I have had a number of inquiries from clients recently about global implementation and the desire to have more common processes. One of the perceived (and actual) benefits of a global HRMS is the ability to standardize processes. Clearly, there always some variations to common processes due to regulatory or cultural requirements. However, in most cases, there is more commonality to HR processes globally than variation. There is always resistance to this idea by local countries or by business units, but when one digs down into it, the commonality is there.
That is not what I want to focus on. Common processes focus on the "how". We want people to follow the same steps. This is important for consistency. However, it does not address the "what". I would argue that the "what" is much more import than the "how", especially in talent management. Let me provide an example. In performance management, a manager will fill out a review form. It will be routed via workflow to the employee who will review the form and add comments. Then, the employee and manager will have a discussion of the review and will finalize what will be submitted for approval. That is a pretty typical process (ok it is only a part of a process, but that is enough to illustrate). It is one that can be standardized. Process metrics only tell a part of the story. I can track how many reviews have been or not been conducted. I can track how fast reviews are completed. All interesting things. However, it does not tell me about the quality of the information contained in the review. It does not tell me about the quality of the conversation between manager and employee. It does not tell me if the employee understands and will act on areas for improvement or to build on strengths.
I think you get the idea. The "what" is critical to getting value from your talent management technology investments. In addition, the "what" does not have to be common. In fact, it probably is not common. It needs to be tailored to the individual employee based on the manager's style and their relationship. The communication needs to be genuine. You cannot build that into the process alone, If you have problems with the "how", technology can certainly help. However, that is the low-hanging fruit. Do not forget to focus on the "what" to really make a difference in talent management.