Oracle HCM Product Spotlight: Workforce Reputation - Part 3

By Mark Bennett

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In Part 1, we reviewed the challenges that face organizations today in identifying the talent they need, and might unknowingly already have, in a rapidly evolving business environment that constantly shifts what those talent needs are. In addition, we examined how social media reputation and influence are becoming a more important attribute to measure in order to be effective in more and more roles. 

In Part 2, we looked at Oracle’s Workforce Reputation Solution and how it addresses these challenges with a combination of tools and measures.

The Vital Ingredient: Participation

“Nothing about me, without me.” 

Valerie Billingham, “Through the Patient’s Eyes”, Salzburg Seminar Session 356, 1998

Since the data accessed by Workforce Reputation Management resides primarily in social media, a question that arises is - what manner is used to collect that data? While much of social media activity is publicly accessible (as many who wished otherwise have learned to their chagrin), the social norms of social media have developed to put some restrictions on what is acceptable and by whom. Disregarding these norms risks a repercussion firestorm.

One of the more recognized norms is that while individuals can follow and engage with other individual’s public social activity (e.g. Twitter updates) fairly freely, the more an organization does this unprompted and without getting permission from the individual beforehand, the more likely the organization risks a totally opposite outcome from the one desired.

Instead, the organization must look for permission from the individual, which can be met with resistance. That resistance comes from not knowing how the information will be used, how it will be shared with others and not receiving enough benefit in return for granting permission. As the quote above about patient concerns and rights succinctly states, no one likes not feeling in control of the information about themselves, or the uncertainty about where it will be used. This is well understood in consumer social media (i.e. Permission-based Marketing) and is applicable to Reputation Management. However, asking permission leaves open the very real possibility that no one, or so few, will grant permission, resulting in a small set of data with little usefulness for the company.

Connecting Individual Motivation to Organization Needs

So what is it that makes an individual decide to grant an organization access to the data it wants? It is when the individual’s own motivations are in alignment with the organization’s objectives. In the case of Reputation Management, when the individual is motivated by a desire for increased visibility and career growth opportunities to advertize their skills and level of influence and reputation, they are aligned with the organizations’ objectives; to fill resource needs or strategically build better awareness of what skills are present in the workforce, as well as levels of influence and reputation.

Individuals can see the benefit of granting access permission to the company through multiple means. One is through simple social awareness; they begin to discover that peers who are getting more career opportunities are those who are signed up for Reputation Management. Another is where companies take the message directly to the individual; we think you would benefit from signing up with Reputation Management. Another, more strategic approach is to make Reputation Management part of a larger Career Development effort by the company;  providing a wide set of tools to help the workforce find ways to plan and take action to achieve their career aspirations in the organization.

An effective mechanism, that facilitates connecting the visibility and career growth motivations of the workforce with the larger context of the organization’s business objectives, is to use game mechanics to help individuals transform their career goals into concrete, actionable steps, such as signing up for Reputation Management. This works in favor of companies looking to use Workforce Reputation because the workforce is more apt to see how it fits into achieving their overall career goals, as well as seeing how other participation brings additional benefits. 

Once an individual has signed up with Reputation Management, not only have they made themselves more visible within the organization and increased their career growth opportunities, they have also enabled a tool that they can use to better understand how their actions and behaviors impact their influence and reputation. Since they will be able to see their reputation and influence measurements change over time, they will gain better insight into how reputation and influence impacts their effectiveness in a role, as well as how their behaviors and skill levels in turn affect their influence and reputation.

This insight can trigger much more directed, and effective, efforts by the individual, to improve their ability to perform at a higher level and become more productive. The increased sense of autonomy the individual experiences, in linking the insight they gain to the actions and behavior changes they make, greatly enhances their engagement with their role as well as their career prospects within the company.

Reputation is the New Currency of Talent on the Web

Workforce Reputation Management takes the wide range of disparate data about the workforce being produced across various social media platforms and transforms it into accessible, relevant, and actionable information that helps the organization achieve its desired business objectives.

WRM monitors both public external networks like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook, as well as internal data sources to enable compliance officers and administrators to ensure organizational social media policies are being adhered to, while also providing insight into company, department, and individual reputation and influence.

Additionally, WRM allows HR and Recruiting leaders to tap into reputation, influence, and the social network graphs of their employees, to facilitate internal team and project building, as well as to discover external talent that fits the organization’s current and future needs. WRM takes the wide range of disparate data being produced across external and internal platforms and transforms it into accessible, relevant, and actionable information.

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Mark Bennett is a Director of Product Strategy at Oracle. Mark focuses on setting the strategic vision and direction for tools that help organizations understand, shape, and leverage the capabilities of their workforce to achieve business objectives, as well as help individuals work effectively to achieve their goals and navigate their own growth. His combination of a deep technical background in software design and development, coupled with a broad knowledge of business challenges and thinking in today’s globalized, rapidly changing, technology accelerated economy, has enabled him to identify and incorporate key innovations that are central to Oracle Fusion’s unique value proposition. Mark has over the course of his career been in charge of the design, development, and strategy of Talent Management products and the design and development of cutting edge software that is better equipped to handle the increasingly complex demands of users while also remaining easy to use.

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