Four Steps to Build an Actionable Blueprint for Workforce Transformation

Jacquelyn Soh
March 12, 2021

Digitally mature companies enjoy 30% higher revenue growth compared to their peers. They also win in customer satisfaction, environmental impact, and workforce diversity. Companies who made the bold move to transform even before circumstances necessitated it are reaping huge benefits. While it is not too late for the rest of us to catch-up, our next steps must be decisive. HR leaders marshaling their workforce into action must answer the question: Which talent initiatives will actually have the greatest business impact? 

Although business leaders might own the technology strategy, they trust HR leaders to have in place the future skills required to capitalize on each wave of innovation. The four steps below offer a framework to architect an actionable blueprint for transformation whereby talent and technology can fuel each other. 

Step 1: Gather data

Human decision making without data is limited. Conscious or not, our decisions tend to be colored by our personal experiences, but data can help to challenge or validate those instincts. 

The market is rife with tools and platforms that work with data. Stripping away the buzzwords, data that is actually insightful should bear these four characteristics: 

1. Multi-measured: Humans are complex, so the data must also consider the whole-person across their cognitive, social, and emotional attributes. Tools that over-index on a single dimension may inadvertently hamper diversity and innovation.

2. Objective: Data from self-reported tools like surveys and interviews risk being less inaccurate as they are filtered through subjective perceptions. Platforms like pymetrics can capture thousands of objective behavioral data points in just 25 mins of gameplay.

3. Evergreen: Point-in-time skills check might be useful for recruiters or managers to make an immediate decision, but it creates a burden on employees to undergo multiple assessments at different points in their careers. Over time, the shortening cycle of skills turnover also means evergreen data has a much better ROI. 

4. Scalable: With data that scales across the whole talent lifecycle – from recruitment to development – HR can start to build a truly integrated people strategy that optimizes resource allocation.

pymetrics uses Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered gamified behavioral exercises to capture soft skills data. Soft skills data, which not only is a more durable signal of inherent potential, also equalizes access to a greater number of economic opportunities because they are more fairly distributed in the population and largely agnostic of past experiences.

Step 2: Use data to reveal insights

Once you have the data, what's next? 

The first is to use it to diagnose where your workforce stands today. With pymetrics Insights for example, the dashboard populates with information about your workforce DNA as soon as employees complete the games. It gives a real time view of the inherent skills in your organization by function, region, even across teams of merging businesses. Moreover, the dashboard provides visualization of the gaps and strengths for competencies like innovation, grit, and learning agility – all of which are hallmarks of an adaptable workforce. Importantly, you also get to know how your people compare to industry benchmarks. 

Knowing where you are today, you can then start to write the course of action. This is where another advantage of AI comes into play: the ability to deliver personalized insights at scale. 

Step 3: Empower every employee with insights

Future-ready organizations are cognizant that their ability to fulfill their digital strategy is deeply intertwined with employees’ potential and development. Company leaders can define the vision for change, but to bring it to life, they need their people to be equally bought in. The top priorities for employees, reported by Mercer in 2020, signal people’s desire to be included in the transformation journey. Employees want:

- Opportunities to grow personally and professionally

- Alignment with managers on their skills, interests and gaps

- Transparency of what skills may become more relevant and/or become obsolete

In many organizations, high touch, impactful coaching is reserved for the most senior ranks of executives because of how cost-prohibitive personalized reports are. pymetrics democratizes learning by automatically generating individualized Development Reports for every employee who completes the exercises. These reports can be used across the full talent lifecycle -- from employee onboarding, regular review cycles, to optimizing teamwork with other colleagues. The insights reflect strengths and development areas custom to your workplace, and enable them to track progress toward goals and feel confident in their relevance, while also being held accountable to have an impact on organizational success.

Even your most confident top performers might fumble in face of all the recent uncertainties. Offering a clear path of action signals the organization’s commitment to its people, and can be a huge booster to motivation and productivity.

Step 4: Mobilize talent at scale

A future-ready workforce is not just technically-savvy. It is also able to reinvent itself quickly, and that means being able to adapt the right person to the right role at the right time. 

It has never been more urgent for talent acquisition and talent management to be in lockstep. At a glance, your blueprint should be able to tell who in your organization is ready to be reskilled and redeployed. While existing talent supplies the strong foundation for emerging functions, recruitment fills the remaining gaps with high-fit hires who can inject fresh perspectives into the business. Leaders may even deploy strategies supported by the data to deepen collaboration between old and new members of the team .

At pymetrics, we’ve seen how our Mobility Insights served clients in closing the skills gaps and improving retention. The insights helped to expand the career pathways of employees who might have struggled to match their experiences to in-demand roles, and have helped managers too with succession planning.

An agile talent ecosystem is possible only if you start with the right data – soft skills data – which value is apparent across the whole organization. The right partner can equip you with the technology and insights to blueprint your workforce transformation efficiently and fairly.

To read more about the tools and initiatives HR teams should prioritize to shape talent readiness, sharpen their competitive edge, and generate lasting business outcomes, check out this free whitepaper.

Read now: The Future of Work is Human: Reimagining Talent Management with Soft Skills Data