GAFA brings boundaryless access to talent

Technology promised productivity gains. But it turns out that, for many, those productivity gains haven’t been realised – at least not to the extent that was expected. Most companies have some catching up to do. There are many reasons for this, one of the most important of which is all about the role of people.

Here is a seven-point checklist to use talent to create greater productivity and innovation.

  1. Take stock of the skill gaps that change is causing and use technology to predict tomorrow. What new skills and roles will you need in the future? Data science is an obvious one. Design thinking skills is another. What other insights can you gain by looking at your business objectives? There are strategic workforce software tools available to help make sense of global jobs and roles.
  2. Align the business vision and talent strategy. This is always on top of the HR agenda. But it’s worth looking at it again, because the business vision is becoming more fluid and the nature of work is changing. In the future, those old hands who get the long-service awards will be the people who have changed careers, never mind jobs, while working for the same organisation. This changes the way talent is sourced, skilled and managed. There’s an opportunity to bind the talent strategy more tightly to the business vision.
  3. Realign the culture and behaviours with the new workforce and talent strategy. This follows on from the previous point, and represents a unique opportunity to build an adaptive culture going forward.
  4. Expand the concept of a workforce. In conversations with HR, CxOs can ask critical questions about where the skills gaps are, and how freelancers and gig-workers can supplement the company’s core skills. This includes building physical and virtual networks to facilitate community building. It also has implications for learning and development. This means financial service companies need to…
  5. Extend the employee experience to non-employees. Your future workforce will comprise both full-time and part-time employees – maybe even ecosystem partners. You can encourage them to spend discretionary effort on your behalf by crafting the right employee experience – even if the part-timers are between projects for you.
  6. Pay even more attention to learning and development. If roles are morphing into whole new careers, your ability to coach, mentor, re-skill and new-skill becomes as valuable to employees as a paycheck. And your future ability to adapt depends on how well your teams internalise these new skills and mindsets.
  7. Build a strong risk and governance foundation. It’s worth opening a dialogue with HR about how this new workforce will be managed, incentivised and held accountable. The environment may be disrupted, but FS companies are still bound by compliance and regulatory issues. The workforce will become fluid and that may introduce an element of risk that firms didn’t have to manage when workers were all full-time.

These seven points are just the start of an in-depth conversation that can unlock productivity gains and human ingenuity that the technology promised in the first place.