No wonder the digital revolution is stirring up so much anxiety. The pace of change, not exactly slow since the end of last century, is accelerating further, raising more questions about what it will take to succeed at work.
The data from this recent LinkedIn study is a good case in point: since 2015, skill sets for jobs have changed by around 25%. This percentage is expected to double by 2027. The solution – for both organizations and employees – is continuous learning.
For employers, this means investing wisely in formal training and upskilling, as well as breaking down barriers and silos and offering flexible collaboration opportunities. What’s more, such opportunities must be available on a continuous basis.
Employees, too, need to be proactive and many are, if given the chance. After all, we are a social species. We all need to feel like we belong, like those around us understand and value us. We all need to connect. For example, when someone is trying to solve a problem at work it is only natural to ask a colleague or friend for help, right? The problem is, in a fast-paced and increasingly complex work environment, finding the right person at the right time is not always easy. This is one of the issues that innovative learning platform Mentessa is designed to solve.
Mentessa facilitates knowledge sharing and collaborative learning through a number of features. Mentessa’s self-matching feature supports employees who want to take the initiative in connecting with others, most often motivated by the need to receive timely input and help with specific work tasks or projects.
What is self-matching?
The typical organization has a large pool of skills at its disposal. So large, in fact, that managers and leaders are typically not aware of its full scope. In addition, with people coming and going, careers evolving and employees opting for remote work, finding the right person at the right time is becoming an impossible task. Impossible for humans, that is. Algorithms – like the ones employed by Mentessa – do very well.
Mentessa helps companies connect and upskill employees through internal talent marketplaces and peer-to-peer programs where participants are matched by AI-supported algorithms for maximum results. However, sometimes individuals know best what they need. They may have a very specific question or issue and all they require is to be able to reach the right person quickly.
For example, an employee, let us call him Kyle, may need support to carry out a code review or he may need feedback from a fresh pair of eyes. Kyle can search Mentessa’s internal talent marketplaces for colleagues who have the relevant experience. This information is easily available as all employees are asked to identify the special skills they can share with others. Once there is a match, all Kyle needs to do is click a button so that a collaboration request is sent. The request triggers an email to the employee whose expertise is needed. They have the option to accept or decline. If the request is accepted, the platform creates a collaboration board for the matched users so they can track goals and tasks.
Self-matching works great for employees who have specific questions or need another pair of hands for a particular task or project. It can also support employees’ long-term goals and needs. For example, Masha may be a new hire who wants to expand her circle of connections in the company while also taking care of her physical well-being. She can use the self-matching feature to match with colleagues who are interested in finding a sports buddy. There is also Natalie, a mid-level manager who dreams of one day joining the C-suite. She can use Mentessa’s self-matching option to find a female mentor to address in a safe space her career in leadership as a woman. While the needs of users may be different, what is common is the speed and flexibility with which Mentessa’s self-matching feature delivers.
Self-Matching and Automated Matching: How Do They Differ?
Comparing self-matching and automated matching is not an either-or issue. Both have unique advantages and both should be utilized to facilitate knowledge sharing. Automated matching scales quickly and effectively and creates connections that would probably not have existed otherwise. In turn, self-matching has the following advantages:
- Spontaneous and not programmed: Self-matching is all about employees taking the initiative to find the answers and help they need.
- Just in time: Employees can get help and advice quickly.
- On-demand: The interactions are based on a real need.
- Flexible: This kind of communication comes with no additional obligations.
- Personalized: The interactions have different formats and lengths depending on participants’ availability and need. Some issues are solved via a quick chat online, others may require people to communicate in person, meeting many times.
How Self-Matching Benefits Organizations?
Self-matching can support peer learning and a learning culture in powerful ways. Firstly, it helps build and reinforce connections among employees. This aspect helps foster well-being and a culture of belonging at work.
Secondly, it allows employees to be more authentic and more relaxed about the things that they do not know. There is not one person who has all the knowledge or skills. Most people know and acknowledge this, yet, in the workplace, many feel pressure to seem as if they know and can do everything. New hires are particularly anxious about revealing skills gaps. Mentessa’s self-matching feature is the perfect answer for such conundrums. Employees can receive feedback and help in a timely manner, accessing the knowledge of peers. Over time, the awareness that there is always someone to turn to in times of need serves to decrease anxiety and helps employees to be more relaxed and authentic at work.
Self-matching also helps to bolster interdisciplinary collaboration – something which has traditionally been a challenge for large and middle-sized companies, where groups of people often tend to work in silos. With remote and hybrid work, the tendency to see things from the limited perspective of a corporate section or department only deepens, reducing overall effectiveness and productivity. In contrast, organizations where interdisciplinary collaboration is encouraged are more creative and vibrant and this has direct implications on product or service quality, productivity and profitability.
To sum up, Mentessa’s self-matching feature is just one of many tools that the platform uses to connect employees and inspire them to learn from each other. The end result is a vibrant organizational culture and a workforce which is motivated by the possibility to learn new skills, take on more ambitious tasks and at the same time enjoy the experience.
To find out more about the self-matching feature and Mentessa’s additional features that promote knowledge sharing and support employees from onboarding all the way to retirement: