Last updated: Talent management: Creating a people advantage with HXM

Talent management: Creating a people advantage with HXM


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The pandemic disrupted the work of most people. But for those who provide professional services – everyone from medical teams and accountants to tech support and business consultants – coping with the challenges of COVID-19 demanded a whole new level of ingenuity.

Telemedicine tools, on-screen meetings, and remote work arrangements were just the start. To meet their customers’ needs, service providers really stepped up. We saw creative applications of protective gear, dining rooms doubling as home offices, and go-to attitudes that often belied true fatigue and frustration.

So business leaders, I need to ask about talent management: How are you showing your appreciation for these workers? What are you doing to ensure they want to continue working for you and delivering that great service to your customers?

“In professional services, you use people to create solutions,” says Joey Price, CEO of Jumpstart HR. “You’re not selling a product or a technology. You’re not even selling ideas. You’re selling a human experience.”

Because your workers have a direct relationship to the people that you serve, it’s your responsibility to deliver the best possible employee experience. “You have to create an environment where people feel comfortable, excited, and engaged about work,” says Price. “If you can’t put humans at the center of your business, you’re not going to have a successful brand.”

Business success hinges on talent management

But what’s the best way for professional services organizations to focus on the employee experience? “HR departments are under pressure to build organizations and workplaces that allow them to attract and retain talent,” explains Lars Schmidt, founder of Amplify. “That kind of environment is a key differentiator for candidates and employees.

Human experience management (HXM) solutions can help professional services companies gain a competitive edge through their people. “HXM is how you create a winning culture,” says Price. “It’s a turning point that helps you attract and retain the right people and move them forward so your business succeeds.”

These topics were just some of the issues recently discussed as part of our LinkedIn Live series, The Rise of HXM. This week, I was excited to discuss with my cohost Lars Schmidt and our special guest Joey Price how HXM can create advantages for professional services companies. (You can watch this week’s replay here.)

Support and develop your employees – or say goodbye

As life begins to return to something approaching normal, professional services organizations need to reconsider their talent management practices. The expectations of today’s workers are far more nuanced than in the past. They know what it means to be treated well.

“Professional services companies need to do right by employees,” says Price. “That doesn’t mean ping pong tables and pizza at lunch. It means creating an environment where people can thrive and grow in the work that they do, in the mission that they’re part of.”

You can attract the right workers by conveying your organization to the world – clearly communicating your brand, your company’s offerings, and the passion behind it all.

But people also want to know about their opportunities for growth and development. Companies that promote their learning and development programs, skills training, and mentorship opportunities show candidates they believe in elevating their workers.

“Some people think those benefits are silly or unimportant,” says Price. “I’d argue that you probably updated your computer, your watch, or your phone over the last three years. If you’re not upskilling people in the same way that you’re updating your tools and technology, are you really trying to build a sustainable business?”

What’s more, services companies that don’t reinvest in workers will pay a price. “I think there is quite a bit of job squatting right now, where folks are weathering the storm and waiting for COVID-19 to end,” advises Price. “When things are clear and it’s safe to get out there, they’re looking to leave your organization, whether you know it or not.”

Upskilling is not one-size-fits-all talent management 

HXM solutions can help companies deliver more personalized learning and development that improve skills gaps and fuel employee growth and progression. Unlike traditional human capital management (HCM), which has focused on learning for the sake of compliance, HXM addresses the individual needs of your workforce. It creates engaging learning experiences that help people learn how and where they want.

“You’re not going to upskill everyone at once,” says Price. “You need to consider:

  1. the rhythm of their projects
  2. their team dynamics
  3. whether it should be an all-hands-on-deck moment.

HXM understands that there’s more nuance to the human experience.”

HXM technology can also help organizations listen to employees – understanding what’s effective and what’s not, so HR can take the right actions to improve their talent management strategy and employee development programs.

Using the right technology solutions, companies can take a giant leap forward. “For too long, professional services companies needed to be more thoughtful about cultivating culture, building rewards frameworks, and creating programs where their employees feel engaged and can develop,” says Schmidt. “HXM solutions can help these companies optimize employee culture and engagement at an individual level.”

I’m heartened by the movement to put employees and their experiences at the center of business. Not only do we know that it’s beneficial for employees to work at the intersection of meaning and purpose, but we see that there are direct dividends for employers – from top-line revenue to productivity, profitability, and more.

When you create a work environment that’s centered around people, you motivate employees in a new and intrinsic way – one that we’ve not seen before in our economy. As HR leaders, if we can all begin to adopt HXM as a practice, we can unleash our talent in 2021. And I’m excited to hear that the professional services industry is leading the way.

HR, better.
Employees, happier.
Businesses, healthier.
It’s time to modernize the employee experience.

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