knowledge worker

Shifting Role of HR

knowledge workerThe Deloitte 2016 Global Human Capital Trends report, based on more than 7,000 responses in over 130 countries around the world, found that executives see a need to redesign the organization. The report stated that after three years of struggling to drive employee engagement and retention, improve leadership, and build a meaningful culture, 92 percent of survey participants rated the “new organization” a critical priority.  Within a rapidly changing environment of the new knowledge-based economy, the latest information and knowledge is the key to sustained success and competitive advantage. This becomes the function of the knowledge worker.


Knowledge vs. Industrial Workers
Well before the end of the industrial age, the late Peter Drucker was the first to coin the term “knowledge worker” over 50 years ago. He warned that they would become the majority of the workforce and we would not know how to manage them.

The late James J. Schiro former CEO of PricewaterhouseCoopers said “Intomorrow’s business environment, knowledge and how it is managed for competitive advantage will be the number one corporate priority.” Unfortunately, many business leaders have not completed the shift required by workers in new knowledge-based economy and continue to operate with an industrial based management style. It is now critical for leaders of knowledge-based enterprises to embrace the primary differences between industrial and knowledge-based enterprises. HR must be the advocate for recognizing the following seven distinctions related to talent management:

1. Standardization of work and employees vs. Customization of work and flexible, multi-skilled employees
2. Financial capital as scarce resources vs. Human capital as scarce resources
3. Employees seen as expenses vs. Employees seen as investments
4. Individualistic functions vs. Team oriented with emphasis on cross-functional teams
5. Information provided on a “need to know” basis vs. Openly distributed information systems
6. Emphasis on organizational stability vs. Emphasis on continuous change and renewal
7. Emphasis on a hierarchy leadership structure vs. Emphasis on empowered leaders at all levels

To lead knowledge workers effectively and optimize their capacity you need to define the following:

The type of work your knowledge professionals are expected to perform and how it will be measured.

The support required for them to do their best.

What drives or motivates them.

Mission of HR Leaders

The HR department, particularly those within knowledge-based enterprises must become the steward and designer of people processes and rethink everything it does—from recruiting to performance management to onboarding to rewards systems. The mission of the HR leader in a knowledge-based enterprise is rapidly evolving from “chief talent executive” to “chief employee experience officer.” HR leaders are being asked to simplify processes, and build a culture of collaboration, empowerment, and innovation. They must become focused on understanding and creating a shared culture, designing a work environment that engages people, and implementing a new model of leadership and career development. Deloitte research suggests that HR leaders must upgrade their skills to include design thinking, people analytics, and behavioral economics. Without a strong learning culture, they will not succeed. The Talent Management Institute has developed the Total Talent Management System™ which could provide the road map.

The Total Talent Management System
The primary purpose of the Total Talent Management System™ is to assure that the Right People with the Right Skills are in the Right Position at the Right Time. The Total Talent Management System is a dynamic human system – an interconnected progressive talent ecosystem which includes ten elements. Successful implementation and maintenance of the Total Talent Management System™ requires the following six strategic prerequisites:

1. Organizational Vitality
2. Shared Values
3. Coach-Based Managers and Team Leaders
4. Teams of High Performing, Cohesive Teams
5. Just-in-Time, On-Demand Continuous Learning and Development
6. Interdepartmental Integration

Also, Information Technology (IT) involvement is critical to assure system support for total integration of the ten components of the Total Talent Management System with the functions of existing departments.

Learn more about the Total Talent Management System, view a short (77-second) presentation, and get access to the special report, “Fully Engaged Top Talent Key to Excellence For Knowledge-based Enterprises.”

Click Here To Get Your Copy of The Free Special Report


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