Talent Management Online - Biting the Social Bullet

Talent Management Online - Biting the Social Bullet

There has been a mountain of information, articles and discussions in the press recently about the need for HR to get online and catch up with the instant and fast paced changes in technology. There has also been a lot of talk about both HR getting into social media and about various companies integrating their talent management solutions online.

Here at Carbon360, we have always been positive about online performance management solutions. We know that our online 360 degree appraisals are great for a number of reasons; they are flexible, easy to understand, and also create instantly generated reports, which saves HR a whole lot of paperwork. In addition, we have recently launched our great new goal setting software, Carbon360 Performance, which can either be used alongside Carbon360 or alone, in order to set and track individual goals for staff which can be reported on all year round.

So, what are the benefits to HR, and why do some people still think all this online talent management and social stuff is so scary?

The instant nature of the online world seems to have got some people a little worried. The prospect of applying the principals of social media interaction to interactions within the workplace can seem daunting. However, the way we work is undoubtedly changing, and with many of us chained to our desks and looking at a screen for most of the day, surely it makes sense to bring back staff interaction in a way which fits around the way we now work? Obviously there will be a difference between HR professionals using social media and the way the instantaneous benefit of this kind of interaction can be applied to performance management.

Despite the uses being different, the medium, and many of the principals of that medium, are applicable to both social media interaction, and online talent management. We now have instant access to information, we can keep informed of our competitor’s movements without having to leave our desks, and we can keep in touch with our colleagues, friends, and other businesses on social networking sites in seconds. Social networking sites have been around for a good long while now, and most people are familiar with them – that includes employees of all ages. The speed of communication is an ever evolving part of modern working that has simply gained momentum since the increasing rise in popularity of various kinds of social media.

We are used to quick answers to queries, we can interact with our colleagues without having to arrange endless meetings, and we can keep our workmates up to date with progress and changes of circumstance instantly online. We can also share the latest industry news, or advertise the latest vacancy, often in less than 140 characters. We’ve moved a long way forward since the days of simply sharing photos of our nights out together.

So why not apply this level of fluidity and constant communication to your talent management structure?

Annual reviews are still very important, and of course, common practice in most workplaces. However, with the ease of communication, staff are often keen to get more regular feedback, and it is important that HR remain as people oriented as they can if they are to be seen as anything other than the gatekeepers of rules and procedures. By conducting reviews and keeping track of goals and targets online, HR can build a much better picture of what is going on in all areas within the company, and can gain an all-round better knowledge of development and training options that may be required by employees.

They can also gain a great insight into both employees and managers and the way they interact. Online performance management means that HR is able to see clearly where the strengths and weaknesses lie within the company structure, and can act accordingly. This process also ensures transparency, and interaction with employees in a way that is on-going.

The other great thing about the instant and on-going communication that defines online talent management is that it can greatly improve employee engagement levels. Staff can benefit from continual recognition of their effort from both managers and peers. They can also instantly let others know if they have any problems or ideas as regards the goals and targets they set. This makes for a much more creative and involved way of working. Employees can feedback on their own performance, as well as getting input from managers and peers. They can also highlight what they think are appropriate career and training requirements, so they feel an ownership of their progress and level of input.

Another positive thing about good online performance management is that you can have one, integrated log in for each user, which allows them to access their historical appraisal reports, check and report on the progress of their goals and targets, and link goals to sub goals, or to the goals of other members of the team. Managers can also check goal status and comment on any of these targets at any time. This allows employees to interact and keep up to date with each other, at any time, and wherever they are.

This kind of interaction limits the reliance on having to be ‘told’ what to do by HR, and gives both employees and managers more control and ownership– which leads to better engagement. Online systems also make contact and interaction between staff and managers more regular, transparent, and less formal, which means both managers and HR are much more likely to get an accurate picture of employee progress. What an online performance management process enables is a functional online open door policy, without taking up nearly as much time. With people feeling increasingly comfortable communicating in this way, it is time for HR to bite the social bullet and get involved.

The value is immediate, and online and social interaction removes barriers, and encourages everyone to get involved and engaged. It can also lead to improved productivity and connectivity, and ensure sustainable employee engagement throughout the year. Staff can instantly share their knowledge, ideas and map a clear path to goal completion. After all, HR is all about the human connection, and being social is a big part of that, whether that is in person or online. It encourages people to connect more often and to feel they, and their work is appreciated.

And what could be scary about that?

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