How Talent Management Can Survive and Thrive Through Remote Working

Andy Andrews

Let’s be clear, COVID-19 hasn’t been the sole driver for many organizations to adopt a remote working strategy. According to the ONS (Office for National Statistics), in 2015 4.2 million people across the UK worked from home in varying sectors and industries. In other words, many organizations had already adapted their business model to support remote working. However, its true to say that many others have now been forced to shift towards remote working during these unique times. The fact that many successful organizations (and presumably their HR teams) had implemented a remote working strategy pre-pandemic tells us that Talent Management initiatives can survive and even thrive in the current climate. Let’s consider 3 examples of how and why this is the case and what part competency management can play in this…

Resource Management

If having a workforce skills inventory was important before, it’s absolutely critical now, particularly as the threat of a global economic recession requires organizations to use their assets optimally. At a strategic level, having a clear picture of the workforce’ capability will enable organizations to pick their way through this crisis and start to plan ahead. At an operation level it will help your organization to answer such questions as: Who are our subject matter experts? Where are they located? Do we need to re-skill some of our employees or are their new skills and competencies we need to develop in the ‘new world’?

Learning and Development

The need to identify learning needs accurately and prioritize critical areas of development  are as relevant in this age of remote working as they were when the workforce was in a physical, in-house location. Without face-to-face contact, some managers may feel it can be a challenge to keep on top of the competencies within their team.

Taking a competency-based strategy will provide a clear, coherent picture of the current capability of your team and how they measure against those required for optimum operational functionality. What learning and development programs do we need? Could we develop one of our own staff to fill a gap without the need to hire?

There is a plethora of new ways to support remote learning during extended periods of remote work. That’s what going digital was all about, right?

‘Attract and Retain’ Still Applies!

No doubt there will be many new hiring opportunities as the economy eventually rebounds; people will also still need to be motivated, probably more than ever before. Remote working isn’t going away and discussions about career development don’t need to stop.

Help to keep team morale high by providing visibility of career development opportunities and supplement them with flexible, learning programs delivered online. Start by defining job requirements well through competency-based job descriptions, build career pathways and help your potential recruits and your employees to see the possibilities.

New Ways of Communicating

When your employees are be in different locations, daily conversations are the lifeblood of your relationship with them. Communication is even more critical than ever.

Competencies and technology are the great enablers for employee and manager engagement. Enable competency development and coaching feedback sessions using Microsoft Teams, WebEx or Zoom and use them to provide great touchpoints for you and your employees. Think about how many of our parents (and grandparents) are using Zoom. Who knew?!


Talent Management hasn’t gone away, there are reasons to be optimistic. Your organization can energize a resilient, flexible and engaged workforce through resources that are already available. Talent Management can survive and thrive through remote working!

To find out how  the IBM Watson Talent Frameworks and Lexonis cloud-based software can enable your competency-based Talent Management initiatives, get in touch with one of our consultants today.

You may also like

Competencies 101

Competencies can be a complex topic and elicit many divergent…

Learn more
Manage IT Skills With SFIA – Start here

The Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA) has been…

Learn more
5 Ways to Retain Your Employees

One of the biggest overheads for many organizations today is…

Learn more