Why the Normal HR Playbook Won’t Work to Meet Steep Challenges Ahead & What To Do About It

Challenges facing HR and talent development for 2022 and beyond are steep, as the talent landscape has experienced a seismic shift over the last two years. The future demands rapidly adapting to change. How will HR address these key challenges?

  1. The “Great Resignation” and getting better at talent retention
  2. Reskilling, upskilling, and offering better development opportunities
  3. Improving people analytics for succession planning & accurate developmental initiatives
  4. Workplace diversity and inclusion

While these may be exciting times for those who embrace and thrive on change, the truth is that most HR leaders and professionals do not have change agent profiles. Our data show that most established HR types tend to be risk aversive and prefer established solutions from well-known vendors that tend to regurgitate semantically enticing, yet low result, approaches. HR people tend to be great at processes, operations, policy administration and guidance, implementing and getting things done well with consistency. They are practical, helpful, and relatable. However, those relying on the existing HR playbook and who are not comfortable with change, will not be prepared for the new world challenges.

This article will give you a fresh, innovative, practical and user-friendly way to address the challenges facing HR today.

When it comes to the great resignation, according to Dom Murray, at his ATD blog,

L&D has a massive impact on boosting employee retention. Ninety-four percent of employees say they would stay longer at a company if it invested in their professional development. In addition, employee retention rates increase by 30 to 50 percent on average for companies with strong learning cultures. Finally, studies show that 80 percent of employees think learning and development opportunities would help them feel more engaged at work.

Source: https://www.td.org/atd-blog/l-ds-role-in-addressing-the-great-resignation

To the question of upskilling, reskilling and providing better development opportunities, this daunting challenge to reach all employees has seemed impossible (-- until now.) More importantly, to make these solutions work, they must be molded to the individual’s inherent capabilities and intrinsic motivational needs. Adding to reskilling and securing better developmental opportunities should also focus on finding and developing hidden talent. We know from our work with clients that hidden talent is in abundance, you just need to know how to identify it. Then, develop it!

These challenges are not as daunting as they seem. In fact, if done effectively, organizations can develop deeper bench strength than they had prior to the Great Resignation. Organizations can now access accurate, thorough and relevant analytics to develop people most effectively, which is essential for enterprise-wide succession planning and career enrichment programs.  Career enrichment is ideal as a systematic, inclusive approach to develop all, whether employees are designated as “high potentials” or not.

Last, when it comes to improving results of diversity and inclusion initiatives, doubling down on the solutions of the past will not suddenly convert to new levels of success. Authentic talent must be identified early and accurately and developed congruent with one’s true talent, risks and needs. Our research, published in two books, has shown that the majority of women’s careers become stymied early because of their specific personality-based risk factors.

For example, women’s most frequent or significant risk tends to be as “Worriers.” This risk holds them back prematurely, ending upward progression. Meanwhile, their counterparts, men, are catapulted forward due to their aggressive risks as “Upstagers, Egotists, and Rule Breakers.” So, if women become aware of their risks earlier, they can take steps to develop and minimize these naturally occurring behaviors from taking a toll on their success. The same is true for any underrepresented group – if risks are identified earlier, steps can be taken to prevent these behaviors from hurting success and growth.

Source: Women Are Creating the Glass Ceiling and have the Power to End It, Parsons, Nancy., WSA Publishing, 2019

In order to confront the HR and talent development challenges for 2022 and beyond, organizations need to incorporate these four approaches rapidly:

  1. Democratize: provide opportunity for everyone—not just executives and selected high potentials so that all talent is identified accurately.
  2. Personalize: provide development that is individualized to the employee, brings deep self-awareness, and unveils the employee’s true talent. Canned, generic, or generalized development courses are not sufficient.
  3. Digitize: digitize talent development with a technology solution that is scalable, user-friendly and in a way that helps each employee based on their true talent while providing needed talent analytics for the organization.
  4. Enterprise-wide: in addition to democratizing accurate individual development, an enterprise-wide approach, using scientifically validated tools is a must. This way, data is captured and can be used for succession planning, custom training, team formation and development, talent capability analysis, diversity and inclusion initiatives and more. This is a must for a systemic, talent management and development solution. By using an enterprise-wide systems approach, an abundance of under-developed talent will no longer be hidden. These gems will be identified for appropriate, expedited development to realize their true talent.

A New, Practical Solution to Future HR & Talent Challenges

CDR-U Coach is an exciting, award-winning platform that provides this systemic, futuristic solution and meets the four needs above, solving the steep challenges faced by HR today. CDR-U Coach was selected for the Gold Stevie Award for best new product/service Best New Product/Service by Women in Business 2021, the press release is here.  (The Awards Ceremony is coming up on January 13, 2022.)

What is CDR-U Coach and how does it solve the HR 2022 and future challenges?

CDR-U Coach is a platform that provides personalized coaching feedback and action planning guidance based on the results of the in-depth CDR 3-D Suite of Assessments. These tools measure one’s in-depth character traits, inherent risks factors, and drivers and reward needs. Driven by complex algorithms leveraging rich data with predictive results, CDR-U Coach provides an A/I type experience for users with no two individuals receiving the same feedback – it is that personalized. It is also completely virtual with feedback delivered by an avatar coach and employees can go back at any time to review or to update their developmental action plans. This first of its kind scalable talent development solution is available 24/7 to users.

The assessment data used by CDR-U Coach is scientifically validated and is race and gender neutral (with no adverse impact) so it is a great tool to enhance diversity and inclusion success. In addition to Developmental Action Planning Module, there is a Career Action Planning Module and a “STEM Fit Review,” (feature added in February, 2022) which is ideal for finding hidden talent. CDR-U Coach can be used for succession planning, team development, custom training designs, talent capability analysis, finding hidden talent, and more. Of course, we still provide live executive coaching and custom development services for more senior leaders which we have been doing for 23 years for global clients.

This is how CDR-U Coach meets all four future talent needs:

  • It democratizes talent development as all levels of employees can access to gain personalized feedback and developmental action planning. The data does not change, so this can be a baseline performance and career guide for the span of each employee’s tenure.
  • It personalizes development because the CDR 3-D Suite assessment results are robust and individual, drilling deep. No two coaching feedback sessions by an avatar coach are the same because of the rich algorithms of feedback. Developmental tips and suggestions are also provided, in addition to interpretive feedback, as the avatar coach builds themes and connections. Users can go back any time to review their results, listen to their coach, or to update their developmental action plans.
  • CDR-U Coach, by design, digitizes coaching feedback and development so that companies can scale this essential feedback to enhance self-awareness to all levels.
  • Last, while being an ideal, scalable individual development solution, the CDR 3-D Suite assessment data that fuels CDR-U Coach can be used for a wide array of talent development and talent management applications so it provides an enterprise-wide talent solution and offers great analytics that you can count on.

What about the administrative burden and impact of change for the HR team?

We keep it simple and easy for you. Due to the digital nature of this solution, CDR-U Coach does not create an administrative burden and we provide this seamless service for clients. Larger clients may opt for their own dashboard to order CDR-U Coach and other appropriate assessment services. So, administration is simple, fast and secure.

We also offer orientation training and coaching certification for your HR team so that they can quickly become internal experts if that is helpful to your organization. We have a network of certified external coaches and consultants who may also be used, as needed.

Key data for analytics are available for succession planning, talent capability analysis, training needs analysis, team development and more.

What about the risks and the psychological safety of employees? Here is an excerpt from "Alleviating the Fears of AI Coaching":

In a recent article titled: "Three Considerations about Technology-Enabled Feedback," authors Angela Lane (VP of Global Talent) and Sergey Gorbatov (Director, General Manager Development) of AbbVie cautioned, "AI in feedback is promising but there still needs to be a human touch… People need a personal connection."

This is a wise caution indeed. However, I am delighted to report that we have jumped past that threshold of concern with CDR-U Coach. This AI-like coaching experience provides in-depth personalized feedback based on data – one’s CDR 3-D Suite Assessment results – rather than robotic interpretations of isolated interactions. CDR-U Coach is defying the odds by alleviating the fears of a non-human coaching engagement, while still providing valuable and necessary feedback.

The feedback we received with regard to this concern was rather astonishing. For example, users reported that...

  • They preferred the avatar coach, feeling it was “safer” and “more candid” since the avatar was "judgement free."
  • The avatar coach eliminated potential defensive reactions on their part.
  • The avatar coach gave them time to digest the information. The ability to pause and resume allowed them to contemplate the feedback without the hindrance of an initial emotional response.
  • Despite the feedback coming from a non-human avatar, the messages were so personalized that it felt almost real. One user shared, "It's amazing what the avatars can do. In some ways, they know you better than you know yourself."

We believe in the power of live coaching and will always have it available for those who need it. But now, with CDR-U Coach, live coaching engagements can become even more impactful by digging deeper into the initial insights presented during the online experience.

We did not develop CDR-U Coach to replace the traditional in-person coaching model or live executive coaching. Rather, this platform allows us to deliver essential feedback and developmental opportunities to those who would otherwise never receive it.

Next Steps...

So, why not schedule a demo so that you can take a first-hand look at CDR-U Coach, and its ability to build your HR talent pool for maximum success, and retain the best talent for the future? If you are keenly interested after a demo, we will offer a pilot so that you can test our solution with key employees before pushing forward with larger initiatives. 

Or, you can just wait and hope the same old initiatives suddenly change the current trajectory.