How to Achieve Talent Agility and Why You Need It

At Works, we focus intently on the concept of talent as a significant asset for modern organizations. We take a comprehensive approach to evaluate this concept from different perspectives. Where can we expect to go from here? We are keen to gain a deeper understanding of the implications of talent in the workplace, approaches to developing it, and ways to make the most of it.

The unexpected emergence of the Coronavirus pandemic led businesses to reconsider their approach to operations. Many organizations have implemented changes to their workflow, altered the structure of their teams, granted more autonomy to their staff and implemented novel management styles. In order to survive such a crisis, organizations must embrace flexibility and adaptability, as this is the only way to ensure long term success.

It is widely accepted that the business world will not look the same after the coronavirus pandemic has passed. Many organizations are likely to keep certain emergency measures that have proven to be effective, while employees’ attitudes towards work may also change, with more people opting for teleworking either part-time or full-time. These developments will undoubtedly bring about a new set of standards for the workplace, and will have a significant impact on the labor market in the years ahead.

The Covid-19 pandemic has served to reiterate the importance of agility in today’s business environment. To be successful, companies must have the capacity to rapidly adapt to changing market conditions in order to stay ahead of the competition. This often requires that work routines and processes be regularly adapted and updated to meet the changing demands of the market, with the ability to do so quickly being of paramount importance.

It is essential to acknowledge that the flexibility of organisations is determined by their staff. This concept can be described as ‘talent agility’ – the capacity to rapidly adapt to changing circumstances. Investing in this quality in your workforce will ensure that your company is better equipped to respond to future challenges.

Define Talent Agility.

In order to be ‘talent agile’, it is essential to possess the ability to quickly and cost-effectively adjust your workforce in order to meet any challenges that arise. This includes all the steps you can take to ensure that your organization has the right personnel to overcome any obstacle it may face. This can involve activities such as: recruiting the right employees, upskilling existing personnel, offering flexible working arrangements, embracing digital transformation and utilizing outside experts when necessary. By implementing these strategies, organizations can become more talent agile and better equipped to deal with any challenges that come their way.

  • Academic Courses
  • Strategies for nurturing talent
  • How to Find and Keep Good Employees
  • Organizational strategies for developing talent

By investing in your team and giving them the opportunity to develop and enhance their skills, you can ensure that your in-house talent have the necessary knowledge and experience to handle any unexpected challenges and meet any new requirements. Not only will this increase the chances of success for the business, but it will also have a hugely positive impact on staff morale. Your team will feel valued and appreciated, knowing that their contribution is recognized and that they have the opportunity to grow and progress within the company.

When it comes to talent, why is flexibility so crucial?

The outbreak of Coronavirus has demonstrated the volatility of the business environment. What was effective at the start of the day might no longer be appropriate the following day. After planning for months, your product could become redundant if a competitor launches a similar offering first. Years of expertise may suddenly become out of date in the blink of an eye due to the emergence of advanced technology. Furthermore, a startup’s game-changing practices may completely redefine an entire industry. And so on.

Despite the fact that not all of these occurrences can be considered emergencies, they were relatively frequent prior to the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the sudden onset of this pandemic has changed the landscape and made it a completely new environment. This is further evidenced by the impact seen in the transportation industry as a result of the rise of Uber, the adoption of artificial intelligence in various industries, such as banking and agriculture, and the shift away from Flash specialists.

Our business assumptions were put to the test by various examples, many of which we have not even mentioned. When Uber first began, the concept of rating taxi drivers had not even crossed our minds. However, thanks to the advancements in Artificial Intelligence, we can now gain insight that was once only achievable by the most forward-thinking business owners. Flash was once the leader of the internet, but has been surpassed by HTML5 tags. This has forced existing businesses and individuals to make changes in order to remain competitive, or risk being left behind. Does that sound extreme to you? If you would like to gain further insight into the matter, you can always contact Kodak’s senior management and ask directly.

It is undeniable that transitions are an unavoidable part of life and business. In order to stay competitive, even companies that prefer to remain static must acknowledge this fact. Having agile talent is essential in such cases, as it allows companies to better adjust to both expected and unexpected changes. Flexibility is of the utmost importance here, as it is in natural selection. By continually nurturing and developing their personnel, businesses can ensure they remain competitive.

It is beyond doubt that the workplace of tomorrow will be significantly different to that of today, requiring employees to possess a variety of different skillsets. Ten years ago, very few people would have predicted the need for blockchain experts or Internet of Things developers, yet in recent times they have been highly sought after. Many individuals have taken the opportunity to re-train and develop the skills necessary to become specialist in these two fields, demonstrating their ability to quickly adapt to the changing job market. This is highly advantageous for your situation.

Learning to Move Quickly with Your Talent

It is clear that it is much easier to talk about the changes that need to be made than to actually implement them. Changes in the markets tend to happen rapidly, and the recent pandemic has left many businesses and their staff in a position where they are playing catch-up. However, it is not advisable to simply wait for the markets to change; instead, companies should strive to become ‘talent agile’ to give themselves the best possible chance of managing any future challenges.

So, how can you encourage that kind of environment in your business and make your employees more adaptable? It’s possible by following these steps:

  • Acknowledge the good and the bad in your skill set. In order to identify the skills and knowledge required to meet the goals of your organization, it is essential to evaluate the competencies of the staff that you currently have. Simply stating the number of software engineers, marketers and accountants is not enough; you must ascertain the level of expertise for each role in order to determine whether you have the necessary skills and knowledge to move forward.
    For instance, you can find that your marketer also knows about UX or that one of your software developers has blockchain-related skills. Make a detailed inventory of those skills (even the ones you don’t use right now). Doing so will allow you to know where your company stands in terms of capabilities.
  • Get familiar with the business environment, the market, and your rivals. Now that you have assessed your own staff resources, it is time to evaluate the businesses in your area of expertise. It is possible to identify potential staffing needs in the short, medium and long term by monitoring the recruitment plans of competitors, analyzing emerging trends among your target audience and keeping up to date with industry news.
    Don’t just focus on the competitors that feel closer to you (in terms of size and market focus). Check your entire industry from big enterprises to new startups. One might be about to revolutionize the field with a specific strategic move, and you need to be aware of that to get the skills required to swing in that same direction at a moment’s notice. Though this might seem more reactive, it doesn’t matter if you’re the first to a trend that can become a new norm: it only matters that you get there fast and right.
  • Develop a plan for attracting and retaining top people. Having full visibility into the strengths, weaknesses and trends of your organization’s, competitors’ and industry’s capabilities is a great way to plan your next talent-related steps. This can be challenging however, as creating a successful plan requires a diverse range of skills and knowledge, as well as the ability to make insightful decisions. It is therefore important that your next steps and the specific abilities you wish to develop are outlined clearly and in detail within the plan.
    By all means, don’t take that as a call to go all-in on a single investment. You have to be smart about the direction you’ll take with your talent. Maybe you can diversify your efforts and train your workforce in several skills you imagine might make a difference in the future. You might partner up with a nearshore development company to fill in the gaps. The important thing is that you come up with an actionable plan for you to follow, with a clear purpose.
    Keep in mind that the plan won’t be set in store – a huge part of having talent agility is being flexible, so you’ll have to be ready to switch directions at any moment.
  • Merge several approaches to developing talent. In order to successfully reach your talent objectives, it is imperative that you take action now. Utilise a variety of approaches to ensure that you are making the most of the techniques discussed earlier. Talent development initiatives, training courses and other possibilities to acquire new skills should always be considered as the first step.
    Investing in reskilling and upskilling can provide you with increased talent agility, as you’ll have a workforce whose skills you already know will get better through new skills. They’ll have the bonus of knowing your company and your market inside out, so they’ll bring extra value to all your efforts. Besides, investing in your team will better prepare for unexpected changes and boost engagement with your business.

Flex your Talent to its Full Potential.

It is challenging to anticipate the immediate and long-term consequences of the pandemic. We can assume that a range of elements, such as the economy’s reaction to the pandemic, employees’ changing preferences, and businesses’ adjusting strategies, will lead to a shift in the status quo. Consequently, it is reasonable to assume that the future will present an unprecedented amount of unpredictability and transformation, a concept we must become accustomed to.

In the current climate, the capacity to rapidly recognise and respond to new personnel is of paramount importance, as it will enable you to be in the optimum mindset to surmount potential hurdles through deploying your organisation’s most valuable resource: its personnel.

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