to do things differently.
Formal leadership development, if it happens at all, occurs in bits and pieces during infrequent seminars in which participants are “talked at” for a few hours about leadership. As most manufacturers were more segmented in the past, this approach to leadership development was often good enough to accomplish baseline quotas in various parts of the company. But in the streamlined world of Industry 4.0, such an inconsistent approach hampers collaboration and stands in the way of implementing major changes.
Industry 4.0 Leader Approach: Create purposeful learning journeys
A purposeful learning journey combining face-to-face learning with online learning that helps hone on-the-job-skills can help manufacturers achieve more consistency in their leadership. This learning should be spread out over a specific time frame to avoid overwhelming participants.
Given enough capital, any manufacturer can invest in the latest technology. But without the right people in place to optimize that new technology, it will take a long time to recover the investment.
Via Training Zone : A Changing Workplace: Rethinking Talent Management
There’s no doubt about it: our world of work is evolving at breakneck speed. Digital disruption and an explosion of technology is radically transforming the way we work. Talent is still in short supply and roles that didn’t even exist 10 years ago are becoming crucial to fill, yet there is an underlying fear that artificial intelligence (AI) means most of our jobs won’t be needed at some point in the future.
Summing these scenarios up, we’re in a chaotic place. But if we take a step back and consider the reality, we can uncover some proactive steps that will make the future of work a bit more inviting. Whilst we’re probably not all going to be replaced by robots, we do need to learn new skills to co-exist comfortably with automation and artificial intelligence. These skills include what used to be thought of as “soft,” but which global industry analyst Josh Bersin now calls “power skills.” Other skills include communication, management, creativity, insight and analysis. And let’s not forget skills such as the ability to adapt to new environments and to stay agile in an increasingly transformative organisation.
A changing world for humans – and their HR organisations
Alongside the digital transformation is a more human one. People want different things from their working lives such as flexibility, the chance to learn new skills, and often the ability to work more than a single job, or to run a passion project on the side.
This is all leading organisations to rethink their talent strategies. How do you hire for a world that could fundamentally change in the next five years? How do you approach learning and development for your teams when you don’t know what jobs they’ll be doing in the future? And how do you balance all of this (or more importantly – incorporate it) with what your workforce wants from their careers?
A 20-year-old coming into the workplace for the first time today could well still be working in 50 years. Just think about that for a moment. If you look back 50 years to 1970, who would you have hired then that would have the skills you need today?
Future-proofing through reskilling
We all upskill continuously, and often unintentionally – we learn new things, how to do new tasks, become better at our jobs and progress our careers. But talent leaders need to think more about reskilling – developing employees to adapt to a completely new environment and learn new skills. This might look like moving from a technical role that’s become automated into a service or management role, for example. Or perhaps learning to analyse data that the employee used to program in a previous role.
This is the biggest talent challenge that talent leaders face today: how to ensure organisational capability through its people. The important skills for the organisation tomorrow may not be the same as they are today. One question that must be asked is how do you develop these new skills at scale? Do you create new roles and hire new talent into them or develop the skills in-house through upskilling and reskilling?
Undoubtedly the most successful and “future-proof” organisations are those that are agile and able to respond rapidly to change. These organisations of the future will throw off onerous chains of command and become more collaborative. Employees who are preparing for the future workplace may focus on workplace culture, values, social connections and self-driven development.
Talent leaders need to rethink their strategies around engaging the talent in their organisation, and the talent they hope to attract in the future, so change shouldn’t be approached with stagnation. The keyword is ‘opportunity’. People want more than a job, they want to join an organisation that provides them the autonomy, flexibility and skill development that will allow them to make a difference and add real value.
Via HospitalityNet : Talent Management Strategy: Are “People” Your Most Important Asset?
While many companies invest time in formulating incentive schemes to boost employee engagement, these should not be aimed at getting the right behavior from the wrong people.
We often come across the term in organizations that People are our greatest asset, and if developed in the right manner, can be our defining competitive advantage. However, this is not the case.
Companies and organizations across all sizes, industries, and sectors invest a significant amount of time and resources to hire, motivate, train, retain, and eventually let-go employees. Glassdoor estimates an average company in the United States spends about $4,000 to hire a new employee, taking up to 52 days to fill a position.
Once an employee joins your company, MIT Sloan suggests it takes them 8 to 26 weeks to achieve full productivity. Similarly, a recent study by Mellon Financial Corp. states that a company loses anywhere between 1% to 2.5% of their total revenue to bring a new hire up to speed.
What follows next are various employee engagement and motivation schemes and programs ranging from motivational sessions and workshops to team outings and retreats. A plethora of research articles exist that emphasizes the benefits of a highly engaged workforce, productivity being the front-runner. A study by McLean & Company estimates that a disengaged employee costs your company approximately $3,400 for every $10,000 in annual salary! Despite active initiatives to boost employee engagement scores, if an employee chooses to leave your company, you are looking at revisiting the hiring and on-boarding process all over again. Not to mention the negative impact they have on your company’s intangible aspects such as team dynamics, culture, and morale.
After a five-year research project, Jim Collins, in his book Good to Great found that great companies first got the right people on board and then figured what to do. Inspired by his book, the focus of this article does not lie in finding the right ways to retain people in your company; it lies in bringing and keeping the right people.
With the right people on board, the problem of motivation mostly goes away as they don’t need to be micro-managed or fired up. When people join your company because of who else is in it, providing a direction becomes much more manageable. The right people will be self-motivated by their inner drive to contribute towards and be part of creating something great. Hence, “People” are not your most important asset, the “Right People” are.
Great vision without great people is irrelevant
While many companies invest time in formulating incentive schemes to boost employee recognition and engagement, these should not be aimed at getting the right behavior from the wrong people. Instead, they should focus on getting the right people in their company and keeping them there. It is not how you compensate your executives; it is which executives you have to compensate.
One should place greater emphasis on characteristic attributes than on educational background, work experience, practical skills, or specialized knowledge to determine the “right person.” You can teach skills and knowledge; however, characteristics such as values, commitment, and work ethic are more ingrained. It is a skill versus will decision.
There are three practical disciplines outlined below to aid you in your people’s decisions.
1. When in doubt, don’t hire – keep looking
Many companies expedite the hiring process in an endeavor to manage short-term operational needs. While this approach may help your company run in the short-term, it endangers the long-term efficiency and profitability. Lack of alignment between organizational and employee goals, lack of clarity on roles and responsibilities, and poor on-boarding experiences, among other reasons, ultimately leads to a high turnover rate. In a study of over 1,000 employees conducted by BambooHR, 31% reported having quit a job within the first six months.
Successful companies do not compromise until they find the exact right people for the right role; they find ways to get through tough situations until they find the right people. Placing a tremendous emphasis on having the right people who are motivated, hardworking, and disciplined in the right roles across all levels in your company has enormous benefits.
“No company can grow revenues consistently faster than its ability to get enough of the right people to implement that growth.” – David Packard, co-founder of Hewlett-Packard Company
2. When you know you need to make a people change, act
The moment you feel the need to manage someone tightly, you have made a hiring mistake. We have been in situations where we try to postpone the inevitable by giving chances, building systems to compensate for their shortcomings, and so on. The time and energy spent on compensating for one wrong person siphons energy away from developing and working with all the right people. The stumble continues until they choose to leave, or you finally act.
Leaders of successful companies did not hire many people and retain those who met performance expectations; they took the time to select the right candidate at the first instance and then did everything they could to keep them on board for a long time. A report by Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) has found that a poor hire at a mid-managerial level can cost a business more than three times the employee’s annual salary.
However, before you drop the axe or make a judgement, we recommend investing substantial effort in determining if you have a person simply in the wrong job role or if he/she needs to leave the company altogether.
Two key questions can help in this regard:
a. If it were a hiring decision, would you hire the person again?
b. If they decided to leave, would you be disappointed or secretly relieved?
3. Put your best people on your biggest opportunities, not your biggest problems
Once you have hired and retained the best people in your company, involve them in your biggest opportunities rather than solving your biggest problems. While the concept of problem and opportunity is subjective, project management defines problems as issues that prevent a company from achieving its goals and objectives. In contrast, opportunities are initiatives that assist the company in reaching its goals and objectives if acted upon appropriately.
Problem-solving is a short-term, tactical, and reactive approach that focuses on what has happened in the past as opposed to the long-term, strategic, and proactive opportunity-seeking approach that looks into the future. When confronted with a problem, we tend to focus on the features of the problem rather than the entire situation and the opportunity if offers. You can achieve greater success when the focus shifts from problem-solving to opportunity-seeking.
We have all come across the famous quote by Steve Jobs; “It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and then tell them what to do, we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.” Getting the right people and managing to keep them on board is one of the fundamental principles that can help your company consistently outperform the competition and eventually achieve greatness.
Via Forbes : Managing Talent Transitions During A Talent Crunch
According to a report published by Korn Ferry, “By 2030, all countries except India will be gripped by [technology, media and telecommunications] talent deficits,” adding that “unless governments and organizations can develop enough highly skilled workers, a talent crunch threatens the rosy forecasts for technological progress and its accompanying economic growth.”
Meanwhile, a recent survey conducted by CareerBuilder found that almost 60% of employers have jobs that stay open for at least 12 weeks. Korn Ferry estimates that “by 2030, demand for skilled workers will outstrip supply, resulting in a global talent shortage of more than 85.2 million people” and nearly $8.5 trillion of unrealized revenue.
The founders of my current organization were former early employees of one of the earliest large-scale efforts, Linio, to create a Mexican digital revolution. Since they experienced the need to develop talent to match the pressing business and technology requirements at hand, our company valued malleable talent at its core, a reason I shifted continents to grow my technical, management and team-building capabilities.
Our six-member company began looking for technology talent to solidify our technical offerings and processes in 2017. Talented software developers were easily available, but hiring talented software testers represented a challenge. We had previously worked with talented software testers in geographies such as the U.S. and expected the same level of expertise in areas such as automation testing when we began searching for talent.
Unexpectedly, we drew a blank even in the search for talented manual software testers after a yearlong search on online job search platforms such as LinkedIn and AngelList and a few private organizations providing software testing courses. Our software development team had grown to five individuals, but the absence of any software tester mitigating the risk of frequent software deployment represented a serious vulnerability.
The lack of strong software quality talent in our country of operations gave us the idea to look outside our industry for quality assurance talent since Mexico is otherwise known as a strong manufacturing destination, in part due to the work of quality assurance professionals. Based on my experience, here’s some advice on how you can manage talent during a shortage.
Look Outside Your Industry
The key when searching for talent outside of a company’s core industry is to go to the first principles and foundations of the expectations of what the particular talent pool brings to the table. In order to minimize the cost and risk of this strategy, find the most important set of these foundational characteristics that are represented in easily hirable and transformable talent. In order to determine the specific characteristics needed for bringing in the new trainable talent, separate what skills are trainable and what abilities are essential foundations for these skills.
Our primary aim was to have on-site software testing talent and then to look remotely for expanding our talent pool, but to tackle this serious talent shortage, we began to look for remote talent. In mid-2019, we managed to hire a talented lead tester in India through our network. To expand the testing team on-site in Mexico, we began to look strategically for talent with a strong testing mindset outside the internet technology industry, with the aim of porting their testing knowledge and processes to the software testing life cycle. We were able to hire strong quality testers from the manufacturing and chemical industries for our testing team and quickly transitioned these new joiners to think in terms of software flowcharts, user experience and software vulnerabilities over a one-month training period.
We distilled the core abilities of a good software tester and concluded that having a strong logical and deductive work background, even in a non-internet company setting, would suffice. We managed to hire mathematicians and statisticians who picked up the software testing skills quickly over a three-month training period. Seeing their quick absorption of manual software testing knowledge, we guided them to pick up automation testing concepts by organizing Java programming training in-house and saw these internally trained testers pick up coding of testing systems within a few more months.
Look Within Your Company
We envisioned searching within internal teams for similarly moldable talent following the success of our original talent transition and as our organization grew larger. The most stunning outcome of our talent transition program was moving a graphic designer in the organization to our testing team based on her performance, commitment to adapt and logical bend of mind. This employee eventually turned out to be the most driven and most appreciated peer within our software testing team.
Moving employees from one department to another within an organization can be a risky process since every department espouses a distinct cultural norm, such as a fast-moving technology team as opposed to the strategically evolving brand team. Attraction to other departments’ cultural inclination and the ability to gel with different personality types in a different department are important worker aspects to maximize if you hope to have a successful transition.
Misreading the abilities involved in realizing an opportunity and misunderstanding how different the post-skill-development destination is for someone undergoing a talent transition process are challenges managers could face during this talent transition process. To overcome these, it is essential to articulate expectations and give potential transitioners ample time around their future teams well before starting a transition.
Via Human Resources Online : 5 misconceptions about talent management
Many HR practitioners aspire to nurture a pool of creative and productive talent. Here are five misconceptions about talent that could be holding your organisation back.
#1 The phrase ‘talent management’ can be considered elitist
It may come as a surprise, but some leaders actually dislike the phrase ‘talent management’. Some would prefer having 90% of employees focused on delivering their best rather than 10% identified as so-called talent – and being given preferential treatment.
According to the authors of bestselling book on leadership Now Discover Your Strengths – Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman – everyone has talents that should be drawn on in the workplace. A well rated performance and talent management system can help with this.
#2 Managerial bias in measuring talent
Managerial bias can raise concerns with succession planning – where managers choose talent in their own likeness. Managers need to be developed who can be objective about performance and the assessment of talent. It’s also recommended to recruit people managers rather than fast-tracking technical specialists without the people gene.
#3 Opting for recruited talent
Recruited talent can be a costly pitfall for many businesses. Some people present outstandingly at interview and may even be terrific performers in another line of work – but this does not mean they will perform in your company. Never underestimate the value of homegrown talent.
With homegrown talent you know the individual’s shortcomings – and it is far more that they will be loyal to your organisation. While fresh blood can sometimes give a welcome boost, homegrown talent is more cost-effective, lower risk and motivational to other employees in the team.
#4 Believing that so-called talent will automatically perform
Whether you have paid handsomely to recruit top talent into your organisation or have recruited internally, you can’t expect them to automatically live up to their reputation. Talent is often situational and it’s essential to remember that everyone – no matter how talented – must still be well-managed. New talent still needs to be on-boarded with clarity of expectations and sound management.
#5 Labelling individuals as talent could actually increase attrition rates
There is a risk of those identified as talent will become dissatisfied if career aspirations they believe they were promised are not met. Putting them on a talent pedestal can be counterproductive and could even make them more likely to leave the company if their lofty expectations aren’t met.