Let me take you back a few days - it's the weekend and I'm trying to write an article on the benefit of PebblePad for business in the talent management space. I'm already on my second cup of tea and I haven't progressed beyond a couple of roughly scribbled ideas - I'm already contemplating cup of tea number 3. It's clearly slow-brain Sunday (it’s not uncommon for me and by no means exclusive to Sundays). But then inspiration arrives in an unlikely form. An old school friend calls and we get chatting about work. My friend now lives and works in Singapore and we chat about how an “average kid from the rural midlands” managed to get poached by a leading international bank – I say poached because his own company sent him to work as a consultant in the business that is now his employer.
We all know this happens a lot. But why? My friend did a great job of articulating the why. He described how he really liked the friendly culture of his last company, but felt the business didn’t have a clear idea of his skillset or an awareness of the great stuff he’d been involved in. At best, he felt career progression would come down to luck. And, I suppose, in some respects, it did. However, for the company left with a man down and the prospect of expensive recruitment, I expect they would rather have not left the talent identification process to chance.
So why is not uncommon for a consultant to be wooed by the company they are consulting in? And what can this tell us about good talent management? I think it can tell us quite a lot. Consultants normally join a company to help with business critical objectives and consultancy itself can be very expensive. Combine these elements and you have a business with a clear objective, heavily invested in making the process work. This normally means very clear accountability and close working, which can result in a business very quickly understanding the consultant’s skillset and the impact they are having on the business. What you have in effect is an incredibly successful talent management system.
Let’s forget for a moment that this theory was constructed over a cup of tea and a chat on a Sunday morning. And let’s go as far as saying it’s a reasonable model for the important factors involved in effective talent management - can we apply the same factors to any business? In theory, yes, but monitoring a small number of consultants is an entirely different ball game to tracking performance and talent across a large and diverse workforce.
Nevertheless, regardless of the scale and complexity of organisation, I think it is possible to put the same guiding principles into practice, and with the support of the right technology - deliver on those principles. Below, I've highlighted a few examples of how these principles are applied in the work we do.
Principle 1: Ensure clarity.
PebblePad for business allows you to build in absolute clarity on what is required of an employee, but it also allows staff to record and share success outside of set expectations. The PebblePad for business platform is versatile enough to let staff easily record and bring together evidence against their defined KPI's but it also allows employees to readily showcase and share their wider achievements, which may otherwise have gone unnoticed.
Recording activities, hours, and capabilities in a professional journal.
Principle 2: Ensure simplicity.
The managers in your organisation are not always going to have the benefit of 1-2-1 interaction so the frameworks you create need to act as "proxy coaches". Your frameworks should be easy to understand, straightforward to interact with, and be available any time, on any device. Get any of these elements wrong and staff engagement will be low - making the talent identification piece nigh on impossible. PebblePad for business supports anywhere, any device working, and the app even supports offline working.
Straightforward evidencing of an experience in a custom framework on mobile.
Principle 3: Ensure visibility.
Even with the greatest frameworks, guidance, and super intuitive technology, it will all be of little value if the people monitoring the effectiveness of their staff and the processes can't see what really matters.
Reporting and talent identification.
And, finally, it didn't seem right to end this blog post without first expressing my gratitude to one of my dearest friends for giving me the inspiration for this post. Without our Sunday chat this post may well have been considerably shorter - so thank you. And also a big thank you to you, the reader - I hope you enjoyed my ponderings.