Ingo Babrikowski
Expert Contributor

New Dimensions of Talent Management

By Ingo Babrikowski | Mon, 07/05/2021 - 12:59

One of the most revealing experiences of the past year was the strength with which teams are able to face scenarios as uncertain as that presented by the global pandemic.

The Future of HR in the New Reality study among 1,300 HR executives at a global level, published by KPMG International, emphasizes the challenges faced by human resources management during the pandemic. It concludes that, from now on, technology will be the biggest ally for reshaping a productive and high-performance workforce, with 77 percent of the surveyed individuals planning on improving the digital skills of their workforce up to 30 percent during the next two to three years.

If we came up with a balance with regard to what Estafeta has gained in this sense, I would say that I am profoundly proud of our achievements. If someone would have said to me that in a less than a year, we would grow our operational capacity by 50 percent, launch new services after involving multiple areas within the company in the creation of technology solutions, redesign processes and thousands of functional tests, all while working remotely, I would not have believed it.

Definitively, technology has turned into a facilitator, offering infinite possibilities, inasmuch as we stimulate the team to develop a digital mentality, with an environment based on habilitating technology to provide a unique labor experience, as mentioned in the study by KPMG, to continue generating value for our clients. However, we must not leave unobserved other topics relating to human resource management that we are bound to address as a company.

Different research reveals losses in already conquered fields. In February 2021, for example, the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (CEPAL) reported that the world crisis generated a setback of more than a decade with regard to the levels of labor participation regarding women. The region ascribes their overwhelming exit from the labor market to the fact they have been forced to address the needs of taking care of their homes; also, women have a participation of 56.9 percent in the sectors in which we observed a greater negative effect pursuant to employment and income terms.

Now, more than ever, we must commit ourselves, as leaders, to strengthening inclusion, equity, and diversity policies regarding the search for talent, in the same way as we endeavor to and invest in technology as a competitivity factor.

On various occasions, people have asked me about the vision of Estafeta with regard to topics such as gender quotas or inclusion of disabled individuals in our workforce. I am convinced that these topics must be governed by two factors only, the first being talent and the second being the generation of open and appropriate spaces.

As a company, it is suitable for us to have a diverse team because different points of view and skills enrichen us and generate an environment favorable to creativity and innovation. Our problem is that we, as humans, often have an inclination toward people who are similar to us, because we feel more comfortable around them.

From the management departments of the company, we must seriously ensure that we have representation from the different groups in the population with regard to all areas and that we break with past biases that only limit productivity and development.

Hundreds of studies have evidenced the generation of value by women in managerial positions; I could not think of losing such an opportunity. I always share, with pride, that the majority of our upper management positions are occupied by women. I also point out that we gave them the opportunity to be elected to those strategic positions due to their talent and capacity, in equitable competition with the other candidates.

Openings for appropriate job positions for disabled individuals, who in Mexico represent 4 percent of the population, is equally important and we are obligated to offer them working spaces that provide all of the elements they may require to be comfortable and productive, according to their capacities and talents.

In this new reality in which we are analyzing market conditions, business opportunities, and client requirements, we must pause to understand and value the opportunity granted to us by remote work. Today, we know that new working models may be generated. The paradigm change with regard to the time/productivity relationship was one of the most relevant events from the pandemic at a global level; in countries like Mexico, we remain far from opening the door to remote work or a hybrid modality. 

We must leverage this window of opportunity, ideally recovering lost ground with regard to the fight in favor of equity, inclusion, and diversity.

We must generate flexible hours to enable parents to accompany their children in school activities, also offering breastfeeding rooms for moms and allocating time to give them the opportunity to do so.  

We must be present at women's empowerment events to understand and take advantage of this knowledge. We must educate and train men in hiring positions to consider talent and ability before anything else, and we must strengthen employment policies to promote equity.

I am sure now that, when we face future crises, we will have agile and highly-effective teams thanks to technology itself, but these teams will be strong and committed thanks to the activation of the most valuable, intangible asset: human talent.

Photo by:   Ingo Babrikowski