3Sixty Insights #HRTechChat with Anne Fulton, CEO and Founder of Fuel50

Our guest for this episode of the 3Sixty Insights #HRTechChat video podcast is Anne Fulton, CEO and founder of Fuel50 and member of our Global Executive Advisory Council. On the chat, Anne shared her thoughts, informed by much experience in this market space, on workforce agility and talent mobility. And, for the latter, she shared sneak-preview findings from Fuel50’s yet-to-be-released, related report. The result of a survey answered by more than 200 HR practitioners and their employees, Fuel50’s report finds intriguing, highly statistically significant, correlations between positive organizational performance and progressive HR performance.

Specifically, organizations that perform better in terms of NPS scores, revenue per employee, and innovation are home to HR departments that have evolved beyond a focus solely on concrete activities, such as eliminating inefficiencies, to act on the more abstract, strategic possibilities of human capital management (HCM). What’s more, the number one strategic priority of these best-performing HR departments is to invest in the future of work. For those of us sounding the alarm that we prepare for the future of work right now, lest we miss the opportunity to realize the very best possible future of work, this particular finding is valuable grist for the mill.

Getting back to workforce agility, there’s a lot to be gained for employers that do it right. Anne and I discussed how those that apply a marketplace mentality to their internal hiring needs can increase the accuracy of their external recruiting and spend less on it. Meanwhile, these organizations also begin to maximize their utilization of the talent they already have in their workforce. Beyond this come boosts to the employee experience, innovation, and retention. Some might say those three are intertwined, and they certainly tend to follow as workforce agility is optimized.

Anne and I talked a lot, and every minute of it was thoroughly enjoyable. She really knows her stuff, and I strongly encourage readers to view this episode. Don’t be alarmed as you begin to watch, by the way. In previous episodes of the chat, the guest’s camera feed and mine have always shown side-by-side for the entire episode, a format our audience has grown accustomed to. An odd glitch occurred on this recording, however, causing the feeds to toggle between each other based on who was speaking at the given time—i.e., there is no side-by-side view of both our camera feeds. Rest assured, however. Anne is there and makes her first appearance around the 0:27 second mark.

Our #HRTechChat Series is also available as a podcast on the following platforms:

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Brent Skinner 00:05
Welcome, everybody to the latest episode of HR tech chat. And I’m very, very happy to have with us a very special guest and Fulton who is CEO and founder of Fuel50. And she’s also the latest member of our global executive Advisory Council.

Anne Fulton 00:26
Hi, Brent. Awesome to be on your chat today. And yeah, we’re I’m super honored to be part of your advisory council. So you know, very excited to share our learnings and insights into the community. And as it’s something that we’re really passionate about is helping people with the talent practices. So yeah, nothing more important to us and the field 15 mission.

Brent Skinner 00:48
Fantastic. Yeah, yeah. And we’ve had a few conversations over the past year. And they’ve always been really interesting conversations. And frankly, in retrospect, I wish I wish we had recorded one of our previous conversations as a podcast would have would have been great, it would have worked. Just so many x interesting concepts, ideas, I, you know, feel 50 is doing some very, very interesting things. And I want to get into that. But I thought that a good place to start would be I guess you folks have some findings from a survey that you did, that you’ve compiled into report, the global talent mobility report. That sounds very interesting to me. Maybe you could just share a few top line findings? What is in this report? what’s new, what should we What should we know about as we continue to enter the future of work?

Anne Fulton 01:49
Yeah, sure. So maybe if I just tell you a little bit about the report and the study in the first instance. So I have a team of workforce architects who are IO psychologists and, you know, really interested in helping understand the future of work. And so we went out to over 200 HR practitioners and their employees to understand what’s happening with global talent, mobility today, and what’s important to people. And so we asked a range of questions around, you know, what’s the return to work gonna look like for your organization, we, you know, what a people experience what a bit experiencing last month, we also looked at, you know, the importance of, you know, the strategic drivers for change and transformation for these organizations around the talent experience. So we were looking at things like workforce, re skilling, talent, mobility, mentoring, diversity, equity, and inclusion kind of practices. And what we were able to do in the study is that we were able to, to benchmark organizations and high performing organizations, and there was a number of criteria, you know, revenue per employee, and innovation and NPS was we’re all contributing to these high performing organizations. And then we had a subset of those organizations that were high performing HR practice organizations. And so we were able to correlate, you know, some of the responses with these two audiences and compare and contrast to the best in class versus, you know, the other organizations in terms of what they were achieving. So it was super interesting.

Brent Skinner 03:30
That is interesting. And I already have a question right off the bat. But I don’t want to jump ahead here. But what I’m just dying to know, right off the bat is, was there any correlation between the best performing organizations and the best performing HR practices in those organizations that you surveyed?

Anne Fulton 03:53
Yes, they were. But there were also some differences. And so, you know, yeah, there was a very, very strong correlation between those best in class organizations and the best in class HR practice organizations. So what we saw is that HR practices and talent practices contributed significantly to their overall performance. And we were getting into the staggeringly strong correlations, you know, between these two audiences. And it was it was in the realm of point six, nine at a double low when significant charts, you know, and I’m probably talking statistics here. But, you know, if you think that aspirins got a correlation with headache reduction of point one, three, right, so they’re in terms of correlation saying, you know, that talent practices are contributing overall to organizational performance. So we can’t wait to share this research formally over the, you know, coming six weeks, but we sound biting it because there was so much learning that we saw, but I’m happy to give a high level today like a preview of some of these findings and the research report be available. You On Demand. Sorry,

Brent Skinner 05:02
sorry. That’s I mean, that’s a that’s amazing. And I’m sure all the statistic nerds are geeking out right now on our podcast. That is I do recall some of it from grad school. But that is a high number. Yeah, that says quite the correlation. And you know, what’s interesting is, is, well, maybe we can get into a little bit, what are some of the things that those? And I know that I know that we’re, we don’t want to give away the whole house here because of this report? because it hasn’t necessarily been released fully yet. But maybe from a high level, what are some of the things that these well performing HR departments or HR practices, things, better words, as you put it, what are they doing?

Anne Fulton 05:50
Yeah, but I think one of the things, one of the first kind of differences between everyone versus the high performing organizations, so the top three strategic HR priorities for all organizations in ranked order word leadership, diversity, and inclusive inclusivity. And then number three was the employee experience. But when we contrast that with the high performing organizations, and the top performing HR organizations, you know, what the number one was? For that audience, it was, it was the investment in the future of work. That was the number one strategic priority for those organizations. So those top performing organizations of the top performing talent practice organizations, were really prioritizing, thinking ahead around workforce, re skilling, future of work, and taking leadership, you know, taking the leadership on that journey. So, you know, creating the strategic roadmap for the people around learning journeys, and, you know, growth journeys for the employees. But the purpose behind that was for Workforce re skilling.

Brent Skinner 06:55
That’s interesting. So, you know, frankly, anecdotally, from my, from my, from my perspective, that’s, that, that’s how I relief, honestly.

Brent Skinner 07:09

Brent Skinner 07:09
you know, of all the things about HCM that we cover here, 3Sixty Insights, my most, my greatest interest is in the future of work. And sometimes, it seems like you’re, you know, just kind of, you know, it’s important stuff, it’s trying to predict what’s going to happen in the in the distant future, right. But at the same time, sometimes you feel like, well, how relevant is this really to today? And I’m sure some of it probably isn’t as relevant today as to today as it could be, but at the same time, it’s not as far out there in the clouds and sort of just conceptual versus pertinent, as, as you know, I was, you know, sort of want to think, initially, so,

Anne Fulton 07:54
yeah, yeah, I think I’m aligned with that. And I think I was slightly shocked, actually, by the difference, you know, it’s a really, you know, the best practice organizations were focused on, you know, further out, you know, future proofing their workforce, and, you know, that future of work scenarios, so doing more kind of pre emptive work around, you know, anticipating what they’re seeing for the workforce. One of the other surprises that we had in the study, because we come contrast, you know, the HR lens with the employee lens, is across our entire group, talent, mobility was, you know, a top priority. So 70% of respondents said that that was a top strategic priority, and at some point, short term and focus, but you know, what the top priority was for employees was re skilling, they wanted to be rescaled. For the future, it was it was quite staggering, seeing the ownership that employees were taking. So the behaviors around rescaling, the concern about having the right skills for the future and the actions that they were taking, it was quite staggering, that employees are taking ownership for their future and for their future skills, and possibly ahead of the importance that organizations are putting on it. I expected, you know, you have some hypotheses, as you’re throwing things out, we were expecting the race going to be you know, almost number one in terms of strategic HR priorities, but it wasn’t there. So it was fascinating to see that employees are taking ownership for their own learning and growth, having the right skills for the future. But the organization’s themselves hadn’t necessarily prioritize that as high as we thought so it felt more short term and focus that they were focusing on talent, mobility redeployment back to work, you know, you know, that this whole return to work and kind of almost a short term transactional focus, so, best in class a little bit more strategic and their focus.

Brent Skinner 09:49
Yeah, interesting, you know, the rescaling the risk going intrigues me quite a bit because you wonder because also, this is There are different interpretations of what re skilling is right. You know, there’s re skilling for maybe hard skills versus, you know, soft skills, which are which personally from what I’ve been hearing and the conversations I’ve been having, with people who know more about it than I do, frankly. It seems to me that the reason the re skilling and are soft skills, re skilling and soft skills is that’s where the rubber is going to meet the road for organizations, really, in terms of in terms of their ability to succeed. What’s the word to? To, to persist to? To? Yeah, to Yeah, to flourish? flourish?

Anne Fulton 10:39
I think. No, and I think, you know, I think it is interesting, what we’ve published for skills or capability trend reports over the last 12 months, right. And so the first one was, you know, on, you know, pandemic trending skills and capabilities. The second was on DNI diversity and inclusive training skills. The third was on climate change. And the latest is on wellbeing. So what are the skills and capabilities that are training across those, you know, four dimensions? And, you know, during the pandemic, we saw this big surge in collaboration as being a key skill that was trending, but it was also things like supply chain reimagining, right, you know, pandemic, and how do we operate? So, you know, so that all trended. But I think, you know, with the latest report, what we’ve seen is that this concern for well, being resilience and your workforce, you know, burnout prevention, you know, are all kind of becoming, you know, top priorities for organizations, as they face that, you know, the continued impact of the pandemic, as it moves forward. So yeah, from an employee point of view, soft skills are still super important. But I think, you know, they also need to be, employees are hungry, to understand what skills are trending, you know, across the globe, what skills are trending in their organization, what skills are going to be in demand, and, you know, that’s one of the things that we’re doing in fuel 50 is being able to kind of flag you know, here are the in demand skills in your industry. And here’s the in demand skills in your organization, these are the top three trending learning needs that you have today. So that employees are, you know, empowered to kind of be on point with what the organization needs strategically.

Brent Skinner 12:26
Via that, that really empowers each individual employee to, to, to be as successful as possible in their career, their careers, excuse me career trajectory, within their employer. Yeah, yeah. And also, you know, helps, sometimes it helped them decide whether maybe they want to, you know, go some somewhere else in the organization has an opportunity to bring someone in, who is more aligned to what, to what the organization needs, and is more aligned in terms of wanting really, really being interested in doing that. Are those particular things? Yeah. What do you think, when you think of an agile workforce? What, what do you think like, what once you were sort of, you know, concept conception of a, of an agile workforce? What does that mean to you?

Anne Fulton 13:22
Yeah, I think there’s multi dimensions to that. And, you know, I think you know, that what the way that we describe it is a workforce that’s really armed enable, right, you know, that they’ve got the right skills, they can be rapidly redeployed. And if they’ve got the willingness, you know, that they’re willing, you know, to take on additional challenges. And one of our wonderful examples was, you know, a top five pharma company globally, first, to come up with COVID-19 tests. And what we saw them, you know, was that they were able to rapidly redeploy the people. But what was staggering is that we had supported them on this rescaling, at the scale leading up to the pandemic, and that they’d done in six months leading up, you know, to the release of the COVID-19 test, we’ve been able to track and monitor, but we’d seen 375,000, rescaling actions taken across their organization. So people were preparing themselves, you know, for, you know, to, to, to respond to that challenge. So, to me, you know, an agile workforce is one that is, you know, really undeniable, you know, that they’re willing, they’re, they’ve got the right skills, and that they can, you know, they’ve got that agility to respond to, you know, changing demands. And, you know, I think there’s a lot of enablement that we need to be able to provide today. And I think that marketplace mentality is it’s applied to talent practices, is super important so that you can support your workforce to see the opportunities to apply for gigs and projects, see where the matches are for them. You know, across that organization as well as being taken on that rescaling journey, and you know, I liken it to, you know, Uber as a marketplace, right matching, you know, drivers to people that need rides.

Brent Skinner 15:11
Oh, I like that’s a great. I love that concept. You know, what’s interesting is that, you know, especially right now with all the disruption that that the world is in various states of exiting or, or or, I don’t know, what’s going on anymore. But anyway, be that as it may, when you think about organizations, all this disruption, and we had sudden, you know, just a sudden shift to work from home for a lot of people, and a lot of a lot of frontline workers a sudden shift to no work, right? Yeah, at all. Because you know, you can’t serve, you know, you can’t be a waitress from your home. Right, or, you know, this sorry, you can’t be a valet from your home, either. I was having a conversation with somebody yesterday. salesperson in the space that of vendors, who shall not be named, shall remain unnamed. But anyways, we were talking about all the all the cool jobs that just really, you know, just kind of went away for about a year and a half, and however long, much longer is going to be and one of them was valet. And yeah, we were just kind of joking about that, you know, don’t get to drive other people’s cool cars and be able to do that for a year or two.

Brent Skinner 16:28

Brent Skinner 16:31

Anne Fulton 16:33
I still have a magic moment of a memory at a gorgeous Hotel in Miami. And somebody’s driving up, you know, and I was looking at the valet, who got to pick up the Maserati keys.

Anne Fulton 16:42
Yeah, cool job.

Brent Skinner 16:45
Exactly. I was telling her that my dream job still is to be a valet. But um, anyway, this whole idea that there was there was massive disruption. And that calls for maximum agility right away. So you think, you know, given this, this, so we’ve seen, okay, this disruption, it can happen May, maybe it’s just 100 year event, something like that, but maybe not? What, what’s the what’s the demand that you’re seeing out there from organizations in terms of, Hey, we need to really be like, way better agility? Then we were previously in terms of agility, you know, crosses a bunch of domains of the enterprise. Right. But in terms of the workforce, specifically, like what’s, what’s it’s a man that you’re seeing?

Anne Fulton 17:37
You know, maybe again, if I share one of our learnings from our research report on this mobility patterns, and we were looking at, you know, what happened to recruitment over the last 12 months? And in q2, you know, there was 45% of organizations had a recruitment freeze in q3. Last year, it dropped to 26%. But, you know, we there was amazing hope, I think, for everyone, you know, and particularly those employees that have been impacted is that 63% of organizations that we surveyed today said that their employee headcount is going to grow, right, so we’re moving into a growth mode. So that was super interesting to see that, you know, we’re back on that upsurge when it comes to employment opportunities for people as we have this, you know, kind of return to some kind of normality. And, you know, we also were asking people about, you know, are people going to return to the office are we going to have, you know, a hybrid way of working and yet 76% were moving said, they’re moving to this hybrid model of working, you know, so in office and out, only 14% said that they were going to move to the purely back to the office. So that was kind of a smaller percentage than we expected, because we thought that maybe more organizations were going to go back to you know, having an office were working, and 9% that they would say they were going to stick to remote workforce. So you know, if there’s a bit of a shift, you know, that we’re seeing, you know, that what the work is going to be different as we all start to get used to collaborating, innovating creativity, you know, via online and via zoom and having fun conversations like this, you know, is going to be part of our future practice for sure.

Brent Skinner 19:25
You know, what’s interesting is um, so first of all my own opinion on that is my opinion is that organizations should probably, you know, deploy maybe a Choose Your Own Adventure approach, right? But when I was young, we had those books, I would always read I just read every single possibility I didn’t just follow one path. I just, I was a weird kid. But anyways, but, you know, in organization if you’re an employee, you have the option Hey, you want to work at the office mostly now or you want to work mostly at home or you know, exclusively from home, you know, depending on the on the demands of the job and what can actually be done. Logistically, my opinion is that given the given the great resignation that we keep hearing about that, I do believe it is going, it’s already happening, I think, I think it’s inevitable. In escapable. Honestly, I think organizations are going to have to keep, I think they’re going to have to accommodate what employees want, in this regard. I mean, I’ve, I’ve seen some articles that seem to suggest otherwise, I’m, I’m open to, you know, open to, you know, to being wrong, obviously. But that’s my feeling.

Anne Fulton 20:41
Yeah, and I think there’s two ways of looking at that you can look at it individually, you know, so the circumstances of each and every employee and the concerns and the considerations for them, you know, you’ve got to be able to do it individually. And also collectively and understand across your business, you know, that so many of our workforce are looking, you know, for, you know, the opportunity for more remote working, or two or three days at home. And, you know, others are, you know, really hungry for the team collaboration and want to be in the office. But understanding that individually and collectively, is super important. I just want to come back to the Uber analogy that I was talking about before, and from an individual point of view, because as you say, everyone wants something different. And I think, you know, what is possible today is, you know, kind of, is to build out your own roadmap, and you can test out hypotheses, you know, you’re talking about choosing your own adventure. But you know, you can you can actually play now, you know, you know, through that marketplace offering that you can start to play with, okay, I fancy myself as you know, CEO, or what, what’s my route look like? If I go down the Chief Digital Officer, right, you know, something else that might appeal to me, and you get your match score, but you can also see what that journey looks like. And you can also flick through to say, Okay, well, if I took a slightly different if I went in this direction, and stayed on this pathway, but also a long neck journey, what are the skills that I’m going to need. So regardless of what my end destination is, right, now, I can be focusing on these three to five things that might take me on a journey that is full of abundance and opportunity and alternatives. You know, and I think, you know, I love your Choose Your Own Adventure kind of analogy, because I think it does fit with the way that we’re enabling people to see a future, which can turn around this great resignation, if you can see a future, you know, ahead within your organization, if you can play with options and be taken it fully enabled to be on that pathway to, you know, go going on what could be an exciting adventure for you doing more of what you love, right, in some sense, is taking it back very simply, if I did three, three or four things more every week, I’m going to be more engaged, more satisfied, more energized, more productive, more valuable, contributing more skills, and talents. And that’s kind of taking it back to the short term transactional. And of course, we should be able to turn around that great resignation tide, I do have to do a bit of a shout out, you know, for what we’ve achieved across all of our clients is a 60% reduction in employee churn where the talent marketplace is being utilized. So you know, that’s massive employee attrition drops from 24%, down to 15%, average, you know, across all sorts of industries and across multiple organizations. So, you know, this great resignation, we may have a fear of it, but you know, it is possible to understand individually and in aggregate, or collectively, what might turn that round.

Brent Skinner 23:33
I love that you brought that up. Because, you know, this, you see in the UAE something in the news that some Professor somewhere has coined the term that great resignation, of course, it’s based on, you know, this basic trend and, and, and it is kind of a fear, oh, oh, gosh, the great resignation is about to happen, what am I going to do? And, and then you feel and then there’s the inclination, that’s the reflex to feel some a nurse or to feel helpless or powerless. Right. Okay. Well, you know, but there are things that you can do this is this is, just like you said, right, using a solution such as you can really ward off the great resignation, because of its profound effect on attrition power, positive effect on attrition, the reduction in retail, excuse me, increase in retention, in that, to me is, you know, that gets right down to the employees. I mean, we’re talking about the employee experience right now. I mean, if this isn’t the employee experience, I don’t know what is right. That the ability to, to, to, not only to so you have your you’re at an organization, the employer culture, is such that if it encourages you or you feel encouraged and safe to think about a career path for yourself at that organization. So that’s, that, to me is a fundamental building block, sort of it’s a safe place to think about that you found a place where that’s, that’s a encouraged line of thinking, okay? A, B, now, you have that feeling, okay? Now here’s a tool, there’s something you can look at, that can help you just kind of it can put some, some reality or some tangible things to your, your, your basic vision, and now you’re starting to see an actual path. And, and that to me is, you know, when just thinking this through on the fly here, right? If I’m if I’m, if I’m having a good employee experience, then then I am I am feeling good where I am. Okay, just in a general sense. But I’m also there’s also there are tangible things that I am, you know, that I have at my disposal tools and information that that give, give potential. Give me the sense that I can execute on my feeling good that I can execute on my vision. I think of some better way to later blog posts, maybe. But maybe we could talk about what do I how does, because this is where, you know, we talk about employee experience and career pathing and, and agility and rescaling and all this kind of stuff. It’s all good. Can you just can we maybe get into the weeds just a little bit from the technology itself? How does technology factor into what we just what we just kind of, you know, painted? Yeah, I

Anne Fulton 26:39
think, you know, we’ve entered a new generation. And as I said, you know, we’ve got Uber and Airbnb and all these marketplaces that we all utilize as our day to day, you know, operating, you know, model these days, and it’s incredibly enabling, right, it’s fast and efficient, and, you know, works for us and connects us with what we’re looking for. And I think, you know, the talent supply dynamics and organizations have probably been disrupted permanently. And this marketplace mentality coming in to talent practices, is an inevitable it has to happen, you know, it’s displacing the kind of legacy talents management systems of, you know, where it was all HR controlled, you know, in terms of putting people in boxes and saying, this is your future, right? We’ve changed those dynamics, it’s now about where do you want to go? What are the opportunities for you. And as I said, in our survey, you know, in our research, what we saw is that employees are taking ownership for the care regardless of what the organization’s going to do. So if you can somehow marry that up with a marketplace mentality, you’re going to see big shifts in your organization’s business outcomes. So you know, what, what we’ve seen is, you know, there’s more placements internally, that’s going to change your talent supply dynamics, your cost of talent is reduced, because you’re utilizing in a more powerful way, your talent within the organization. So your costs go down, but also your value of your talent increases. So you get a faster time to productivity, if you take an internal hire, there’s more engagement of that person around them. Because other people see this person getting an opportunity. We saw absenteeism go down, engagement go up, faster time to productivity. So all sorts of you know, business benefits were associated with that. But also, you’ve got more valuable employees, because they are enabled to kind of go on this learning journey. So we never say no to an employee, if you dream of being the CEO, great, you know, 15% match score today. But here’s all of the learning. He’s a mentor, his stretch assignments, his project, you know, he is the journey and the multiple routes that you’ve got to go on that journey. So it’s never a no, it’s, here’s how you do it. And, you know, that takes away a big question mark for employees in a powerful way that delivers business benefit as well.

Brent Skinner 29:01
We know something that’s interesting that you that you just brought up that um, that so so first of all, one thing that I noticed here is it going back to what you re entered it reiterated it just a moment ago, but you said it earlier to is this idea that employees are employees are focused on re skilling their destiny, something that they really want to do themselves. So, so an organization that, that that solves for that, right an organization that sauce for that is an organization that’s, you know, don’t go to the mountain, you know, that, you know, go where the employees are, you know that, first of all, that’s a good thing. Employees are thinking about rescaling themselves, they’re focused on bettering themselves that that is an asset and I had an odd conversation with previously on the podcast around this idea that, you know, we got to stop thinking about employees as, as a As a cost and start thinking of them as an asset, literally moving them from one column to the asset from that from the front of the cost column to the asset column, like the real estate costs, like a sunk cost versus the asset column. In the in the accounting, you know, the counting how we account for them in actual accounting. And I’m not an accountant. So I don’t know exactly how that would happen. But it did become something to invest in at that point, right, there’s something to say be, be if they if they want to be re skilling themselves, then you have just a, you have an asset just waiting to happen, which is great. Invest in that go where they are, that is going to by default, appeal, that’s to buy, by default, that’s going to improve their experience, they’re going to experience a better a greater satisfaction, satisfaction with their job. Okay, that’s that, which is something you really, really, really want in your workforce. And that that’s it. And what’s interesting about that, going back to what you just said, right, you were talking about, you know, yeah, time to productivity, you’re reducing your recruiting costs, and all this kind of stuff. And that’s, that’s all stuff that makes sense to the accountant. And, and that’s great. You’re, you’re speaking to the accountant with those types of benefits, but then what you said about increasing the value of your talent. I’m going to guess that that value is not necessarily easily quantifiable from a finance in terms of offense, financial number, but that doesn’t mean it’s not there. And it’s and it’s increasing, right? Because it’s some point, we just have to as, as employers, we just have to just what’s the word we have to admit, I think, admit, acknowledge, recognize that, that some of the things that are incredibly just essential to business to organizational success, and that means that organizational perpetuity organizational profits revenue over the long term, are not going to translate to a number that that’s that, like a hard number today. And that’s really interesting to me.

Anne Fulton 32:20
Yeah. And I think just with my opening comment, right, that talent practices were highly correlated for those organizations that were getting the best business results, right, you know, so incredible. And I just want to, you know, back in 2015, we did a career agility study, and one of the things, you know, talking about employees being an asset column, one of the things that we found is that 74% of employees believe that they’ve got more skills and talents and can contribute more to their organization than they currently are. So, you know, with that marketplace mentality, you can tap into what what is it that the employee, what assets is the employee got that may not be immediately apparent, apparent, you know, what, you know, skills and contributions that they may have, you know, from other parts of their life that, you know, potentially could be incredibly valuable to their organization. So you’ve got a workforce that says they can do more, they want to do more, I bet that was really staggering. And when we looked across the different demographics, it was the millennials, and the early career folk that were the most motivated, the most, most hungry for those opportunities that wanted to put their hand up and say, I can do more, you know, just ask me, or just give me an opportunity, give me that stretch assignment, give me that project. So

Brent Skinner 33:33
wonderful. It was so fascinating to me about what you just mentioned is, um, so there’s this, there’s this, this idea, or, let me try to break this down. So we have So in my opinion, we have sort of a, there’s a very imprecise way that we so that we source and select talent for open roles. So we have, you know, we have a human and this is kind of count, it’s, it’s kind of interesting, it’s almost counterintuitive, right? To be we want a more human workplace and sometimes I feel like we need less a little bit less human involvement maybe for it to be more of a human workplace and I want to get to what I mean there. So, you know, we have we have a human understanding of what a certain role needs, right in order to succeed right. And that may or may not actually be actually what is needed for that role A B, B, employees, they, you know, when before they join an organization, they, they they have their own understanding of their expertise and their experience and how it applies to the organization that they would like to join right. And that may or may not, it may appeal and read to and resonate with the recruiter and the hiring manager but at the same time, once he wants him He joins the organization and sees a little bit more of the organization, their human understanding of the organization changes a little bit, they realize, Oh, wait a minute, this is what I could be doing for this organization, instead, it might be better, and that that might be closer to what that employee should be doing for that organization. But if you had some sort of an objective view of what, what any given employees capabilities are, right, that, then you’d have sort of every human would be in the most in the best match role for the or doing the best match things that to their, to their capabilities at any given time. And I blogged about this a few months ago, and, and I, you know, I think we’re far away from it. And we’re but I, I had this sneaking suspicion that, that we may move beyond even job titles, and in the future, and, and all these sorts of, I mean, I saw an article from the mid 90s. So it was in Forbes, this would be for Forbes, sort of a crowdsource, yeah, just a bunch of writers it was, you know, just a staff. Right. And it was, it was actually a guest contributor, and I’ll find the link and I’ll send it to you, but back in the mid 90s is this guy, he predicted that, you know, job titles will be a thing of the past, those will eventually become extinct. He wasn’t even talking about ai, ai or anything like that. But um, but it’s just interesting to me, you talk about as we were talking about agile, agile workplaces, agile organizations, people being in the best met in doing the things that that they most enjoy doing and are best doing best at it to me, it just seemed Yeah,

Anne Fulton 36:57
I think I think you know, you’re right there is that, you know, the career sweet spot for an employee also equals an optimized workforce, right. So if you can have more people operating in their careers sweet spot where they’ve got some contributions and skills that really align with their, you know, their interests and their values and their talents, you know, that then, you know, that’s the employees in a good place. But the organization also has an optimized workforce. And I think, you know, some organizations, you know, we’ve got a few organizations that, you know, within our client group that are moving towards people defining themselves in terms of their skills and contributions, I’m on this project, I’m responsible for this person, this deliverable for the business and defining themselves around their project contributions rather than their job title. But, again, surprisingly, in our, in our study of where HR practitioners are at, most are not ready to move to that, you know, that job titles are still seen as being around and employees do want that clarity around, you know, where they belong, and where their contributions are. So I think we’re on a journey towards that. I think a lot of organizations, you know, are still on an early pathway towards that kind of true workforce mobility, but you know, it is coming, possibly over the next five to 10 years, because our survey said that many organizations are not there yet.

Brent Skinner 38:19
So that’s interesting. You said five over the next five to 10 years as if that’s a long time and and frankly, you said that and I thought, Oh, well, that soon I thought, maybe we’re 20 years away from that. Anyway, by the way, total aside, I don’t know if it looks like it to you, but the image of me on this right now it’s very grainy. It’s like an eight mil millimeter film from the late 60s. But um, yeah, dust came early today, for some reason. Sorry about that.

Anne Fulton 38:51
Oh, branch. It’s been a fabulous conversation and very stimulating as we think about this future of work and agile workforces?

Brent Skinner 38:59
Yeah. Oh, it’s been fantastic. And, and thank you so much. Thank you so much for joining us for the for the podcast today. very much looking forward to folks seeing this one. There’s a lot of really interesting stuff happening around AI and agile workforce, and what does what does talent mobility mean? And I think we are, you know, given some of the things that you found with your studies, I think that we are getting closer to this, we may be indeed getting closer to this idea that people may in a greater, greater numbers, sort of embrace this idea that, you know, hey, treat your employees as assets and looking at them as you know, as a you’re giving them opportunities. And that’s and that’s going to be valuable for your organization. They’re not just a cost there. There’s so much upside to to your workforce.

Anne Fulton 39:58
Yeah, great. Let’s create a new Kind of talent economy and new talent dynamics, right that is, you know, democratized and you know that everyone’s got a contribution if you can create that marketplace mentality within your organization, you know, you should energize your workforce and impact your outcomes according to what these best practice organizations are doing so big opportunity for us. Absolutely. Absolutely.

Brent Skinner 40:22
Well, thank you again. And it was wonderful to have you on the podcast. Welcome to the Executive Council of 3Sixty Insights.

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