Roundtable insights: transforming your approach to workplace reinvention

Autor Dominique Seal
März 22, 2023

Our own Dominique Seal recently hosted an insightful virtual roundtable to take a deep dive into how businesses can transform their approach to enterprise workforce reinvention. Dominique heads up our executive interim HR Transformation practice.

She was joined by Peter Zorn, Partner at Mercer and respected expert and consultant in enterprise transformation and global workforce reinvention. Peter has lived and worked in an incredible 14 countries, zigzagging his career across many functions in financial services. You can find out more about Peter in our interview here.

Peter has expertise as a transformation specialist that encompasses the full value chain of business transformation across people, processes and platforms. He covers everything from voice of the customer and employee, process re-engineering, renovation of performance metrics to talent engagement programmes. He also covers diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), skills ecosystems and linking workforce and cultural transformation to business outcomes.

Here are some highlights from the event.

Transforming your approach to workforce reinvention

Businesses around the globe have been on a huge journey since the pandemic. There’s been major change driving the HR profession and financial services sector. The dust now seems to be settling and people have found their new norm and businesses are looking closer at their transformation and change initiatives focusing on impact.

“It’s not as simple as recruiting employees from business to business.”

Are the right people in the right roles?

There are many enabling functions of HR that affect the rest of your business and a key driver is, of course, your people. Every leader Peter works with has the shared concern of whether they have the right people in the right roles with the right skills.

Do your people have the right skills to fuel your business’s growth strategy? It’s not as simple as recruiting employees from business to business. You can’t just buy your way into this any more as there are skills shortages in the market.

When it comes to long-term strategies, people are your greatest assets. Whichever way they are moving around, there’s an opportunity to create a more sustainable change model that can decrease cost, increase employee engagement and retention, improve the risk profile that you operate in and build your future talent pool from within rather than constantly looking outside.

“Build your future talent pool from within rather than constantly looking outside.”

Skills learning, capability and mobility

Many businesses are focusing on talent acquisition projects, skills programmes and the more effective use of artificial intelligence (AI) and data. So how do we build a culture of continuous learning and pay for the right skills?

The answer is around skills learning, building capability and mobility supported by transparency and visibility. The concept of transparency is essential if we want people to take power into their own hands and see the career path options ahead of them.   

“Focus on personalisation and individuality by letting your people decide what they want to learn which will ignite their inner curiosity.”

People in your business might spend dozens of hours learning about data science or hybrid cloud or supply chains. These people are often trying hard to learn and upskill but there is no visibility among management and no link to talent acquisition nor strategic workforce planning.

Enable transparency throughout your management. Managers need to be in a position to gain oversight about the direction of where people want to go, what their passions are, if they’re a learner and who has a growth mindset. Focus on personalisation and individuality by letting your people decide what they want to learn which will ignite their inner curiosity.

“Enable transparency throughout your management.”

Shifting from a role-based enterprise to a skills-based one

Your enterprise-wide skills framework needs to be detailed enough so that any individual within the business can see what positions exist, what skills are required and their proficiency level. They should be able to map where they sit in that framework today versus where they want to go – whether it’s up or across. That will help to provide transparency over the right learning pathways to get there.

User experience platforms and internal talent marketplaces

Peter calls this the “Netflix of Learning”. You want to give your people the opportunity to learn anything and everything that they want to, but of course you can nudge people in the direction – like when your streaming service nudges you with content you might like.  You need to draw people in, show them the value and keep them coming back for more.

Using the right platform, you can nudge your employees with a core set of skills determined around data science, analytics, hybrid cloud leadership, design thinking or anything else relevant to them and your business.

“You need to draw people in, show them the value and keep them coming back for more.”

Learning is exponentially enhanced through AI-powered, data-driven talent marketplaces which link learning to mentors, gig opportunities and potentially new full-time assignments. Any new skill acquisition needs to be supported by exposure (to experts) and experience (try before you buy short assignments.)  Talent marketplaces are uniquely placed to support transparency, visibility and personalisation – every employee that is empowered becomes the CEO of their own career.

You can also promote digital badging or accreditation. People naturally want to promote what they’ve done. Your business can promote and track the number of badges issued across whatever skills you think is important to fulfil the execution strategy of your business.

“Every employee that is empowered becomes the CEO of their own career.”

Storytelling is a crucial skill in HR

Everybody in HR needs the skill of storytelling and there’s always room for improvement. If you want to go to the board to get buy-in for your transformation initiatives, it’s important that you inspire and connect with your senior leadership to understand why you want to do this and the benefits it will bring to the entire enterprise.

“If you want to go to get buy-in for your transformation initiatives, you must inspire and connect with your senior leadership.”

Dominique regularly hosts interactive events such as networking sessions and roundtables, covering a broad range of industry-related topics across the HR Transformation market. She often partners with industry specialists and influencers to provide their expertise and experience.

Contact Dominique if you are interested in taking part in future sessions. You can also connect directly to Peter Zorn on LinkedIn if you’d like to learn to discuss any of these ideas in detail or more broad enterprise transformation.

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