Taking proactive approaches to employee development

More organisations are now pivoting to a skills-based approach to people strategy, and are utilising AI and ML to meet the skills challenge.
By: | April 19, 2023

The ever-changing business landscape has prompted organisations to recognise that external talent acquisition and retention strategies are no longer sufficient. In response, organisations are increasingly turning to internal talent development and progression, leading to a growing trend towards internal mobility.

According to the Why High-Growth Companies Should Embrace Internal Mobility to Support Recruitment and Retention study by Workday and the Human Capital Institute (HCI), 51% of high-growth organisations are increasing their investment in internal mobility to support their talent needs, compared to 32% of all other organisations. In Asia-Pacific, 60% of the organisations are doing so, compared to 48% in North America and 42% in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

For internal mobility to succeed, organisations need to take a proactive approach. At its core, internal mobility encompasses two main elements, awareness of internal job opportunities and employee development to take advantage of those opportunities. While the awareness level is typically part of the talent acquisition process, the development level is often part of talent management and HR, which involves promoting and advancing careers within the organisation. Therefore, an internal mobility strategy must incorporate both elements to be effective.

A successful internal mobility strategy requires a career development culture, providing equitable opportunities for employees, and ensuring consistent communication and feedback. For high-growth organisations, careful planning and preparation around internal mobility are crucial and involved a shift in how they think about talent, including prioritising individuals to unlock their full potential.

Leveraging AI and machine learning to build a skills-based people strategy

The foundation for talent development is increasingly based on skills, and organisations can improve upskilling and internal mobility by providing fairer hiring processes and making smart talent decisions. Additionally, they can identify and close skills gaps across the organisation to plan and prepare for the future. While skills-based development is not a new practice in talent management, it is becoming increasingly common. Previously, organisations have implemented skills frameworks and competency libraries to enhance talent management and development. These methods, however, have become outdated over time and have not been adequately maintained. Nowadays, AI interference and machine learning are used to support skills-based development, which can support organisations in improving internal mobility and creating a more consistent and applicable experience.

Machine learning also plays a critical role in assisting organisations with their skill-based approach to acquire new talent. Identifying the most important skills for a role—instead of just relying on education and previous job experience—can help with hiring based on potential, expanding pathways for candidates, and opening up new talent pools.

According to Workday’s Building a Skills-based People Strategy report, crucial steps for creating a successful skills-based approach include defining key characteristics for the future skills landscape, designing guiding principles to structure skills-related decisions, identifying operational impacts that require attention to support skills in the new environment, and utilising personas to bring these concepts to life. Regardless of the stage of development, Workday emphasised that these steps are crucial, and the resulting documentation can serve as a valuable guide for future decision-making on skills in supporting the overall strategy.

A skills-based approach to hiring and the entire employee lifecycle can help deepen the talent pool internally and externally, while boosting diversity, improving retention, and building a culture of continuous learning. It’s up to organisations now to develop the readiness to stay agile, keep pace, and address the challenges of the new world of work.

“Our talent philosophy is to create an environment where employees can continually build their careers, develop capabilities, deepen connections, make contributions, and feel recognised for their efforts.” – Pannie Sia, General Manager, ASEAN, Workday

Pannie Sia, General Manager, ASEAN, Workday, said, “At Workday, we believe investing in skills is a great way to help our employees succeed in their current roles and grow professionally. Our talent philosophy is to create an environment where employees can continually build their careers, develop capabilities, deepen connections, make contributions, and feel recognised for their efforts. Our employees are our number one core value, and we continuously create programmes that will help them cultivate their skills in a way that helps them feel engaged and motivated.”

To discover how Workday can enhance workplace engagement and productivity, join Shruti Jana, Vice President, Global People Partners and Organisational Effectiveness, Workday; and Wong Pei Woan, Director, oCHRO and oCIO Solutions, Asia, Workday; on May 10 at 12:10pm (SGT) at HR Tech Festival Asia 2023.