There is a myth that says a business has to have a substantial budget or fund expensive external training courses in order to take employees through a formal talent management programme. This is not the case.
Lots of small businesses now use inexpensive talent management processes to engage, develop and retain their people. What these businesses are gaining is committed and skilled staff — people ready to become the next generation of leaders and managers.
Talent management does take a substantial time investment but the rewards are substantial. It will give you every chance of retaining talent staff and will create a positive culture throughout your business.
Investing in People
Research demonstrates that there is a direct correlation between investing in people, improving knowledge and skills and revenue/income. If you create individuals who are talented and constantly striving to do better, they will have a direct impact on your customers.
This type of organic growth will save you recruitment costs. It will give you every chance of retaining talented staff, and also create a positive culture throughout your organisation.
Assessing your current talent management strategy
Where you are interested in reviewing your talent management strategy or looking to introduce one, it is important to decide how your business current manages its talent.
Scenarios in which there is room for improvement, include:
- The business that focuses on underachievers: this leaves the people who have the potential to contribute significantly to your business feeling ignored.
- The business that delegates talent management to a central function: Of course, HR can contribute, but they cannot effectively manage the whole strategy. Such schemes tend to be ineffectual because of the absence of senior staff buy-in.
- The business who with no formal strategy at all: This is not uncommon, but if a talent management strategy is not recorded, how well can it be communicated? This spells danger for any business. If there is no talent- or performance-management system in place, how can staff understand when they are performing and when they’re not?
With this in mind, here are the core components of a successful talent management strategy:
Implementing a talent management strategy for your business.
Role Profiling and Competency Frameworks
The starting point is a robust performance management framework, where the roles within your business are effectively profiled and aligned to your competency framework and business goals.
Such transparency means everyone knows what needs to be done and to what standard.
Role profiling allows you to benchmark performance across your organisation and determine where the skill gaps lie. This is the best way to objectively measure the performance and achievement capability of your people. It is also the best mechanism to identity talent within your organisation.
Getting Everyone on Board
Your senior team will need to actively believe and support any talent management strategy. It’s got to be very practical and needs to be supported from the top down. So focus on your business-critical areas and ensure that you have succession planning effectively in place.
For example, you need to know who your really talented sales people are, so you can promote them through the sales structure. This will mean bringing in new people to replace them as they move up. If promotions are not an option, you can create sideways opportunities to broaden the expertise of your staff and make them more rounded contributors to your business.
New Challenges, New Opportunities
Project work provides excellent opportunities for staff to be exposed to new challenges. It is an important vehicle for experienced staff to coach and mentor others. It is worth writing coaching and mentoring responsibilities into job profiles.
In general, coaching is by far the most impressive and the most rewarding way of managing people. It creates a positive work environment. It empowers individuals and talented individuals to be proactive, most notably in how they approach workplace issues and problems.