Great companies provide the best high tech solutions to employees. Recall the last time you let loose a string of four-letter words because you did not have the tools to do your best work. In my research on what shapes a positive experience of work, the right tools are essential to high performers. Not only do the right tools help with getting work done, but it is also increasingly considered a top factor to stay with or join a company.
Randstad US, a global provider of flexible work and human resource services, released its latest research revealing how essential tech benefits are to attracting top talent. The firm found that 40 percent of employees left an employer because they failed to use the latest digital tools. At the same time, 58 percent of employees are looking for new jobs to grow their technology-related skills.
With the current war for talent, your company needs a shrewd talent strategy that shows its digital fluency, at a minimum. Be mindful, however, to design into your strategy elements that support or are an outcome of integrating high tech into your employee value proposition. Merely offering the sexiest or latest digital tools is not enough to maintain favor in employees' and job seekers' minds.
What follows are the business and people-related elements essential to winning the head, hands, and hearts of current and future employees. No element is optional.
Elements for a Tech-Centric Talent Strategy
In a white paper from Deloitte on integrating artificial intelligence into how jobs are re-crafted, the company warns against relying on traditional thinking. Einstein's pithy quote sums up nicely Deloitte's warning: "We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them."
We are still more talented than computers at "sense-making and contextual decisions," writes Deloitte's authors of the aforementioned white paper. This incredibly valuable set of skills is irreplaceable. The authors' insight points to the first critical element for a modern talent strategy--skill building.
Skills for a Tech-Driven Workplace
Randstad US research also uncovered an astonishingly high number of employees who believe digital skills are crucial to their future growth. 90 percent think these skills are non-negotiable to their success. Place the skills needed in two categories: technical and human.
On the human-side, skill development is needed in areas such as working in teams, managing conflict, effective communication, change agility, adept at working in diverse teams, for starters. The needed technical skills are linked to artificial intelligence, virtual reality, machine learning, data mining and analysis, augmented reality. A word of caution: If you aren't developing these skills with your existing workforce, you diminish the believability that you'll do so with new hires.
Leader Digital Fluency
Leaders today must break free from the traditional views of management. You are no longer the smartest person in the room. Commanding people is nowhere near as crucial as commanding a room. Managers who believe they have earned the right to be a leader are a danger to the company, toxic to the culture, and will not have the respect of employees. Today's leaders need to understand how to create a positive work environment, have fierce conversations with compassion, know how to build teams, can collaborate up, down and across the hierarchy.
Your talent strategy needs to show that your company continually attracts, develops, and promotes leaders who can harness technology's benefits and inspire and motivate people to do their best work.
A Culture of Curiosity
The technology frontiers create entirely new possibilities in how you generate value for customers. To explore what is possible, a culture of risk-taking, innovation practices, and design thinking are paramount. In your strategy to attract top talent, promote elements in your culture that support innovation claims, investments in people, and even dynamic opportunities to work in diverse teams.
While concerns over a machine takeover of our jobs grab headlines, they are overstated. Work is a profoundly human need. We want to contribute to making things better. Moreover, we want to do it alongside people we admire, like, respect, and even love. We have a history of wanting to learn and grow as a species. These human drives and needs when paired with the powerful computational powers of technology make this an exciting time for work.
The question for you to answer is simple: How do you want to be known for maximizing the beauty in the marriage between people and technology? Your answer to that question must be part of your talent strategy if you need to attract the best.