The Human Element: Why Good Managers Are Key to Successful Talent Management Technology Adoptions

If you attended #UnleashAmerica this year, you witnessed that talent management technology has come a long way over the past few years. With advances in AI and machine learning, HR technology is more sophisticated than ever before, offering a wide range of solutions to help companies manage their talent more effectively and empathetically. But despite all these technological advancements, there is still one thing that matters more than anything else: the quality of your managers.

As in a recent conversation Adam Hickman, Vice President of Learning, Org Development, and Cast Members at Partners, a Walt Disney Company, aptly put it, “You could have the best technology in the world. If you’ve got the worst managers running it, it doesn’t make a difference.”

The importance of good managers cannot be overstated, especially when it comes to talent management. They are the ones responsible for setting expectations, providing feedback, and coaching their employees to reach their full potential. They are the ones who can make or break a company’s talent management strategy.

When it comes to technology, it’s important to remember that it is just a tool. Tools such as Betterworks, Cornerstone, and Phenom can help automate processes, provide data insights, and streamline communication, but it cannot replace the human element. Good managers are still needed to interpret the data, make decisions based on it, and most importantly, provide the human touch that is so essential to talent management.

That’s not to say that technology isn’t important. In fact, it can be incredibly helpful in enabling good managers to be even better. For example, AI-powered tools such as Fuel50, Gloat, Nestor, Reejig and can provide data to help make informed decisions. Ultimately, however, it’s the managers who need to take action on the insights provided by technology. They need to use the data to make informed decisions, set meaningful goals, and provide the coaching and support their employees need to achieve those goals.

To ensure that companies have the right managers in place to make the most of their talent management technology, they can take the following steps:

Invest in manager training and development: This should include not just technical training on how to use the technology, but also soft skills training on how to provide effective feedback, coach employees, and build strong relationships.

Prioritize hiring and promoting managers who have a track record of success in managing people: Look for candidates who have a proven ability to inspire and motivate their teams, and who have a genuine passion for developing their employees’ skills and abilities.

Provide ongoing support: Even the best managers need support and guidance to continue to improve. Provide them with regular feedback, coaching, and access to resources that can help them develop their skills.

Foster a culture of continuous learning: Encourage your managers to stay up to date with the latest talent management technology trends and best practices. Encourage them to attend conferences such as Unleash America & World and HR Technology Conference, webinars, and other learning opportunities that can help them stay ahead of the curve. And, of course follow my research:

Talent management technology is an important tool for companies looking to manage their employees more effectively, efficiently and empathetically. But it’s only one piece of the puzzle. To truly succeed in talent management, companies need to have the right managers in place who can use technology to inform their decisions and actions while also providing the human touch that is essential to developing and retaining top talent. As Adam Hickman said, “You could have the best technology in the world. If you’ve got the worst managers running it, it doesn’t make a difference.” So, invest in your managers, and you’ll see the benefits in your talent management strategy.

One Comment

  1. Thanks for writing this Jennifer. I think it is so true. Leaders think, and vendors reinforce, that new technology system will fix all the problems but bad processes and lack of support will only cause those problems to happen faster. Looking forward to reading me of your articles.

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