Are you a People Person?

July 11, 2016 | Khalda De Souza

I have spoken to nearly twenty client references in the current Workday Services Blueprint research project. I fully expected to talk to many ‘Human Resource’ Directors or IT experts assigned to the ‘HR’ division, as the Workday HCM product has been the most prominent deployment in this market. It has been refreshing to speak to several executives with the word ‘People’ in their title. For example I’ve spoken to a People Services Technology Leader, a Program Manager for People and Culture and a Solution Specialist for People and Culture.

Over the years I have seen some fascinating titles, including many that don’t actually give any clue as to what the person actually does all day.  The funniest are the ones where the person has obviously tried to get as many hot topics into the title as possible. ‘Hi. I’m the Chief Worldwide Evangelist for Innovation and Digital Transformation, leading with Design Thinking As-a-Service.’ Huh? It is refreshing to talk to executives who do not need lengthy explanations of their job title. ‘I’m the People Person’. Fantastic! How easy would it be for employees, customers and suppliers to just be able to call the front desk and say, ‘Hi. I’d like to talk to the People person please.’

When I first started out as an analyst, mentors explained to me that IT services was about the bringing together of people, processes and technology. It seems that it has taken most of my career before anyone is actually focusing on the ‘people’ part of this equation. Finally, buyer enterprises and service providers alike are focusing on hiring, motivating and retaining the best talent as they realize that people are their most important differentiator in the market. It is no surprise that enterprises are asking to interview delivery teams in the service provider selection stage, nor that the best client satisfaction scores are attained because of the quality and collaborative nature of the people they worked with. And the best people need to also be people oriented. Technical certifications, relevant enterprise size and industry experience, functional expertise – all these things that can be ticked off on a capability list are important but increasingly taken for granted.  The real skill lies in whether they can actually work well with other people.  Do they have the necessary social skills and real commitment to help clients and employees? These are the valuable skills needed for enterprises and service providers to succeed in today’s market. Power to the People!

Posted in: IT Outsourcing / IT Services

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