The New World of Work by Saba CEO Shawn Farshchi


Today, the global landscape is volatile and in constant flux. Globalization, a mobile workforce, social media, and heightened public scrutiny are changing the dynamics of work and social life. This environment places a premium on enabling individuals and groups to be constantly engaged, connected, and aligned while possessing the knowledge and expertise to tackle changing strategies and conditions.

Key trends driving the new world of work include:

Demanding customers: Consumers around the world have raised their standards.  Companies need to address this increased demand by treating work as more of a tradable commodity, rather than a job. Companies increasingly will rely on crowdsourcing to secure skills and services, allocate tasks, and complete projects.

Speed and pace of business: The pace at which business operates is accelerating — with new positions, jobs, tasks, and more brought into the workplace daily. As a result, careers are becoming more fluid and less linear or ladder-shaped. To meet this new pace, employees require continuous learning, development, and acquisition of new skills to be available at any time.

Uncertainty in the workplace: Disruption in the workplace is common and, quite frankly, what each modern professional should consider the norm. Innovation in the workplace is no longer a differentiator for organizations; it becomes part of the DNA of every surviving business. Smart organizations will embrace the tools, processes, mobile access, and philosophies that institutionalize innovation.

Social, real-time collaboration, and gamification: To fully support its workforce, a company needs to embed social and collaboration capabilities into existing business processes. It's more than real-time access to data on devices, it's being able to analyze, collaborate, and engage with that information.

Globalization: Increasing growth in global and emerging markets will require companies to look for and develop international leaders. Likewise, globalization creates more competitive work environments. Companies will seek professionals with global awareness, fluency, corporate acumen, and cultural understanding to achieve their business success. And technology is the key to enabling organizations (regardless of their size) to perform business as a worldwide enterprise.

A Shift to People-Centric Business Model

But while this new landscape has emerged, legacy talent management systems have failed to adapt to the way work gets done in organizations — they remain largely focused on the applications of information management and business process optimization. As a result, businesses are plagued with poor user adoption and low customer satisfaction ratings mainly because legacy systems are not designed to deliver value to the ultimate end-users of the software, the frontline managers, employees, and their people networks.

Today's talent management systems have been designed for top-down control of HR, learning, and recruiting processes that only really benefit HR, learning, and recruiting organizations. Solutions were not designed to empower frontline managers and employees to align themselves to organizational strategies, or connect with the correct people, information, and ideas to get their job done, and take charge of their own professional development.

So to support the new world of work, organizations are shifting from information-centric business models to people-centric operations. This new people-centric model for driving how work gets done represents a fundamental change in how business processes must be designed and how tools will be used.

Tools developed with a people-centric model focus on the continuous development, engagement, and inspiration of everyone in the extended network, including employees, partners, and customers. Saba believes that by addressing three pillars of a people-centric model, organizations will better equip their staff to deliver more advanced, efficient results.

People profiles: This profile is the heart and soul of a people-centric platform. The people profile needs to capture not only formal data such as performance scores, skills, and talent indicators, but also informal information such as content, expertise, experience, interests, and contributions to the people network to help everyone find what they need to get the job done.

Employers need to integrate people profile data from a variety of different systems, including human resource information system (HRIS), learning management, talent management, social collaboration systems, and other ERP systems. Organizations will need the ability to model and track people and structures inside their organization.

They, too, will need the ability to model people, connections, and structures outside of the organization across the entire people network of employees, customers, partners, and suppliers to understand how they work together to get things done.

People processes: For a company to be successful, its employees need to implement a set of strategic and deliberate people processes, to attract, train, develop, retain, promote, and move employees through the organization. Business processes enabled by legacy talent management solutions, however, have been plagued with low user adoption because they are not designed to empower employees to get work done or take charge of their own professional development.

Tools and technologies that allow companies to transform traditional talent management from a data- and process-driven HR exercise into a people-driven experience are essential to empowering managers and employees to produce results. ƒ

People engagement:  In order to build a better workforce, organizations need a set of social, real-time communication and collaboration tools to engage employees to adopt business processes and unleash their full productivity. Companies need solutions that cater to today's unique employee landscape; one where employees engage with peers, customers, partners, and others anywhere and whenever they choose.

Today's comprehensive workplace offerings are not entirely about the traditional integration of learning, performance, and workforce planning solutions. It's now so much more. It's about providing a unified people development platform that is open, cloud-based, and incorporates the latest social and mobile technology.

Bottom line: Quite simply, it's a new world of work. To address changes, organizations must shift from information-centric to people-centric business models. More important, our talent management tools need to shift models, too.