Digital transformation: Innovation and talent management

The speed in which a business adopts digital technology can reveal how it manages its staff, according to new research.

It seems that most British companies are open to integrating digital technology into their businesses, but there’s a link between how fast they innovate and the way they handle their employees.

A study by Cornerstone OnDemand and International Data Corporation (IDC)   investigates the opportunities for British companies to accelerate their ‘digital transformation’ – in other words, integrating digital technology into more areas of their business.

Talent management and speed of innovation

The study reveals that an organisation’s speed of innovation reflects the way they find talent, their appraisal process and the ways in which employees recommend the organisation they work for to others. It’s also connected to the amount of collaboration that takes place between employees.

IDC developed four archetypes of organisations, ranking companies on the basis of their level of innovation, type of innovation, operational innovation and product/service innovation.

Results show that innovative organisations are more likely to have a consistent feedback process with the workforce, rather than an annual performance review, while organisations with a slower rate of innovation often use coaching and mentoring to develop their employees.

Resistance to change

Despite most companies starting their digital transformation, 30 per cent of them say that there is cultural resistance to change.

On the job training is reported to be the most important employee development practice, according to 46 per cent of respondents.

Internal recruitment and job platforms seem to be highly prioritised by British companies over the likes of university traineeship programs. The recruitment criteria is made up of ranking job skills, education and problem-solving abilities.

These skills are viewed as the most important to have within the criteria, suggesting that they prefer traditional skill requirements.

Existing employees (48 per cent) have also expressed positive sentiments towards their workplaces, hence why the introduction of digital technology within a company has to be dealt with carefully as businesses won’t want to damage the relationships they already have with their employees.

Other barriers in implementing digital transformation include a lack of innovation (21 per cent), a lack of financial resources (26 per cent) and insufficient partnerships (19 per cent).

Despite all of this, British companies are more likely than European companies to make use of online courses for learning (32 per cent vs 30 per cent), indicating that British companies may be more advanced than European organisations in their adoption of digital learning tools and resources.

Vincent Belliveau, executive vice president and general manager EMEA at Cornerstone OnDemand, says that the focus for British companies now is to ensure they have the resources, infrastructure, investment and people in place to continue making them successful.

‘As we enter the Skills Economy, employees and customers will demand more of organisation leaders. Technological advancements like automation and artificial intelligence have propelled us into a world where businesses need to develop and embrace new skills and ways of working that drive innovation.

‘Our report with IDC intrinsically links speed of innovation and talent management – putting the emphasis on making bold yet impactful talent management changes to thrust your organisation towards success.

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