“More than ever, today’s global organisations are focusing their time and attention on maximising the value of their workforces.”
Those are the opening words of “The IBM Global Human Capital Study 2008” which distils the findings of discussions involving “more than 400 organisations from 40 countries, across a range of sizes, industries and geographies.”
The report identifies that “enhancing workforce performance in today’s business environment requires:
• An adaptable workforce that can rapidly respond to changes in the outside market;
• Leadership to guide individuals through change and deliver results;
• An integrated talent management model that addresses the entire employee lifecycle;
• Data and information to deliver strategic insights and measure success.”
These 4 points not only provide the basic structural framework for a report with more than 50 pages of written content, but summarise the major challenges that business leaders today are facing. While they clearly warrant a closer look, which I may give them in coming weeks, perhaps the most significant thing about them is their inherent dichotomy!
That opening sentence sums up the focus as being the need to “maximise workforce value” while the tone perhaps more accurately protrays the sense that it is a management task to “enhance workforce performance.” On the surface these may appear to one and the same thing, but they are actually very different. The former phrase implies the need to recognise the workforce as an investment, whereas the latter is seeped in traditional top-down management thinking, reinforcing traditional ‘command and control’ attitudes that workforce performance is something that management drives rather than facilitates.
What is particularly remarkable, however, is the admission of the final point that there isn’t the mechanism in place to actually measure this workforce value. This is exciting because this is precisely what the Zealise solution provides: the mechanism that actually does link the two. Thus it really does offer the answer to what IBM says and smart people know are management's most pressing problems.