It's the most common excuse your people give you whenever you try and roll out a new talent initiative. No matter how many ways you show the benefits of regular 1:1 meetings, no matter how many goal-setting processes you roll out, no matter how many resources you provide on building development plans, one roadblock constantly stands in your way.
"This stuff takes up too much time."
Now, us talent development pros know that the benefits of these programs far outweigh the amount of time required in order to follow them, but that's not obvious to everyone - and some people, unfortunately, will never be fully convinced. And truthfully, the more you get in the habit of doing these important talent practices on a regular basis, the less time-consuming it will be.
We put together some ideas for how you can reduce the burdens these processes put on managers and employees, without sacrificing the benefits they can yield.
Here are three ways you can bring those naysayers and skeptics into the fold - breaking down their barriers to talent management and demonstrating that it actually helps them in their day-to-day. Who knows, maybe over time, they'll become believers too.
Make frequent 1:1 meetings easier through automation
When performance management is done well, when managers talk to employees regularly about roles and responsibilities, about goals and development, and about life outside of work, employees are more engaged. They're more comfortable communicating, sharing information, supporting one another. All of this leads to more productive contributors.
But who has time to prepare for yet another meeting? And is that meeting really going to be productive anyway? Managers often feel they don't have the time to meet regularly with their employees. Or they don't feel they're well-enough equipped to have effective conversations about the right things.
Here's where the right tools can help you out. Productivity guru Tim Ferriss credits much of his success (and the concept behind his hit book, The 4-Hour Work Week) to automation. By automating the more mundane tasks, you're freed up to focus on more important things.
The concept of automation can, perhaps surprisingly, be applied to one of the more personal elements of a great talent management mix: 1:1 check-in meetings.
Don't worry, we're not talking about holding discussions with robots here or taking the personal element out of these conversations. Instead, automation can play a part in taking away the time needed to prepare for an effective 1:1 meeting and building out an agenda of what should be discussed. Things like:
- What goals are progressing, and which ones aren't;
- Deadlines that are at risk of being missed, and what barriers can be removed;
- Achievements that should be celebrated;
- Recognition and feedback from other employees; or,
- Updates on development plans, or what's needed to build those plans out.
Automation can also track notes for us and save us from having to type up and send out those notes after the meeting, making sure any takeaways aren't forgotten on yellow sticky notes posted on the bottom of a computer screen. Having these notes right in your talent management system also pulls double duty by giving managers a regular recording of their employees' progress, development and achievements, coming in awfully handy during appraisal or merit review times.
With the meeting agenda automatically populated with the things managers and employees should be discussing in 1:1 meetings, friction is reduced, and excuses are eliminated.
Do what you need to do when you need to do it
As we strive for ongoing talent management - real-time coaching and feedback, learning at the time of need - leveraging mobile apps seems like a no-brainer. One enterprise mobility study shows that when implemented, enterprise mobility makes processes 30% more efficient and employees 23% more productive. They allow employees to communicate and collaborate globally, to take advantage of flexible working arrangements without risking productivity and to leverage important tools in jobs where working at a desk (like manufacturing or construction) is not the norm.
With smartphones and tablets becoming the computing platforms of choice for today's worker, mobile access accelerates and improves talent processes. With anytime, anywhere access, you can take that learning course on the bus during your commute into work, you can send immediate feedback to a colleague after attending their meeting. And if you needed to, you can even hold your 1:1 meeting with your team member in the Uber on your way to the airport to catch that flight for your next conference. Imagine how much more time you'll have for all of your other important work after these items have all been checked off the list while on the go.
Make relevant information easy for managers to access
Whoever first said "information is power" never had to pull that info from a giant disorganized spreadsheet, disparate email strings and IMs, and vast seas of browser tabs. There's a lot of value in having the info you need available to you when you need it, organized in one place and visually simple to understand (maybe more valuable than people expect).
As a manager, what information do you want to know about your employees when it comes to their talent development? You want to know if any goals or learning might be overdue, or at risk of missed deadlines and what can you do to help. You want to know if any time is being spent on development, you want to know what recognition they've received from others recently and where they're making an impact, to name a few.
In Saba TalentSpace, managers get access to a dashboard that gives an overview of all their employees' activity including goals, feedback, learning and development plans.
To reduce time to productivity (especially if they have several direct reports) your people leaders need finger-tip access to employee data that will help them effectively coach for growth. Access to this information can help improve the employee experience for everyone as managers have the information they need to help people be more successful in their jobs.
Break down the walls
The barriers between your people and engaging with the talent management practices that will help them reach their full potential are easier to break down than ever before. With the right tools and strategies in place, we can not only reduce the time to productivity for employees and leaders but create a more positive employee experience as it relates to talent management.
If you want to learn more about how to make these strategies a reality in your organization, drop us a line! We'd love to help you out however we can.