About Motis People
Rick Beaton • 12 min read
Our world and societies are undergoing fundamental change. As the internet and technology continue to accelerate connectivity and mobility, every industry that touches our daily lives is facing the need to evolve. Companies both big and small are forced to adapt. How we produce goods and services are changing, and it’s also led to a change in the way we think about our careers and the way we work.
Building Careers for the Future
The profound depth of change raises questions. “How does our society address the rapidly changing economy when it comes to building a career and work?” Have we improved the way we develop skills needed for new and evolving career paths that parallels the development of this new technology and interconnectivity? In the past, employers and managers would throw people into the deep end. People developed their careers on the job. Employees were expected to learn as they worked. This organic approach to career development placed most of the responsibility onto the employee. The lack of intentionality created an inconsistent and uneven workforce, with many employees having big gaps in their skillset, which led to many workers being unprepared for the realities of the changing workplace. The struggles with the quick shift to mobility in response to COVID-19 is but one example. Preparing employees with essential skills for the new economy has to be a cornerstone of business agility.
Building a career in today’s economy is difficult. Work is fundamentally changing and there is significant need to upskill the workforce so that employees can do their work more effectively and efficiently. Employees want and need a clearly articulated career plan. Learning and development opportunities remain generalized because all of the trainings, courses, and conferences don’t guarantee improvements in performance or career advancement. Regardless, the urgency to learn new skills to stay relevant in the changing economy is a stressful reality for lots of us.
The skills essential to building a career in a professional field are rarely laid out in any order or sequence. The need to upskill a workforce only makes it worse.
The Problem, The Solution, & The Current Reality
We created Motis People after decades of researching and consulting for organizations on workforce development. We observed a growing gap between the career development needs of people and what was being offered by educational institutions, employers and managers. It is a difficult problem to solve and the issues in the system are numerous. The skills essential to building a career in a professional field are rarely laid out in any order or sequence. The need to upskill a workforce only makes it worse. The development path to skills mastery is not clearly defined. Learning and achieving proficiency is mostly assumed to be a linear progression of courses, on the job experience and performance feedback on work product. It is a long and fragmented path, and as a result, employees can have huge gaps in their development. Complicating this is that we tend to assume anyone can do anything and use the spray and pray approach to training and development, hoping that people learn. Finally, it is often unclear who is responsible for managing all of these touch points along a person’s career path. Is it the employer, HR, manager, coach, or employee? And now as organizations are adapting to remote work and distributed teams, it’s becoming even more challenging to know who is responsible for overseeing a person’s career and skill development. Most employees feel lost in a murky process and want something better.
Because organizations rely heavily on learning management (LMS) and performance management (PMS) tools, we have devoted a great deal of time to studying their effectiveness in developing and upskilling an organization’s workforce. We found that although traditional LMS/PMS tools administered by Chief Learning Officers or Human Resources are intended to develop people’s skills and measure performance, they are ultimately ineffective. One major problem is that companies have simply taken outdated best practices and automated them with technology. The second major problem we alluded to above. Organizations assume that learning is linear. Different silos within the organization engage the employee with their specialization. The LMS delivers the courses, the manager oversees the work quality and product. Performance management systems focus on the performance of the employee in work. Even coaching is minimally effective due to the distance from the work of the employee. This system does not produce a highly trained workforce, primarily because it doesn’t match how people learn and master the skills essential to the work that they are expected to perform.
Close to $87 billion is spent annually on training and learning management systems by businesses in the US with little to show for it.
The actual learning and development of skills takes place when learning (content) is tied to practice (work) and evaluation of the skill being developed (check-ins and feedback). This can only happen where the work occurs, in teams with project managers and team leads. PMS applications too often focus on work and work product and is not tied into the LMS in any meaningful way or the skills development of the employee. Even external coaching is minimally effective due to the distance from the work of the employee. Ultimately, it is no surprise that close to $87 billion is spent annually on training and learning management systems by businesses in the US with little to show for it.
Can the Research Guide Us?
One clear recent example is the lack of impact unconscious bias training has had on behavior. Research has demonstrated that despite the energy and financial capital devoted to unconscious bias training, it has not moved the needle much in changing behaviors. There is an implicit assumption that exposure to content will change behavior, produce skills and solidify expertise. Sadly, there is little correlation between listening to content and actual skill mastery. Studies show that 90% of the content taught in learning management systems is forgotten within 7 days. Similarly, the struggle with performance management systems is that they tend to focus on the work itself and not the technical and broader skills vital to business (e.g., communication, people skills, management and leadership). Furthermore, much of performance management is vulnerable to bias and favoritism.
Our conclusion is that the way we have scaled training, development and performance management in organizations has not worked. We need a career development system that is grounded in how humans learn, to achieve mastery. What we do know is that there’s a direct correlation between consistent, good quality training with organizational performance and profit. Surprisingly, executive leaders have not typically measured this correlation, nor have been champions of it. As a result, they have left significant unrealized profit on the table. We know that if a workforce development system addressed the existing shortcomings of fragmented systems, there would be a huge upside for organizational performance (innovation, creativity, efficiency, profitability) and individuals developing their skills and careers.
People grow best in an iterative process that cycles between learning, practice and evaluation in order to develop their skills on the job. Essential to this process are the feedback and regular check-ins with managers that are tied into the learning and practice. Research demonstrates that we can provide a much more individualized approach when we take into account how each person is hardwired, their lived experiences, education and expertise.
We draw from research in various fields that are essential to understanding people.
A Balanced Approach for Modern Needs
Motis is unique in our approach, because we take the entire person into account. We draw from research in various fields that are essential to understanding people. For example, one important dimension is the emerging research in neurobiology and how people’s personalities are hardwired. There exist dimensions of personality that give everyone a unique ability to excel in certain aspects of work and not in other. This means that for the first time we can get the right person into the right career with much higher levels of success. It is easy to see why these personality dimensions are often overlooked given the broad cynicism created by the use of assessments that are outdated and based on questionable science. But we see a powerful opportunity to give everyone the chance to lean into their natural aptitudes, which will improve satisfaction, engagement, meaning and purpose, and ultimately performance.
We at Motis are also avid realists about the future of work and the role of technology in a changing world. We understand that the work is becoming increasingly mobile and distributed as we become more interconnected through the internet. People have multiple team leaders, managers, and very often working in different cities or continents from their immediate manager. We have solutions for communication, workflow, team collaboration, yet we have nothing that allows for the employee and manager to collaborate on their development and growth. This is a significant challenge for businesses that must continually upskill their workforce. This is why we saw the need to create an individualized employee development experience that is non-biased, standardized, and transparent. Employees, especially early in their careers, need a history record of their skill development, performance and work project history that they can take with them throughout their career and lives.
All of us want to be seen, heard, appreciated, and valued for our hard work.
Motis Grow: A New Way Forward
For executives and managers looking for a system that robustly manages employee learning, performance, and upskilling, is there a tool available to implement? Yes. For people looking to develop their careers, track the progress of their skill mastery and collect honest feedback on their performance, is there a platform available to adopt? Yes. And the answer to both of those questions is Motis Grow. We’ve created a cloud-based system that unifies learning management, performance management, and upskilling into a single platform for organizations to grow and develop their workforces.
Motis Grow tracks skills development, which is the foundation of successful career development, performance, and client satisfaction. Our system helps establish goals, which help employees focus and stay accountable with manageable milestones and long-term achievements. The Motis Grow app is built to facilitate fast feedback between managers and direct reports that’s crucial for positive behavioral change. Our system has a transparent timeline that displays all inputs in a single view providing the employee and manager a snapshot of the employee’s historical portfolio of skill development, feedback and work. Motis Grow also reimagines and automates the year-end review, placing focus on what matters by discussing career development and performance in a holistic, fair, and unbiased way.
The effectiveness of the Motis Grow system is that it’s rooted in the science of organization growth and career development. A primary goal for senior leadership ought to be to create a robust cultural ecosystem in which people can do their best work. We’ve analyzed the metrics of high performing organizations for years and found that the factors that matter most in the creation of this type of an ecosystem are Clarity, Autonomy, Performance, Relationships, Equity, Alignment, Stress, and Space. We used our deep understanding of organizations, career upskilling, team management, and globalizing business, to create a new system. Motis Grow outperforms existing learning management systems and performance management systems when it comes to growing and developing people within an organization. Employees are happier and more successful using Motis Grow because of the fairness, transparency, and accountability that it provides. Executives are eager to implement Motis Grow because it saves money and increases profits by improving their organizational performance.
All of us want to be seen, heard, appreciated, and valued for our hard work. We want to feel like we are competent and skilled at what we do. We all want to find a place to work that matches who we know ourselves to be with our role and function. We want an organization that is committed to us so that we can continue to learn, build new skills, and develop as a person. We want a future that we can take pride in. Our application Motis Grow will help you in this quest. As a company building a system for the future of work, Motis hopes to be a part of that movement.
If you’re an executive or manager that’s looking to upskill your workforce and build a high performing organization, give us a call and schedule a demo for Motis Grow.