The skills, behaviours and competencies needed for future roles are different to those needed today. How can you future-proof your workforce so you retain and yet develop talent for the future?
With the World Economic Forum reporting back in 2020 that 94% of business leaders expect employees to pick up new skills on the job (a sharp uptick from 65% in 2018), it is clear that today’s (and the future’s) workforce requires the ability to reskill and learn new competencies and to be self-sufficient in this.
And yet, despite this, too often in our own conversations with talent teams, the focus is on developing the competencies required in the near term, with limited attention being paid to those behaviours needed in the future.
Understandably, immediate business pressure focuses the attention.
This works well to inform development action plans needed for a current role, but what of those the organisation needs in two years, or those the individual wants to develop for their future career?
Understanding The Skills Gap Between Now And The Future – Using 360
Roles will change. New skills will be needed. Competency frameworks require updating.
To design your upskill, reskill and competency roadmap, you need to know where you are now – and where you are heading. You need a snapshot of current individual competencies and what are needed in the future.
Of course, to do this, you need to define what these future competencies are that your organisation needs.
Perhaps you already know these or perhaps you need support in reshaping a competency framework. If you need a partner to work through defining those, we can help. We will support you as you think about the long term and which competencies will be needed and then design a new framework around which you can update your talent management activities.
You will be able to plan and decide whether you hire in those competencies as new employees or develop them through specific L&D initiatives.
Establishing The Baseline – And Looking To The Future
360-degree feedback can help you measure the baseline of current competencies.
You know that.
For decades, 360-degree feedback has helped managers, individual team members and L&D leaders understand the extent to which the competencies required in a role are held by the individual. The results inform development conversations, action plans and L&D initiatives.
Typically, the competencies being rated in a 360 are those of the current role – or an aspirational leadership role or a role into which the individual wants to be promoted. We are seeing an increasing use of 360 as part of promotional boards and assessment centres.
However, with a configurable 360 system – and not all 360s will do this – you have the choice of including an alternative questionnaire with a more future-focused set of competencies. These are ideal if you or the individual wants to understand how they currently fare alongside such requirements.
If you’re already using 360-degree feedback, you may want to check how it stacks up against our Talent 360.
If you are not yet using a 360 questionnaire to help you spot the gaps for development, then perhaps it’s something to explore.
We can tailor a demo just for you that reflects what your organisation’s needs.
Enable Individuals To Understand The Demands Of Future Roles
We know that the straight-upwards climb of the career ladder is a thing of the past. Careers tend now to resemble a climbing wall with sideways moves being seen as important for overall progress.
The challenge for employees is understanding where their current role can take them. How can their current competencies be deployed in other roles? Which of these may need to be further developed to move into a role of interest?
Career pathing tools, such as Talent Navigator, can help in this.
You can populate this software with details of the roles currently included within your job architecture and, if needed, new roles for which you have a clear job description and competency outline (even if no one is yet in post).
The individual is then able to log into Talent Navigator, include 360 review feedback from Talent 360 and understand their current competency profile and level. They can then search for roles either in which they are interested or which match (or could match with some development) their skill areas.
This means individuals can plan their future career with you, understanding in which areas they need to develop or consolidate skills in order to move into future roles.
If you’re not yet offering your employees a career pathing tool, get in touch as we can show you what Talent Navigator can do.
Making Sure Employees Know Where The Business Is Heading
Business strategies and plans need to be agile and adaptable. Similarly, departments, teams and individuals need to keep abreast of changes to plans and goals and make sure their actions stay true to overarching objectives.
How can managers help individuals keep on track and see the direct link between their role and the goals of the team and the wider firm?
One way is to cascade organisational goals down and across the company, with individual objectives rolling up into team aims and team aims all connecting to deliver department and organisational plans. As the strategic goals change, so do those of the individual.
And individuals can track this through an always-available system, such as Talent Performance. Individual users can log in and see how their objectives align with the bigger picture – and view their own progress towards those objectives.
Check out your current performance management system to see if you can currently achieve this. If not, perhaps now is the time to switch and future-proof your objective setting and review process.
The Next Step
There is no doubt that talent managers have to manage the performance of the workforce for today’s business, making sure employees have access to the right tools, support and development in order to deliver this.
However, they also need to keep one eye firmly on the organisation of the future.
They need to know what will be needed in the roles of the future and how they can identify and develop those employees to meet these demands.
Your talent management software should be capable of supporting you now and help make the transition.
It’s probably one of the areas you know you need to look more at – and yet you are not sure where to start. Perhaps a call with us will help give you a signpost to the next steps.