Mettle vs. Metal – Building Leaders for Tomorrow

Organizations which are successful in the long term have figured the delicate balance between organization interests and the interests of its stakeholders, especially its employees. If these interests are not aligned, employees lose their motivation to excel. Biggest reasons for high attrition in organizations are lack of motivation and conflict of interests in the employees. An HR head of a leading global pharmaceutical company once discussed a key challenge with KINDUZ “How do I retain my talent? Erosion of talent is a huge issue in my industry”. This is not only a challenge within the pharmaceutical industry but in all industries across the globe. Unfortunately, in place of focussing on retaining existing talent, organizations tend to hire more talent to address this challenge.

Another perspective to this challenge is related to Automation. Despite the amount of automation increasing in the industry, CEO’s are still looking for talented humans. Given the existing market conditions and the cost of maintaining manpower to manage routine and repetitive tasks, wouldn’t it be more convenient to automate such tasks rather than looking for humans to operate/manage them. Why don’t organizations invest more in automation and machines that make several tasks and services faster, more efficient and error-free rather than hiring humans for the same? The reason why humans should be considered more valuable, and will always have an edge over machines, is because humans bring in what machines cannot – Leadership with Emotional intelligence. According to a recent survey conducted, 52% of CEO’s will continue to hire right talent, despite investing in automation and technology. The balance between man and machine yields the best results – concluded the survey.

Given that the right talent will always be a basic requirement for organization, the following questions are always on the mind of a CEO. “How do I groom talent internally? How do I retain the groomed talent?” As mentioned before, most HR managers tend to address this challenge tactically like a ‘Band Aid’ fix by hiring more people. While on the flip side, this is not a bad approach. There is safety in numbers for sure. Just by hiring more, you also increase the probability of finding the right talent. Well, but most of us understand that this is not the effective resolution for the challenge, in current times. Even if you end up hiring some good people today, they will eventually leave the organization until you fix the issue at the grass root level.

Practically, a resolution should not just address the side effects of the challenge, but the root cause itself. At KINDUZ, we believe there are three main areas to focus on to resolve this challenge-

1. Hire the Right talent in the first place – We believe, “There is nothing called as a bad resource. There is only bad application of resources.” This means that everyone in the team/organization has a certain set of unique qualities, skills and aspirations. It is for the organization to identify these and check for suitability to the role in question. When we force fit a Square wheel onto a Round axle, it is bound to fail sooner than later.

To check for the right fit, one needs to follow these steps:

  • 1.1. Define the role clearly in a Job Description – You cannot check for fitment if you don’t know clearly what you want in the first place. It is therefore, mandatory to have clear, detailed Job Descriptions for the role that you are hiring for.
  • 1.2. Leverage automation to check for fitment – There are many automated assessment engines that enable you to check profiles of candidates against your custom defined selection criteria. KINDUZ uses GeNeX Prism to gauge and select candidates across functions and hierarchies. While the fitment analysis can be done manually, using an automated tool ensures that you can test many more candidates in the same time and the results are more scientific than based on recruiter’s judgement.
  • 1.3. Do not compromise – Many a times, given short timelines or budget constraints, recruitment managers tend to hire candidates even after knowing that they are not the right fit for the role. We believe that given time and attention we may be able to change the square into a circle. We may succeed in doing so temporarily but then it always leads to long term discontent.

2. Invest in grooming the right talent – Given that the only thing constant in life is change, it is up to the leadership to evaluate the evolving changes in the role, the individual and in the business needs. Even though you may have hired the right fit for the role, a year ago, given these changes, people often lose the alignment with the role over time. It is like a pencil losing its lead and sharpness both. It is therefore important to continuously check for alignment through both subtle signs and formal appraisals. At KINDUZ, we repeat GeNeX Prism assessments annually, to evaluate the changes in individual profiles and their readiness for different/higher roles. Assessments like GeNeX Prism not only share the profile of a candidate but these assessments are also capable of identifying the gaps that need to be addressed in a candidate before he/she can grow or sustain in a role. These gaps should be proactively addressed through training/coaching/on the job experience for the individual to grow continuously.

3. Create models for sharing risks and rewards – Ownership and Drive at work are usually defined by how closely an employee associates himself/herself with his/her organization. The more each employee feels a part of the organization, the more passion and ownership they will display. One way of transferring passion is by making employees share risks as well as rewards of the organization. At KINDUZ, the entire organization, is aligned towards delivering outcomes for the customers. If our customers are successful, they pay us and then our associates get their variable pay. It is obvious that the alignment, drive and motivation within each associate in such an organization will be always high.

In summary, if you are looking at solving your attrition challenges, you must first focus on hiring right. You must continuously check for alignment and lastly make your team feel a part of the organization. As you can see, it is not a onetime effort. An organization needs to continuously invest in creating the Leaders of tomorrow within the organization today.

If you want to know more about GeNeX Prism or creating such employee engagements models for risk and reward, write to us at services@kinduz.com

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