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Optimizing Talent While Managing Growth and Change

According to research, most companies look to technology to achieve organizational efficiency. New technology does not come with prepackaged, competent employees, however.

September 14, 2007
Related Topics: Technology
KEYWORDS technology

According to research, most companies look to technology to achieve organizational efficiency. New technology does not come with prepackaged, competent employees, however. To use technology to its fullest extent, talent managers must properly manage seven areas.

With the economy growing and changing the face of business today, most companies need to update their processes and applications fairly often.

As enterprise is at an all-time high and still expected to climb, companies are faced with the challenge of increasing profits while balancing the precarious need for innovation and efficiency.

As you walk the talent management tightrope, retaining and training new employees can be tricky. The phenomenal growth of commerce compels leading organizations to stay ahead of the curve by retraining and retooling their staff often. This provides a huge advantage over the competition. Organizations must exploit technology to remain a leader in their field.

In the Economist Intelligence Unit’s study “CEO Briefing Corporate Priorities for 2007 and Beyond,” the annual research routinely defines management challenges from the world’s corporate leaders.

The latest study showed that a top-ranking concern is how in-house process-improvement and process-innovation initiatives are expected to be the most important way to lower costs within their organization in the next three years. Addressing process improvements at the same time as lowering administrative costs necessitates becoming as effective as possible at managing adaptation.

Pushing your company through these new levels of growth molds a more skilled workforce able to withstand the rapid adoption of new technologies, processes and strategies. As the Internet business practice has shown — and as new technologies grow — your workforce needs to be prepared to master these changes in business applications and software. Commanding a training system that implements the most expedient software adoption available is critical to success.

Expertus, a global learning outsourcing company, released a study in March titled “Training Administration & Operations.” It found more than 70 percent of respondents overwhelmingly think the largest administrative efficiencies could be gained by upgrading technology.

Unfortunately, new technology does not come with prepackaged, competent employees. You must deduce the best ways to manage these new changes because rapid command of evolving technologies will help you win the race to becoming an effective, efficient organization.

Although smart executives focus on best practices relating to leveraging revenues, superior program management can accelerate technology rollouts and help overcome obstacles faced with a workforce resistant to change.

The key to success lies in properly managing the following seven areas, and it might be the primary advantage you have over your competition.

Assess Individual and Organizational Skills Gaps

Realize that increasing performance at an individual level magnifies the effects throughout your organization. The ability to work amid fast-paced business growth while performing to the best of their abilities is an essential skill for employees today. As training sessions increase knowledge, talent and proficiency, skill gaps or shortages within the organization are eliminated, and processes are optimized. The progress achieved is fundamental to having a competent workforce ready to advance through the organization. Remember: The individuals who serve on the ground floor of your organization might be the ones who profit most from a skill and training session.

Link Individual Performance to Organizational Objectives

Other key benefits to optimization include a continued, progressive skill improvement as the momentum for excellence pushes the workforce to excel further. Well-trained and educated employees on every level raise the bar for the entire organization. Advancing progressive skill improvements benefits the company from the ground floor to the C-suite. Companies that practice continuous learning programs nurture their employees’ abilities and aptitudes. As a result, skills are improved, support and loyalty are exchanged and leaders are developed. When an employee feels valued, a new, positive perspective grows.

Implement Role/Task Flexibility Options

In turn, organizations find their workforce experiences greater role flexibility. Employees have confidence in their abilities to handle situations and no longer shift the responsibility with the “It’s not my job” attitude. Managers, in turn, are relieved of pressures that consume their attention, which could be handled easily by another individual if the flexibility of their roles allowed it. As individuals improvise their roles within the company, effective emergency responses take place. What’s more, encouraging creativity and improvisation not only improves the ability to respond to crises but also to take advantage of new, fast-paced opportunities.

Drive Internal Process Improvement

Employees can take ownership of customer complaints and issues easier. Ongoing training programs increase employees’ skill levels and continuously motivate them to grow and improve professionally. Feeling needed and productive compels employees to take ownership in the company. It’s common to blame others for low productivity and mistakes made with customers, but when staff members feel responsible for company progress, they are that much more likely to take responsibility in fixing mistakes. Further, a well-rounded workforce can capitalize on multilateral challenges.

Focus on Installed/New Technology for Performance Breakthroughs

As you accelerate training your workforce, you also will find the ability for more technology exploitation. Once a new technology program is started, the learning process becomes more streamlined and effective. Your company’s training methods will improve, and your employees’ abilities to pick up new information will excel, as well. They will become more adaptable to change, and their retention rates will skyrocket while they continue training.

Optimize Resources Across the Organization

Response times to new opportunities will improve, no matter whether they are within the organization or outside business dealings. Optimizing response times is critical for customer satisfaction and repeat business. The continual gains achieved through constant training grant your company the ability to adjust to the latest tools and innovations before your competitors — while the competition is still looking for new talent to add to the payroll and implementing training methods, your company already is on its feet and running with the newest software or systems. By nurturing the talent you already have and using the training system already in place, your company will have a jump on the competition, as well as a loyal and motivated workforce.

Measure Results and Outcomes

As skill gaps and shortages are eliminated, the investments in technological assets begin to show a greater return. Training is an investment — when you devote time and money to your employees, you will not only see ROI for your training dollars but also for your technology dollars. Employee motivation and greater technology ROI are intangible assets associated with greater optimization. Budget constraints are alleviated as your organization’s performance is accelerated.

Bearing in mind that each person’s individual performance affects the entire organization, a progressive skills learning program should be implemented to help staff members grow into other roles. The benefit in creating a more flexible workforce alleviates pressures on management as lower-level employees begin to accept more responsibility. Mastering new optimizing technologies allows for a more rapid response from both employees and clients, driving up revenue.

Individuals who personally excel stay motivated, act positive and enjoy a sense of personal growth. Employees who are experiencing a level of personal and professional fulfillment, in turn, contribute to the success of the business.

Success is contagious, as the trickle-up theory affects the entire organization and results in a more content workforce. The advantage of a well-performing company is more-satisfied customers. That’s a nice change to have to live with.

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