Creating a Holistic Workforce with QuantumWork
The future of work is driven by technological advancements, shifting demographics, and changing societal attitudes. As a result, organizations are rethinking their approaches to workforce management and adopting more holistic views that consider the well-being of employees alongside traditional metrics of productivity and profitability.
On this episode of Talent Experience Live, we discussed the importance of creating a work environment that supports employees' physical, emotional, and social well-being — as well as providing opportunities for growth and development with Mark Condon of QuantumWork.
Get the key takeaways below, or catch the episode right here.
What is QuantumWork’s take on holistic workforce management?
“We’re obsessed with technology and experiences,” said Condon, describing the mindset of QuantumWork Advisory, which designs strategies to guide companies toward total workforce management, or holistic workforce management.
QuantumWork helps clients meet goals by optimizing technology like Phenom’s Intelligent Experience Platform. “That’s what we love about Phenom,” Condon said. “We share the same strategy and ideas about covering the real estate of the workforce.”
A holistic workforce management strategy emphasizes employees’ professional and personal needs, rather than just job performance. It recognizes that employees are individuals with their own strengths and weaknesses, and aims to support their growth and development both within and outside of the workplace.
The extended workforce needs to be included in a holistic approach — which for large companies now often accounts for up to 50% of job roles (e.g., contingent workers, consultants, managed services workers). “All these components are not silos, and they’re very important to look at holistically,” Condon said.
Is holistic workforce management a new concept?
While the concept has been around for a bit, organizations have traditionally struggled to bring holistic workforce management to fruition because of limitations around data integration. “From a technology perspective, [HR] needs to enable it,” Condon said.
Streamlining the number of HR technologies to a single platform is becoming essential, especially from a data integration perspective. “Technology is what’s starting to kick this off, and it’s a really exciting time.”
Why is a skills-based approach critical to creating a holistic workforce?
Adopting a skills-based organizational structure is a key aspect of holistic workforce management. “If you can’t break the workforce down to the skills level, [holistic workforce management] doesn’t really work,” Condon said. “But if you can do that, it’s a whole new ballgame.”
This is because employees thrive on using a variety of skills to contribute value rather than being locked into a rigid, task-oriented job description, he continued. A skills-based approach dovetails with holistic talent management in this way, creating an environment where employees are recognized for the individual expertise, skills, and experience they bring to the organization.
Related: Skills: The Metadata of People
And AI-driven technology helps companies much more easily identify the depth and breadth of skills among their workforce and shows how those skills tie in with strategic business goals.
What’s your view on emerging technologies like ChatGPT?
“[ChatGPT] is going to augment us,” Condon said. He currently uses ChatGPT in the capacity of a research assistant — albeit one that needs human validation. Although the possibilities are exciting, we’re still in the early days of usage.
“You’re not going to get your HR policies and rules from ChatGPT,” he clarified. But he sees the potential for ChatGPT to act as an HR administrator in the not-so-distant future, streamlining tasks like answering HR helpdesk questions, for example.
How important is upskilling to holistic workforce management?
Innovative TA teams must embrace hiring for personality and potential, Condon believes. “[Employees’] ability to learn and be agile is more important than technical skills, in my opinion,” he said.
Skills can be taught; however, some competencies cannot, he clarified. That’s why he emphasizes selecting candidates based on learning ability, curiosity, and whether they have a realistic grasp of their own strengths and weaknesses.
What does retention look like in the context of a holistic workplace?
“The ability to create jobs that people will enjoy is what it’s all about,” Condon said, referring to a holistic approach that focuses on leveraging employees’ unique skills and preferences. This not only boosts retention, but it can also supercharge productivity by 20% to 30% per happy worker, he added.
Employees who do feel the need to change jobs should be able to easily find internal opportunities. In fact, Condon advocates for internal mobility as an important HR metric, along with attrition and engagement. “There’s a really high correlation between how quickly [employees] can move and change jobs, and your ability to build a great workforce.”
What are your thoughts on performance reviews and job descriptions?
The traditional annual performance review has ties to the old-school, industrial work theory where jobs were very task-oriented. Modern employers should conduct performance reviews every quarter, and update job descriptions frequently, Condon said. “That’s how quickly things are moving.”
And how exactly should organizations approach job descriptions and job titles, for that matter? Condon advises developing job descriptions to highlight skills rather than tasks. Job roles and titles should be structured to illuminate career paths and promote movement throughout the company based on interests and transferrable skills.
Organizations should also consider a gig strategy, crowdsourcing internally for skills to get projects done. “Find out where people have strengths, and use them. People get so much energy out of that,” Condon said.
What’s in the future for QuantumWork?
As total workforce management becomes more attainable thanks to AI and other emerging technologies, Condon said he’s looking forward to leveraging partnerships with Phenom and other tech innovators. “We’re having a great time building strategies so we can guide clients with this.”
Join us for more TXL every Thursday at noon ET. Get notified of all upcoming TXL episodes here.
Kasey is a content marketing writer, focused on highlighting the importance of positive experiences. She's passionate about SEO strategy, collaboration, and data analytics. In her free time, she enjoys camping, cooking, exercising, and spending time with her loved ones — including her dog, Rocky.
Get the latest talent experience insights delivered to your inbox.
Sign up to the Phenom email list for weekly updates!