3 days training Russians. 12 students, all highly competent professionals and all motivated to learn. 


It’s been a journey, not knowing what to expect. We all have our ideas about Russians, right? I had mine. And I was wrong. They are easy to train, motivated, asking questions, exploring. Give them a couple of months and they can train me. 


When you say “tomorrow we will randomly pick someone to do one of four exercises” they all prepare, amazing. 


I met a bunch of professionals that I would say go all in to learn what I can teach. 


So how did my preparations work? Well ok. As long as I was ready to adapt, create more exercises, go back and clarify and be ready to be pushed to my knowledge limits. But if you do that you will get satisfaction and see how you and they learn. 


I go home. Not just satisfied after doing a good job but also satisfied having learned about Russians. 

Remember I spent a week in Hong Kong in the summer? Now it’s time to train Russians. Will be interesting. I will also strictly speaking not write talent management blog, but a series of personal experience and observations posts.


So how do you prepare for the unknown? Can you? I could have read up on Russia and culture, or just come prepared to do my thing, and then adapt. 


I go for the adapt at the spot methodology. Come with an open mind, prepared to train professionals. And take it from there. 
As I will train them in the software and not in the process it is important I give them the tools to use it in their way. It would be interesting to listen in on their future workshops. To see how they differ. But I won’t be able to do it, so can only aim to get them the toolbox they need. 
I will be back next week with my observations and experiences. 

Rewards need to be tailored to the one being rewarded. This will be a highly personal post as I will use myself as an example.


You have a reward system in place. Maybe incentive trips, or bonus checks on Amazon. But will they do the work?


In most cases,yes most likely. But then in some cases it might not be what the employee wants. Incentive trips might be all fun, but if the employee see them more as wasted personal time, then it might actually be a bad thing. 


Learn your employees desires and reward them accordingly. I, and here it comes down to persinal examples, value my free time. I am traveling a lot for work as it is (writing this on the plane to Oslo). Traveling somewhere to have drinks with management is not high on my agenda. I appreciate the message it sends, but prefer other means if delivery. 


Not long ago I was to enable some new employees and partners in Hong Kong. A long trip yes, so once again intruded on my personal time. But I was able to meet new people. To do what I like, and at the same time got the message my work was appreciated. Much more worth to me than any golfing or skiing with management. 


My partner thinks I’m nuts, but also proud I got selected to do the work. That makes me happy and I feel appreciated. 

So learn your employees desires, and tailor your rewards. What you might think of as work, your employee might consider a reward. Win-Win situation.

Is there such a thing as cultural differences, aren’t we all individuals? Surrey we are, and yes there are cultural differences. 


A while ago I was spending a courtesy of days training Asians in Hong Kong. It was tremendously fun but it also was challenging. You try to time the parts and plan based on experience. And I’m Swedish, mostly a talkative quizzical bunch. So time for questions and discussions. Did that happen? Nope. 


They were listening, quietly, no question almost. When I tried to draw them out I got almost whispered responses. So by day 1 we reached to lunchtime for day 2. What to do? How can we bring them out? Make them participate? 


What I did, encouraged by one if my bosses, was to go over the complex part again. Doing the hands in as a group exercise. Asking them what is next step, and showing them. Sometimes I got a whispered suggestion, so stones I faked hearing one. Do I could clarify, explain, answer the questions that was never asked. 


Did I right? Was it disrespectful? 


I don’t know. I just had to get them to look up, participate in the hands on, fake the discussion to get the point across.


Did I succeed? 


Yes I think I did. 


So what’s the conclusion? Accept there are differences, adapt to it and try alternative routes to get to your goal. Don’t be afraid of placing yourself in the centre and prepare to make a fool of yourself. Do whatever it takes as long as you don’t abuse your audience. If I had forced one until the floor to do the exercise in from if everyone it would have failed horribly. 


So adapt, change yorseelf, not your audience. 

On and off barding are two separate processes but are often talked about together so lets do the same. 

On Boarding is the process when you have hired someone and need them to be part of the team, trained and up to speed. The process might start before first day at work, and continue into their work period, depending on what you wanna do. 

Off Boarding the process of letting an employee go, get feedback, and having an orderly good bye. 

Lets look at what needs to be done when you get a new employee

  • competency assessment
  • gap analysis
  • development planning 

all these can be covered by normal processes

  • bank account details
  • keep track of introduction program
  • keys, car, give aways…
  • safety, ethical and other mandatory learning

All these can be handled in a On Boarding workflow. That engage the employee before they start is a way of making the risk that they never start less. An engaged employee will continue the process. 

When we get to offboarding we want to 

  • keep track of return on keys, car, IT-stuff…
  • exit interview
  • enrollment in alumni group

Once again, keep the leaving employee engaged, it might be a future ambassador, customer, or supplier. Also make sure you get feedback from the employee about why it is leaving, what could be done differently and so on. Don’t just let it go. 

So both OnBoarding and OffBoarding is important, as it creates engagement and in one process prepares the employee and in the other makes it a good good bye. 

This was post 10 (only one more to go now) in the series: Talent Management for everyone



Recruitment is one of the biggest Talent Management processes, but also one of the most well defined.
If we talk Recruitment we often start with a need to get someone hired. It can be that we are expanding, need new competencies or need to replace someone else. Anyway, we start with a need, and  a set of requirements. From that we often write the text to a Job Advert, publish it, get applications, sift through these applications, interview, check references, do some testing, and then hire people. There are additions to that but these are the basic steps, so lets look at them. This article will be a lot about what you need to think about in a recruitment system
Job Advert, and requirements
The job advert can be created to a set of requirements but also need a good text. It can be written by manager or by the recruiter. We can have a process around it. If you uses competency requirement profiles make sure that is used for your recruitment, so you don start with a blank paper
Advert publication
The publication of the Advert can be in many places, company homepage, job board, social media or even news papers. Many system have more or less advanced integrations, make sure you can track from where the candidates later comes as the advertising is often expensive, and some sites don’t really pay off your investment
Applications need to be easy to do, many candidates today wants to fill in a few fields and instead attach their CV, preferably from their phone when traveling to or from their current job. Keep it simple, don’t scare them away. If you force them to fill in each experience, earlier job, or education, they will simply leave. Keep it simple, draw them in.
References are important, system should be able to handle reference checks, having templates with questions and feedback.
Interview and candidate management
Here is where its gets hairy. Many system have complete handling of candidates, with emails, feedback forms, calendar invites. And then the recruiting manager does not use it as it is to complex to use. Remember that for a godo manager recruitment is a thing they do seldom, so being an expert on a recruitment system is not on the toop of their agenda. Ease of use is very important, much more important than complex features.
The world is divided about candidate testing, are they good or just useless. Anyway, if you do, make sure you can get results back into your system so you can report on them, setup rules and use the results, otherwise, why do you ave a computer system?
Last step is the hiring part, maybe with support for contracts, negotiations and all that, or just marking them as hired, and transfer the data to the position in your Talent Management system
Make sure the system has the basic features that support your seamless recruitement process, and that it is easy to use fro the managers, and especially the candidates.
This was post 7 in the series: Talent Management for everyone

Learning is the doing part of the talent management processes. When gaps are identified, targets agreed upon or a career planning set in motion, then learning steps forward to execute.

If you are doing learning as the executive branch of talent management you need it integrated. It’s not standalone as both its input and results tie in with the rest. But let’s look at some fundamentals. 

Learning can be very different things. 

  1. Classroom training, instructor lead training(ILT). The good old fashioned version. Still used and good.
  2. E-learning came as the replacement that turned out to be an addition. Do it on the computer, when and where you want. Really useful for some pieces, and can be an inexpensive way to spread knowledge to lots of people. And more effective than a PDF document.
  3. Learning by doing, on the job training. The idea is that by repeatedly use knowledge you really learn. Used in conjunction with other learning
  4. Mentoring, someone is there for you both to teach but also to point you in the right direction.
  5. Job rotation, learn by being exposed to new things. 
  6. And the combination of it all, blended learning. Combine e-learning with ILT and then top it with in the job training. 


The options are many. Other things to consider are assessments, two types.

  1. Pre assessments, are you ready to begin a piece of learning?
  2. Did you learn anything assessments, taken afterwards?

It is important to remember that competency is not the same as having taken a piece of learning. Competency is to have learned something and being able to use that knowledge. But the possibility to categorize learning in competencies is nice if you try to close competency gaps.

In recent days collaboration has entered as well as virtual classroom. With collaboration groups of learners can share documents, discuss assignments, collaborate, and it’s online. With virtual classrooms you leave the instructor lead training online, saving time and money. 

So it’s all about options. To use best method in every situation. And present the right learning at the right time.

This was post 8 in the series: Talent Management for everyone


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