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HRHeadStart #74: Growing Talent; Acing Performance Appraisals; Value of Iteration
The Talent Agenda
As industries and technologies shift faster than ever, ensuring that the workforce has the relevant skills is a key imperative. A narrow way to think about accomplishing this is by investing in L&D or training capabilities. For instance, if you invest in a Learning Management System and fill it with content to help the workforce pick up skills, you have probably achieved goals which were relevant 5 years ago!
Having a clear understanding of future skills and the ability to offer training programs to employees is an important, but insufficient condition for success. Yes, you can teach skills, but people can’t hone them unless they have the opportunity to apply them. And they can’t become great at it without having context, mentorship and wisdom - all of which come from experiences i.e. new projects, stretch assignments, learning from others etc. Earlier research has shown that almost half of the value of employee lifetime earnings can be attributed to experiences.
In effect, the role of L&D needs to expand to Growth and not just training. This implies greater integration with teams like Talent Management, Recruiting and HR Business Partners to create solutions beyond one-time skills development programs and instead develop offerings that enable talent mobility, job shadowing, formal mentoring etc. Check out this article on how this evolution might play out.
Annual performance appraisals can be an intimidating process. It’s where our contributions are evaluated and connected to important outcomes like compensation, bonuses and promotions. But we know the bitter truth that the process is not always fair. After all, there’s human judgement in the process and humans are prone to conscious and unconscious biases. So, how can you ace them?
This HBR article lays out some neat ideas and here’s some of my top takeaways:
(Re)Highlight your accomplishments: We often overestimate the extent to which others notice and remember our achievements.
Highlight your value to the team/organization: Instead of just listing what you did, clearly articulate how the work you did helped advance the team or organizational goals. Value trumps activity.
Connect with and support your manager: Build real relationships with your manager around common interests and figure out ways to help them in their most important goals. It’s hard to succeed if they don’t.
Great work comes from iterating on good work.