Could Talent Optimization be the next evolution of HR?
WRITTEN BY Jasmine Ferres
Not a lot has changed in the world of Human Resources over the last 20 years. Sure, we’ve seen a raise in the profile of the function -- it's for the most part no longer seen as a purely admin department, relegated to the back office and palmed off to a COO who has little understanding of the discipline. And yes, we have seen growth in areas such as learning and development, employee relations, rewards and benefits and a far greater focus on culture. Yet true to 20 years ago, the function still struggles to get a proper seat at the Executive table. HR is rarely seen for its strategic potential and is often attempting to bridge what is an alarmingly big gap between being an employee advocate and a business champion. The same issues still plague most of the HR Execs I work with: "How can I get the people agenda to be given as equal importance as the finances or product?" And "How can I have true strategic influence?"
It's clear for most of us now that people are the key differentiator of any business. No longer can we rely simply on investment, products or even great ideas. Without talented, inspired people who can effectively execute, we achieve very little. And at the same time, millions of people each day are turning up to jobs they don’t enjoy, with managers they don’t like working for and employers that don’t truly understand or value them. Businesses are unable to understand why their business strategies and plans from the beginning of the year don’t end with the results they were hoping for at the end of the year...
Generally, we are making decisions based on what we have experienced about a person, rather than on an understanding of what they are capable. At most, we will guess at what makes them unique, what drives and motivates them. And we require people to adapt to the role, their manager and the environment they are placed into in order to do well -- it's about ‘fitting’ into the culture. HR then comes in to solve for the issues that inevitably arise when that approach doesn’t work.
We need to evolve. We need change that allows companies and employees to reach their full potential together. And the answer may just be in a new category we at The Predictive Index and its Certified Partners have identified as Talent Optimization. It is a way of helping business leaders and HR bridge the gap between strategy and results. When you have access to the Talent Optimization tools provided through the Predictive Index methodology you soon realize that people are, well - predictable! Once you know what fundamentally drives them and what they need to reach their best, you can design for this with incredible accuracy and results. It's possible to use this talent data to inform most of your business decisions and be purposeful about how you design roles, put together teams, divide responsibilities and shape the environment to best suit their full potential. It's about changing our approach to people and adapting to them, rather than forcing them to fit another mold. It's about building talent intelligence that provides an understanding of what each person needs in order to perform at their best so that your company can achieve its best. It's about bridging the gap between doing what's best for your people and doing what's best for your business. Because, as we know, our people are our business.
If you’d like to know more about Talent Optimization and the various strategic management tools we use at PI Midlantic please get in touch here with one of our experienced Senior Consultants.