An effective talent management strategy underpins your organisation’s ability to compete and grow. And yet, business leaders set out to develop a strategy with tactics that are outdated, poorly integrated or not relevant to their industry.
According to the Gallup State of the Global Workforce Report, 85% of employees worldwide are not engaged in their job. Australia is slightly below average, with only 14% of employees actively engaged.
- I have distilled the best talent management practices into eight principles.
- They involve thinking outside the box and adapting to changing markets.
By executing these eight principles (and adapting them to your company values), you can attract, engage and retain top talent in 2023 and beyond.
6 Things All Successful Talent Strategies Have In Common.
All agile and successful companies have foundations in common. They base their talent management strategies around their teams’ needs, skills, and goals.
The best talent plans are:
- Strategy-driven: Current and future business goals must inform your plan. For example, is your company planning to grow its market share or improve its profitability?
- Skills and competency-based: Focus on skills, not jobs. Regularly measure your employees’ skills alongside the skills your company needs. Hire and train accordingly to fill skills gaps.
- Performance-based: Set individual, team and department goals – then analyse performance to identify gaps or barriers to success.
- Agile: Adjust to the business environment, labour market, and demand for your product or service.
- Segmented and individualised: Recognise that the needs of all employees aren’t the same, and all need a different management approach plus resources to thrive. For example, how you motivate salespeople will be different to how you motivate customer support reps.
- Evidence-based: Consult your data first (output, performance, and sales). Then expand it with information on industry best practices, benchmarking metrics, and employee experiences.
Below are our eight principles for redesigning your talent management strategy and improving business performance in the long run.
1. Audit Your Current Strategy.
Start by first understanding your organisation’s current circumstances. Consider the following:
- Assess the quality of your current talent base; what would you like to see more of?
- Map each team’s skill sets and qualifications; what are the skill gaps?
- Assess the factors affecting retention.
You can then follow the below methods to assess the way forward:
- Use a combination of methods surveys, interviews, and data analysis to understand why talent does (or doesn’t) stay with your company.
- Apply the data analysis to identify trends and patterns in team performance.
- Map KPIs to measure employee engagement company-wide.
- Involve HR and managers to oversee the organisation’s current talent pool. To revamp your human resources processes, explore more here.
- Document the findings.
- Prioritise the next steps.
Implement a talent management dashboard within your HRIS software to outline top performers and their critical data for performance. Share this with managers to encourage others to reach new heights.
2. Improve Your Talent Acquisition.
Companies that use outdated recruitment methods or recruit exclusively through job boards and social media miss out on a vast pool of high-performing talent.
Instead, consider incorporating the following:
- Improve your employer brand: Pay attention to company reputation and CEO rating sites like GlassDoor, LinkedIn, and Facebook.
- Encourage employee referrals: Advertise internally to find new talent and incentivise employees to their industry contacts. Your employee can ensure that the candidate is skilled for the role, plus a culture fit before the first interview.
- Network: If you aren’t already, attend industry events, join professional interest groups, and cultivate collegial relations with competitors to acquire new connections.
- Utilise psychometric testing: Myer’s Briggs, Humanostics, and DISC will expand your understanding of talent beyond basic skills measurement. They can also predict a potential new hire’s performance.
- Internship programs: Paid or unpaid interns can form a pool of low-cost, highly motivated talent that you can upskill into higher roles.
3. Ensure Culture Alignment.
Culturally aligned candidates are more likely to seek out opportunities with your company and more likely to succeed and grow within it.
Assess a job candidate’s alignment with company culture by:
- Getting clear about your company’s vision, mission and values. The vision gives your business purpose. The mission turns your vision into an actionable, measurable and achievable set of steps. Values govern and guide acceptable behaviour in your business.
- Ensuring your company lives up to its values. Vision, mission and values must become part of your organisation’s DNA (you can’t hire for something you’re not living up to).
- Placing more emphasis on your vision, mission and values in your job ads (and less on job requirements).
- Probing for mission and value alignment during the interview stage.
Vision, mission and values are not marketing slogans. It’s not about ping pong tables, complimentary lunches and casual Fridays. These gimmicks often distract us from the hard truth – that the company does not stand for anything.
4. Commit To Talent Development.
Any company with a high turnover rate is a red flag for future job applicants.
Retaining your existing talent must be a priority for your talent acquisition efforts. Otherwise, your company can fall into the dangerous trap of constantly rehiring and retraining.
How do you mitigate this? Consider the below:
- Create upskilling opportunities: Assess how employees can expand and diversify their knowledge to rise within the organisation.
- Consider succession planning: Keep it front of mind that no employee will last forever. Pre-plan by identifying areas of concern and cultivating potential replacement candidates.
- Offer lateral moves: Provide employees with the opportunity to take on roles and responsibilities within the broader company. This will force them to acquire new skills and collaborate.
- Recognition and rewards: It’s essential for any company to actively and regularly appreciate the performance, contributions, and achievements of their staff. Without this, engagement is hard to maintain
(Related: How To Create Recognition Programs That Work).
5. Prioritise Your Talent Engagement.
Employee engagement has an underrated impact on your talent management strategy. Engaged employees are more productive, motivated, and committed to the organisation’s goals.
You can create an environment that connects employees through shared goals or values by:
- Overcommunicating change: Leaving no ambiguity in the company’s direction, goals, policies, and procedures to avoid employee misunderstanding.
- Eliciting face-to-face feedback: You should adopt suggestion boxes, one-on-one chats, and regular surveys. Remember to respond respectfully to input and make changes accordingly.
- Promoting flexible work: Consider implementing innovative time-off policies, hybrid schedules, and active workspaces that allow staff to maximise their output and well-being.
- Empowering employee initiative: Encourage staff to make more decisions about their work and work style. With more autonomy and responsibility comes more job satisfaction.
Your talent engagement is an ongoing process that your HR personnel should consistently measure.
6. Create A Culture Of Learning.
Deloitte found that companies with a strong learning culture hold a 29% higher retention rate, plus a 15% increase in productivity.
A learning culture is a must for all high-performing companies. You should know each employee’s unique skills and commit to expanding those.
To do this, consider the following:
- Cultivating tomorrow’s C-Suite: Create leadership programs that emphasise the importance of digital transformation and continuous disruption.
- Encourage a growth mindset: Incentivise to question the status quo and take intelligent risks. Provide an environment that does not stigmatise or shame failing.
- Leverage AI: Incorporate video-on-demand training programs for staff built by AI. Synthesia creates hours of video without expensive studios, video equipment, or digital agencies.
7. Upkeep Performance Management.
Performance management and measurement are critical. Use the below as a starting point and incorporate your unique company goals:
- Set clear expectations: Utilise models such as SMART goals for employees to become clear on their expectations (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound)
- Assess performance: You should use regular performance reviews, employee self-evaluations, and monitoring tools monthly or quarterly.
- Provide feedback: Ensure individuals and teams know how to improve their KPIs. This drives talent to understand role expectations about the grander company vision.
- Align performance with organisational goals: You should incentivise employee performance and compensation by aligning achievements with the organisation’s key results (OKRs).
(Related: 13 Stages Of The HR Lifecycle).
8. Undertake Strategic Reviews.
Remember to review and revise your talent management strategy regularly. This ensures an ongoing alignment with the organisation’s changing goals and evolving needs.
- Assess the strategy’s effectiveness against employee satisfaction.
- Gather quantitative and qualitative data from employees, managers, and stakeholders.
- Consider surveys, interviews, and focus groups.
- Identify areas for improvement through turnover rates, performance, and KPIs.
- Communicate strategic changes to all employees and stakeholders promptly and transparently.
(Related: Ultimate Guide To HCM).
Bottom Line On Implementing A Sophisticated Talent Management Process.
Your talent management strategy should be agile, creative, and adaptable to your organisation’s needs and goals.
Regularly assessing and adjusting your overall business strategy and implementing the talent management strategy examples mentioned in this article will ensure that your organisation can exceed business goals, maintain a positive company culture, and support employees to drive and succeed.