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Sitting on the bench: strengths, talents, soft and hard skills

Alicia Roy

Content Marketing Strategist

Before knowing what individual skills we have to sacrifice for the good of the company, we have to understand what skills we have in our organisation.

In HR circles we talk a lot about skills. Most of us have experienced university students entering work life with fresh knowledge that seemed obsolete before the internship ended. For this reason, companies that are committed to innovation understand the importance of an always learning approach to growth. If we create a learning culture, we can adapt to a changing world and win the battle to volatility.

Ok – great! Understood – we need new skills all the time. But which skills do we have to teach and how can HR departments identify them? This is one of the biggest difficulties that learning departments face today. But, fear not! Technology can come to the rescue. Just like Netflix knows what I'm interested in watching, thanks to AI, a complex algorithm and a huge database, skills can be identified and developed through the same processes. However, building what's called a skills taxonomy, like the one Cornerstone offers, from scratch would be just as insane as pretending to build my mobile phone myself from my desk at home. Let's leave that specialised work to those who have the time, the resources, and use their knowledge to our advantage.

Hard skills, soft skills or strengths.

We know that technical knowledge or hard skills can be acquired easily thanks to technology. This interconnected world with millions of online tutorials offers us a never-ending portfolio of knowledge and explanations that we can access anytime and anywhere. Soft skills, on the other hand, are not so easy to acquire and develop, yet are of greatest importance. How can this be possible? Do you remember the intern that started in your company and didn't understand the dynamics of the office, but could create some bad-ass Excel tables? When talent is brought in that has never been in work environments before, we realise that they may lack skills such as active listening, a feeling of responsibility or even motivation. These are skills that allow our graduates and new talents to solve problems, collaborate, and have critical and constructive thinking. This means that the skills taxonomy will not only help us understand what hard skills we will have to develop in individuals, but also which soft skills we must encourage in teams. But rather than focusing on the skills that we lack, what if we could focus on our strengths? What skill do I have, what am I particularly good at that is very necessary for my job? How can I improve on that skill and optimise it so that the whole team benefits from it? Let's think positively. Let's not focus only on everything we don't know and what we still have to learn, but on what we know we are good at and how we can elevate and multiply it.

Therefore, a successful strategy understands that as an employee I need to grow and learn new things - be it soft or hard skills - that take me out of my comfort zone, but at the same time also have access and be able to understand what my strengths are and how to improve them.

Individualism. Happiness. Sacrifice for the team.

The Playbook is a documentary on Netflix that interviews some of the best sports coaches in the world and you can see a trend in team sports: the role of the coach is to help the team work together, even if the individual player has to make a sacrifice. Change the word coach for manager, team for department and player for employee.

The role of a manager is to help the department work together, even if the employee has to make a sacrifice.

This concept confronts us with a dilemma: we live in an individualistic society. We all believe in the right to be in a search for happiness and purpose at work. We feel we have the right to be promoted and, at times, in this myopia we lose sight of the department or, even worse, the company needs. Without a company you don't need employees. If we want to build an innovative and resilient organisation, we have to hire talent that complements and makes the community stronger. A community that works as a whole and that has team members that can develop their skills – and their strengths too. For this reason, skill taxonomies have to focus not only on a micro level, but also on a macro level.

Trade failure for learning.

In this video by Paolo Gallo, asks the audience what the opposite of achievement is. People shout failure in unison to which Paolo responds "no, the opposite of achievement is learning." This concept is perhaps a bit utopian, but very necessary if we really want to generate a culture of learning in our companies or work groups. We all have to build a space in which to innovate and take risks as part of our day to day. Sharing the learning processes - failures - with the group provides us with transparency, empathy, creates understanding between people and provides us with a macro vision of the team we are part of. Thus, synergies and opportunities for collaboration will emerge and collaborative learning will naturally evolve. To accelerate these values, we can look for examples within our companies where learning or “failures” have led to great achievements. Also offering post-mortem meetings for large projects involving the entire department or even rewarding those who take the risk, even if they haven’t quite got it right.

In conclusion, it is our duty as an employer to educate and provide the transparency that our employees need to understand the needs of the whole team. This concept is closely linked to the idea of ​​social responsibility, with initiatives that are committed to values such as diversity or the environment. As an employee, my responsibility is to be in a constant learning process, not to lose curiosity and to understand that my skills must be complemented with those of the rest of the team. Consequently, we will have an understanding of the macro and the micro that will help us understand and know when we have to wait and sit on the bench.

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Chassis Brakes International

Témoignage de client

Chassis Brakes International

Chassis Brakes International développe sa politique Ressources Humaines au niveau mondial grâce à Cornerstone OnDemand En se dotant d’une suite de gestion des talents au niveau mondial, l’équipementier automobile investit pour soutenir sa croissance et permettre à ses 6,000 collaborateurs de tirer le meilleur de leur potentiel. Ce projet permettra à l’équipementier automobile d’harmoniser les données sur ses effectifs à travers le monde, grâce à une gestion unifiée de ses ressources humaines. Une stratégie qui a pour vocation de soutenir la croissance de Chassis Brakes International à travers le développement de nouvelles activités, la fidélisation de ses collaborateurs et l’attraction de nouveaux talents. Présent dans 16 pays - Allemagne, Australie, Afrique du Sud, Brésil, Chine, Espagne, Etats-Unis, France, Inde, Italie, Japon, Pays-Bas, Portugal, Pologne, Thaïlande et Turquie - le groupe Chassis Brakes International a choisi d’adopter l’ensemble des modules de Cornerstone. La suite couvre tout le cycle de vie des collaborateurs : recrutement et intégration, gestion des entretiens annuels, gestion des carrières et revues de talents, plans de succession, processus de révision salariale et suivi de la formation. La plateforme cloud de Cornerstone a vocation à donner à la multinationale une vision claire sur ses données RH : comment sont répartis les effectifs ? Quelles sont les expertises des collaborateurs? Quelle est leur performance ?... Autant de questions indispensables à toute démarche de gestion des talents. En analysant ces données, Chassis Brakes International améliorera également la prise de décision de ses managers : ils pourront ainsi accéder à tout moment et en situation de mobilité (tablette ou smartphone) à des informations fiables, sécurisées et harmonisées. La capacité de Cornerstone à couvrir l’ensemble du périmètre fonctionnel et géographique de l’équipementier automobile mondial a été un critère de choix primordial. Avec plus de 16 ans d’expérience dans le développement et la mise en place de solutions de gestion des talents en mode cloud, Cornerstone bénéficie en effet d’une forte expertise dans le pilotage et la conduite de projets internationaux. « Grâce à la technologie cloud de Cornerstone, nous disposerons d’une solution complète de gestion des talents qui nous permettra de faire évoluer le métier de nos équipes Ressources Humaines à travers le monde et facilitera la prise de décision de nos managers. Nous pourrons mener une politique de recrutement et de développement des talents à la hauteur de nos fortes ambitions business. » explique Thierry Couillaud, Vice-Président Ressources Humaines Monde de Chassis Brakes International. « Chez Cornerstone, nous sommes fiers de prendre part à un projet d’une telle ampleur, qui donnera à Chassis Brakes la technologie qu’il faut pour améliorer l’expérience de ses collaborateurs, simplifier les processus RH et créer le lien entre ses équipes à travers le monde. » ajoute Vincent Belliveau, Directeur général EMEA de Cornerstone OnDemand.

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