5 ways to better nurture talent in your organisation

Top tips and considerations for business leaders
Kelley Steven Waiss, CTO, ServiceNow

The world of work is changing. Development is becoming more dynamic, career journeys are becoming less linear, and employees are leaving companies faster than ever before. Failing to put your employees first today isn’t just a threat to workforce morale, it’s a threat to your entire business trajectory.  

Business leaders who don’t look to develop their talent in dynamic, appropriate ways — ways that actually add real, tangible value for their employees — risk falling behind when it comes to talent retention, productivity, and innovation. With the right approach, however, it’s entirely possible to maximise the potential of your people to mutually benefit both them and your business.  

Leaning on my experience as a senior leader, I’ve put together my top tips and considerations for business leaders looking nurture talent effectively:  

1. Understand (and adapt to) today’s skills economy 

In the past, the average skill would stay valuable for approximately 15 to 20 years. Today, research shows that figure has reduced to approximately 5 years, with more technical skills dropping to a half-life of just 2.5 years. 

Business leaders looking to drive their business strategy forward must look for opportunities to reskill their workforce on a near-constant basis. However, doing this successfully comes with its own set of challenges.  

It’s important to look at how we can move away from a traditional ‘static’ job architecture and towards a resilient, dynamic strategy that makes use of available technology and data to identify opportunities to reskill and improve where necessary. It’s about investing in the right infrastructure to better support your business in today’s skills economy. 

2. Embrace dynamic growth over static learning

Just as the market shifts or your business trajectory alters, so too do your employees change. Leaders looking to enhance the employee experience need not just to be aware of this reality, but also take genuine action in order to capitalise on it to drive productivity, efficiency, and job satisfaction.  

By providing constant opportunities to reskill or evolve a job role as your employees move through your company, you’re enabling a culture where employees can contribute to the business in a bigger, better way.

3. Keep the bigger picture in mind 

We’re exposed to so many headlines detailing the next big workplace trend, from ‘quiet quitting’ to ‘the great resignation’ and beyond. The result of this is it becomes easy to focus all our attention on these headlines, and devote our time to just one element of a successful talent strategy, while losing sight on the bigger picture.  

 A thought leadership piece may have stated the average worker wants to return to the office in 2023, but that means nothing if your team feels they don’t have a real reason to work in-person. Put simply, ask yourself, are you capturing the necessary information that can tell you exactly what your people want? And then, what actions are you taking to actually deliver? 

4. Identify your “hidden figures” 

I always say, we might know the name and title of the people within our organisation, but that doesn’t mean we really know them — and crucially, that doesn’t mean we understand exactly what they can bring to the business. A key challenge business leaders face today is identifying ‘hidden figures’.  

The more we know about an employee, the better chance we have at matching exciting development or career opportunities to them. I founded Hitch Works Inc, a workplace platform designed to create a dynamic way to excavate potentially untapped skills within individuals in the workforce.  

 And the benefits stretch way beyond just employee satisfaction. On one hand, we tap into a huge amount of capacity within an organisation, but beyond that, we create a culture that allows employees to be fully engaged and innovative.

5. Invest in the right supporting tools 

The success of your strategy — whether you’re looking to identify relevant opportunities for reskilling within the business, unlock capacity beyond traditional static job roles, or learn more about the needs of your employers as they arise — relies on accessibility of information.  

With this in mind, it’s crucial to invest in the correct supporting tools and infrastructure that allows you to efficiently map skills. This is where technology comes into play.  

​​​ Investing in automated solutions can help make extremely complex, manual data mining easy, efficient, and more accurate. On the employee end, processes become more personalised, while from a business standpoint, it becomes easier to remain dynamic, shifting with the landscape as necessary.  

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