Harnessing Graph Technology to Enhance Talent Retention and Workforce Resiliency

published: 29 August 2023

melissa profile Melissa Kee
Chief People Officer,

What inference can you draw between an employee’s after-work routine and what projects they want to work on? It may seem far-fetched that these two data points could be related, but graph technology is helping make that possible. Graph technology can help find surprising underlying relationships between data points that are usually not identified or analysed through traditional means.

The rapidly increasing adoption and utilisation of graph technology among Singaporean companies are driven by the burgeoning local AI and large language model landscape. With advancements and developments in AI technology, industry experts have acknowledged that we are headed towards an ‘AI-first’ era. At the forefront of talent management, my team and I have been embarking on a project experimenting with a graph-based talent management platform. The platform will aid in risk management and provide employees with equitable access to upskilling, which in turn unleashes the potential of the workforce.

Managing Risks

When it comes to the human capital management, HR departments run the risk of inconsistency where various scenarios such as attrition or differing levels of engagement occur. With a growing workforce and the addition of more challenges such as time, locale, and cultural diversity, the current engagement challenges will only be amplified. This in turn would inadvertently create pressures on HR teams, potentially lowering the standards and quality of talent management.

However, with the support of graph technology, we can solve the challenges that arise from a growing workforce. Graph databases can attach many attributes to each employee (called a node), such as past projects, geography, position within the organisation, skills, goals, and more. With graph technology-powered platforms, we can keep track of all the changes and relationships between each node without them getting muddled in the increasing complexities. The technology can enable us to get ahead of any potential issues or conflicts, ensuring more consistent management of these challenges across the board.

Empowering Employees To Chart Their Own Career Paths

According to Frederick Herzberg’s two-factor theory, workplace satisfaction is attributed to two types of factors –motivating factors (appreciation, career opportunities and performance) and hygiene factors (salary, relationship with teammates and the physical workplace). Herzberg asserts that hygiene factors contribute to an employee’s dissatisfaction while motivating factors contribute to an employee’s satisfaction. As such, it is important to ensure that the workplace environment values and encourages growth by addressing skills gaps and making learning opportunities available.

Graph technology can be used to effectively navigate employees’ potential career journey in accordance with their aspirations. Imagine a world where employees are empowered to take charge of their career trajectory and open up opportunities for career mobility without the need to schedule time with a career coach or HR team member. Structured data on talent and skills, team dynamics, and sentiment analysis can be mapped against unstructured data like employee feedback, to produce useful insights for HR into employee engagement, satisfaction, and sentiment across various teams and departments. These insights and information can then be used to inform targeted interventions in talent management strategies.

Providing Equitable Access to Skills Development

As people managers in an age of rapid technological advancements, it is important that we build a future-ready workforce who have the courage to pivot, are agile enough to upskill continually, and are flexible enough to take on new roles.

Take for example the maritime sector in Singapore; it is now ripe for change and digitalisation. AI is now able to navigate vessels without human intervention, allowing for autonomous shipping and a reduction in manpower. However, to be able to fully utilise this technology would require a talent pool within the sector that has the necessary skills to step up to the plate. Situations like these are creating a shift in the type of jobs that are available and the skills that these jobs demand. Professionals today have to constantly upskill to be familiar and competent in the newest technologies in order to meet the demands of future jobs.

To manage the ambiguity of the future, it is important to create an inclusive and equitable experience for employees to upgrade and upskill, empowering them to play a critical role in business transformation. Graph technology and connected data can supercharge opportunities for staff to learn and re-learn by providing personalised recommendations for training programmes, learning resources, and career advancement opportunities. By leveraging connected data, HR teams can deliver tailored development plans or even identify potential biases in the ways of working and learning, to promote a more inclusive workplace learning culture.

Empowering our workforce to believe that they are already a part of the future and are in control of their journey will undoubtedly be the key to retaining the best talent in this new era.

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