Instrumented Interconnecteds Intelligent

Troy Kanter, COO of Kenexa, an IBM company

Troy Kanter, COO of Kenexa, an IBM company

By Troy Kanter

Successful organizations typically recognize three critical facets of their workforce. For these companies, it’s all about capability (what the workforce already knows); capacity (what it has the ability to learn); and culture (what it can do collectively).

Understanding the three C’s is just the first step in the process of creating a Smarter Workforce. In my experience, it’s critical to answer five key questions regarding the design of the workforce to help ensure success, both for the employee and the organization.

1. What are the core components that are critical to the success of your organization?

Much like buying a car, what feature or capability denotes a successful purchase? Is it safety, gas mileage, speed or something else? It’s the same with business. For some companies, they need their workforce to deliver tailored solutions for customers. For others, it’s important to deliver top-of-line customer service, or expertise or creative ideas.

2. What are the job “families” within your workforce that are critical to success?

In other words, what job families will help set your business apart from your competitors? You can determine this by analyzing workforce data and pinpointing the critical areas that impact your bottom line most. For example, one company we worked with analyzed its data to discover that customer service was the No. 1 driver to sales. When they started focusing on delivering better customer service, profits rose.

3. Now that you recognize your most critical job family, how do you attract the very best people for those jobs?

By analyzing your workforce through the scope of human insights and behavioral science, you can create a blueprint that helps you understand the capacity, capability and cultural tendencies of your most successful employees and discover ways to find more people who are like them. Until now, these characteristics were determined only by feelings and intuition. When you attract and hire the right people for the right job the first time, your employees are more engaged, turnover falls and productivity rises.

4. What motivates or demotivates your best talent?

This starts by knowing where and how to source the right people (both internally and externally) by administering assessments and employee engagement surveys that test for the attributes your workforce needs to be successful. You also must know your current workforce in terms of skill and experiences. A Smarter Workforce motivates its employees based on what they know about their most successful people.

5. What tools do you need to empower your workforce and measure success?

Smart companies use enterprise social tools to build relationships and skills, provide feedback and deliver information that is timely and useful. They survey employees to assess engagement and drive performance. And they use data analytics to glean insights into their workforce that were never available until now.

When companies discover the answers to these questions, they create a Smarter Workforce. A workforce where time-to-hire is reduced, productivity is increased, turnover is lowered and retention is increased—in turn, the business is able to get products to market faster, increase flexibility, share collective intelligence, be more creative and innovative, drive higher revenue growth and truly understand how employees impact the bottom line.


For more information about Smarter Workforce, please see IBM’s POV* in today’s Wall Street Journal and view additional resources here.

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August 25, 2016
9:49 am

These tips are essential for a smarter workforce. Very good your point of view on this subject.

Posted by: Diego
July 21, 2016
4:11 am

To build workforce I’m gonna try your tips here, thanks

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November 4, 2015
10:07 am

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it is all about the travel gadgets. On the one hand, BNP notes – as
we have this week – that there is a clear
divergence between the fortunes of American consumers and other parts of the economy.

Posted by: سيو
September 12, 2015
10:41 am

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March 7, 2014
8:39 am

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March 6, 2014
11:53 pm

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Posted by: Bumbu Pecel
December 26, 2013
6:32 am

Let’s get more real. This sounds toooo theoretical!

We can measure Productive Results or Productivity by this defined formula: P= % Complete of a task or an Activity x budgeted hours planned for execution/ Actual hours the task (or the Employee) the work has taken.

If the result of this formula gives us 0.80 multiplied x 100 will tell us we have attained that % of the work, being 80% productive Vs the 100% Productivity we had Planned or Estimated in the Company’s or the Dept’s Budget.

Now, to these “Measurable” Calcs. IBM or myself, ought to add your Etherial Considerations, Clouds, Social Tech, Collaboration, etc so we are able to evalate the Measured Results of the Family Bottle Neck Operation, or the Productivity of the Team in question. As I’m an Engineer, we are very focused in measurability of Results and the incorporation of your “Vaporous/ empirical ideas, is In-dis-pen-sa-ble as you say: Imperatve! No wishy washy concepts or best if you incorporate them within a formula we shoul come up with.

Posted by: Robert A. Romero
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