Talent management is a business discipline that identifies, engages, develops and deploys talented people to run and build a successful business. It is important because of the value high performing talents bring to the success of the organisation.
Fundamental to good talent management is a purposeful design, a focused development agenda and implementable talent management solutions that help a business to:
• Develop their Talent Strategy
• Review the effectiveness of their current talent processes
• Develop a succession planning process
• Define a Talent Dashboard with targets and measures that under-pin the talent strategy
• Audit the management population and how it needs to change and develop
• Develop the processes for managing critical talent segments in their business
• Have talented people in the right place at the right time for the business!
Developing the Right Talent Strategy
Talent Strategy Development involves integrating the corporate strategy with the strategy for meeting the people needs of the business.
Key elements in talent strategy development include:
• Understanding the workforce and the talent demands of the current business.
• Identifying the shape of the future business vision and the type of skills and capabilities needed to create and maintain it.
• Reviewing the current talent management approach and the extent to which it will meet future needs.
• Establishing the criteria for critical talent segments and the talent pools needed to deliver the corporate strategy.
• Designing talent policies and the processes and support needed to make them work.
• Agreeing talent objectives and plan the actions needed to achieve them.
• Defining the talent metrics to measure the overall success of the talent management strategy using our talent dashboard.
Creating a Talent Dashboard
The Talent Dashboard identifies the talent metrics used to measure the overall success of the talent management strategy. It seeks to address the incremental impact of talent improvements on your business and the effectiveness of your talent management system in delivering the right capability to the right roles and levels at the right time.
The Talent Dashboard provides a basis for regular monitoring of your Talent Management performance.
Introducing Succession Management
A business needs an approach that goes beyond the basic succession planning foundations to implementing succession management within the individual business units and across boundaries. It requires an approach to succession that helps you translate business needs into talent terms – with tangible and measurable outcomes.
Succession management addresses questions about how to move, develop and manage a pool of talented people to provide the business with the leaders and managers it will need in the future. It creates direction on flow and development of talents and provides the information needed to make critical time, resource and financial investment decisions.
Identifying High Potentials
It starts with establishing what high potential looks like for a business and then providing relevant support to identify and develop those people so that they can realise their potential for their own and the business benefits. You can identify high potentials in a number of ways ranging from talent review meetings through to formal assessment centres. It requires focus and a connection with the talents to get involved with them to identify and close their development gaps.
Developing the Talent Pipeline within your business
Once the talent and high potentials are identified it is time to make sure that their true potential is realised. It is important to work at both the individual talent and talent group level.
At the individual talent level this ranges from providing development coaching on specific development needs through to career coaching, working with the individual to identify what they want from their career and then plan how to make this a reality. Individual Talent Development involves clarifying development objectives, using competency assessment to confirm specific gaps in relation to the career profile, and providing development planning to guide the career coaching.
At the talent group level, Talent Pool Development requires the design and delivery of talent development programmes – using assessment data and the talent strategy to provide the framework for long term development. Programme design takes the business and talent strategies as start points along with any relevant data about the participants (e.g. assessments, 360 degree feedback). Then design the structure and define the content in partnership with the relevant subject experts from the business.
Encouraging Individual Development Planning
Development planning is central to achieving meaningful development outcomes.
Using the objective data obtained from the assessment process to inform the development plan of the individual – helping them to determine the most effective development solutions to meet their needs. Start by prioritising the areas for development and then determine the impact on current role and potential future role requirements.
Focus on identifying specific, tangible actions which will achieve the desired development. Consider using a development centre option which incorporates development planning based on the feedback from the centre. Provide help to the individual to capitalise on the support and expertise that is available inside and outside of the organisation such as peer-coaching and work based projects.
Incorporating ‘Formal’ Career Development
Involving people in their own development seems too obvious – but is often overlooked. A simple activity of working with individuals to identify their career goals and aspirations, to understand their strengths and areas for development and then create a motivating and realistic career plan provides the platform for real and sustainable growth. It makes it possible to consider individual motivators and align them with the business opportunities – acting as a ‘multiplier’ in talent development. Talent management is a business discipline – the key word is management and that requires organisation and a level of formality in which the good practices outlined here can flourish. Once in place, the talent management framework can deliver increasing value as the experience accumulates and the benefits are realised. It can provide some quick wins but certainly is a long term investment that matures with age.