Talent Management

The key career roadmap for talent in organizations today is the Individual Development Plan (IDP), also known by other descriptors including the Performance Development Plan (PDP) . Derived from a yearly (and sometimes quarterly) meeting between a manager and his or her direct report, the IDP is a pathway to personal and professional growth.

Typically, an IDP outlines job requirements and competencies. A manager and employee chart current competency levels and set goals to reach performance targets in the short and long term. IDPs also establish timelines and resources. Methodologies are outlined and these can include specific developmental assignments, formal training and other activities.

But the problem with IDPs is while they may be pathways to higher performance, they easily can become the road less travelled. IDPs are often ignored as the pace of work quickens, technology advances or market demands shift. While every job challenge can become a development opportunity, if personal and professional goals are ignored by manager and employee alike, employee engagement suffers and talent turnover is a real risk.

Managers often do not have the time to coach employees to achieve their personal and professional goals. At the same time, the talent and skills of employees are often overlooked by colleagues and go unrecognized. As organizations comprised of departmental silos transform into matrixed environments, new models of teamwork that accelerate trust and collaboration have become essential.

For example, successful 21st century talent managers use internal social media (ISM) to unearth talents, goals and dreams of employees to drive individual and cross-functional team performance.

As the workplace embraces social media, there is scope for creative transformation of IDPs within an online dynamic social system. Frequently referred to as a massively multi-player online game or MMOG, this environment, based on goal attainment and reciprocity, reinforces the commitment of the goal seeker and attracts subject matter experts who also receive recognition for helping a colleague on their journey.

The MMOG-based IDP is an evolved form of internal social media. A recent study of U.S. based employers by Gagen MacDonald revealed that companies are leveraging internal social media to communicate and drive business. In the study, employees reported:

  • 58% would prefer to work at a company that uses ISM
  • 86% would refer others for employment
  • 61% feel it is easier to collaborate
  • 60% are likely to feel their company is innovative

Building and sustaining a collaborative, connected environment, requires behavioral changes, as well as technology updates.  It’s a paradigm shift from a “command and control” to an “open and transparent” environment. It’s a culture where employees are incentivized for sharing information as well as individual contributions.  Information is shared horizontally instead of vertically and the wisdom of the organization resolves issues and produces solutions.

Companies realize that they need to provide tools that support internal collaboration and connect people across functions.  Interdepartmental engagement on ideas and projects leverages the power of the company and produces financial growth.

The MMOG-based IDP model leverages the power of crowdsourcing. The research firm PwC, publishers of the Annual Global CEO Survey, describes its intrinsic value:

Crowdsourcing is effective, in part, because it draws upon the diverse experience and knowledge of a large, heterogeneous audience to arrive at innovative solutions. Another benefit: Crowdsourcing mirrors the social-collaborative mind-set of young audiences who are accustomed to communicating and sharing knowledge in a world where information is freely available with no organizational barriers.

Another way to think of an MMOG-based IDP is as an exchange of knowledge between “buyers” (people who need to gain knowledge) and “sellers,” (subject matter experts). Talent managers, learning and organizational developers are “brokers” in the marketplace and facilitate transactions between SMEs and learners.

For more information and a free consultation on how to harness crowdsourcing for MMOG-based Independent Development Plans, please contact us.