There are two groups that companies probably know pretty well:
- their customers
- their competition.
Because they pay a lot of attention to both right from the start: target group analysis, sales pitches, customer journey, competitor analysis, tracking, clustering… and so on. The idea behind it: the product must fit 100%! Then we’ll be successful – and better than the competition.
This thinking certainly has its justification. In 1980. Today, it’s outdated.
In a world in which needs and demands change faster and faster, “the perfect product” no longer exists. Or does only for a short time. What is hyped today may be forgotten tomorrow. Good products are in motion – and are made by people who are just as agile and see change as an opportunity! In the startup world, it has long been the case that those who want to invest successfully do not invest in products, but in teams. Because a good, agile team can always develop (or adapt) exactly the product that is needed.
And how well do you know your team?
Successfully managing digital transformation requires bringing together people with different skills and experiences who work together and learn from each other. People matter – more than ever before! Even the increase in automation doesn’t change this. On the contrary: technology can make a decisive contribution to raising human potential in companies. What companies have done for a long time in terms of target groups (“Know your customer!”) and competition (“Know your enemy!”) must also find its way into the inner workings of the organization: Know your people! But how do companies really get to know their employees?
Most people know from customer and competitor analysis that having a lot of data is not the same as having good information. Conversely, a lot of information can be drawn from really good data to help the company move forward. So, what constitutes good data when it comes to your own employees?
Good data is first and foremost honest data! And companies get it when they ask honest and, above all, employee-centered questions. Because only when employees see the benefit will they be happy to share information about their skills and learning needs – and then companies can find out:
- how their employees really, really want to work,
- what they really, really want and can bring to the table in terms of abilities, and
- where they really, really need training.
Using a smart Skill Analyzer, this data can then be aggregated and evaluated entirely automatically and anonymously, providing HR managers with a real basis for strategic workforce planning. Gaps between what skills are available in the company and what skills are needed to develop good products become visible. The same applies to the learning interests of employees: where gaps arise between the learning needs of the people in the company and what colleagues can cover through mentoring, job rotation and other internal formats, external know-how can be added in a targeted manner. But only then. Because in many companies, important skills are already available and only need to be brought together.
In principle, companies don’t need to do nothing other than regard their employees as internal customers and devote exactly the same amount of attention to them as they do to their external target groups and competitors. And that’s not rocket science, but simply a question of will.