Talent Consumerisation - the impact on employee engagement

Posted on August 28, 2015 at 15:21 PM

In our blog this week, we take a look at the impact that the consumerisation of talent is having - or may need to have - on our employee engagement activities.

Talent Consumerisation has led to the need for a more individually-driven employee proposition - and a re-kindled focus on employee engagement.

To learn more about our thoughts on talent consumerisation, why not watch our video?

Video - What is 'Talent Consumerisation' - and what does it mean for HR?

You can see below our thoughts on what the indications from the shift to talent consumerisation means for HR and Talent decision-makers with regards to employee engagement.

Talent Consumerisation indicates… This means for us in HR…
That there is a need to much better understand and segment the needs of different segments of the current and future talent audience Like our colleagues in Marketing, we need to get out there and proactively find out what turns on/off the talent of most critical importance to our organisations, so that we can then segment these needs and develop propositions which appeal
That there is a need to move away from an over-reliance on mass-market, generic and largely internally-generated data This raises the importance of line manager dialogue in understanding individual needs and the ability to cut our HR data by more specific and smaller groups of employees
That we could be adopting more of a ‘marketing’ mindset around attraction and retention We need to align our people processes to deliver against specific propositions driven by talent segmentation work. We need to make more use of consumer insight data in the external world e.g. focus groups, commissioned consumer research etc.
That we need to develop a flexible ‘suite’ of employee engagement mechanisms and options which allow employers to offer more choice within a manageable framework We need to be able to assemble individual options from a ‘menu’ at manager/employee level
We need to be able to understand where we have our most critical employee engagement needs through strategic workforce planning. Create engagement datums relative to strategic needs and NOT last year’s number Being able to highlight employee engagement issues in different populations allows for a more focused approach. Using employer’s own data is key as is the ability to relate engagement to Key Business Priorities or KPIs
There is an increasing focus on non-financial means of engaging employees As most people leave managers not businesses, this again puts the quality of line management into the spotlight
That we need to help employees and managers understand what engages them in their work and what do to on a practical level to preserve and enhance employee engagement Ensure mangers are part of the engagement action planning after the survey and provide them with insight into their team’s engagement levels and drivers.

When we look at the world of consumer marketing, what we see are a number of common approaches that do not seem to be being applied to the world of talent management.

For example:

  • Proactively seeking to understand what engages key strategic segments of the consumer audience – what we see instead is an approach which is not very differentiated by talent need, which tends to be focused on existing employees not future employees, and which tends to measure ‘average’ needs as opposed to individual need.
  • Developing relevant propositions supported by processes to deliver them in a reliable way – what we often see instead is a reverse-engineered approach driven by ‘this is what we would like to offer people’ rather than ‘this is specifically what this group of people say they want’. People processes are often not aligned to one another so as to deliver this consistently.
  • Offering as much choice as economically feasible – consumers like choice and the perception that they can tailor an offer to their individual needs as opposed to being treated as a member of the herd. At the same time, organisations cannot economically provide different offers for each individual consumer. Retail consumer-oriented organisations address this dilemma by offering a ‘menu’ approach whereby there are a number of different meals that can be assembled from a basic set of ingredients. In the talent management world we see this happening to a degree with ‘Flex Ben’ schemes. The way in which this would need to be approached for existing employees is for the final ‘meal’ to be assembled at manager/employee level, since this is where organisations are able to explore individual needs most effectively. Managers must then be able to assemble what they believe are the best combination of ingredients from a flexible but finite menu provided and governed by HR.

There is a great deal which we can learn from our approach to the consumers who buy the products and services that our organisations develop, but at the moment these principles are all too infrequently being applied.

You can read the full article below which also addresses the impact on Succession Planning and Employee Engagement.

Read the article Talent Consumerisation: what this means  in for Talent Management 

If you would like to talk more about this, then please do get in touch with us.

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