Blog Post

The power of talent management: how hr leaders can thrive through change

Cornerstone Editors

In light of an economic downturn, layoffs and changing employee expectations, HR professionals must be ready for what lies ahead. Recently, Brianna Foulds, the vice president of talent at Cornerstone, sat down with Ave Rio, managing editor of Talent Management, for an episode of her podcast Talent10X. In their episode, “Gazing into the Crystal Ball: Top Upcoming Talent Trends,” Foulds and Rio share valuable insights on how organisations can keep their workforces thriving in 2023 and beyond.

How can talent management professionals adjust their strategies in 2023?

It's essential that talent managers build a strategy to execute the most critical and impactful talent activities for 2023. To do that, you have to focus on areas that will drive success in one area and across multiple others.

According to Foulds, “Efforts in diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, for example, focusing on hiring diverse talent, can impact our workforce makeup. However, by not just focusing on hiring but also inclusion, we're able to drive engagement through inclusion and influence the retention of our diverse population and our workforce. Organisations have an opportunity to focus on retaining their top talent and ensuring they have transparent opportunities within their organisation.”

DEIB is just one of many focus areas Foulds recommends. Internal mobility will be another area that could make an increased positive impact on your organisation this year. By empowering your people to self-explore new roles, gigs, projects and other growth opportunities inside your organisation, you can ensure they’re engaged in their work and building the necessary skills.

What reskilling and hiring considerations can you make?

“One consideration that’s going to be and will continue to be important is change acceptance,” says Foulds. As a talent leader, you have seen all the change in just the past few years. And yet, through all the turmoil, your organisation has relied on you to help your organisation endure change and stay flexible for every change.

Another essential consideration to Foulds this year is empathy in leadership. Emotionally intelligent leaders are self-aware and have the soft skills to connect with their teams and provide guidance and reassurance. These leaders' empathy lets them better connect and manage a diverse workforce. And with Gen Z being the most diverse generation of workers to date, no leader can be successful without leading with empathy.

How might workplace communication change or evolve?

Workplace communication has already evolved. According to a report by Zippia USA, remote work has increased four times since March 2020, so hybrid or even fully remote workforces aren't going away. All of us are using more virtual collaboration and communication tools than ever before.

“Collaborating and communicating effectively is imperative to success with remote teams,” says Foulds. “Quick meetings in the hallway or at lunch aren't as accessible as they used to be. And we now huddle in Slack or jump on Zoom. So a keen understanding of how to socialise, communicate and use tools and best practices to effectively work together while apart are crucial.”

These factors make building a cohesive and collaborative work culture that much harder. However, one of the strongest ways to connect your organisation is through trust. Trusting your employees to do their work while trusting your managers to provide them with the support they need to work productively. Without trust, organisations can only go so far.

What tools do talent management professionals need in their toolbox right now?

You need ways for people to collaborate effectively and quickly, so you need collaborative tools and software. Without tools and programs that share knowledge, you’ll only ever see a fraction of the data you need to make informed decisions effectively. The time it takes to process, consolidate, and evaluate people's data multiplies exponentially the more systems you have that don’t work together.

“We are looking at skills more than ever now,” Foulds explains. “How can we shift talent from one area of business to another and drive impact? We're doing this on my team right now at this very moment. How do we connect leaders and teams that are typically siloed but do interconnect? Those are things that we need to be able to see and evaluate.”

And to answer all those questions, Foulds suggests looking to technology. You need data and platforms that provide you and your people with the necessary insights to drive learning and growth.

How can gig work fuel internal talent mobility?

According to Foulds, “Experiential learning has always been and is now more than ever necessary to grow.” A great way to expand the learning experiences available to your people is through an internal gig program. Anyone at your organisation with a short-term project they need help with can post a gig that anyone else at your organisation can access and apply. Accountants helping design. Product marketers making sales calls. You’re the one who sets the bounds for how far your gig program can take you.

Foulds discussed the gig program at Cornerstone when she said, “We've seen some amazing success stories in with our gig program. One, in particular, was an employee in finance that took on a gig assignment with our content team. When a role became available, she ended up getting the job. And so that's an improbable career path and one that was made possible through experiential learning and the tools that were available to do that.”

Who at your organisation is your next star?

Change is the only constant

Those are only a few topics covered in Rio and Fould's enlightening conversation. They also discussed how to do your part to prepare for change, talent trends to leave behind in 2022, and more. If you want to dive deeper, we highly recommend listening to the full podcast episode for even more valuable insights.

And as you face the changes 2023 will bring, remember that with empathy, trust, and understanding, you can ensure your workforce stays flexible for any change.

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