Talent Management is vital to the success of any organisation. It involves integrated organisational HR processes that work together to attract, engage, motivate and retain the best employees for a company, nurturing them into life-long employees, and is often managed with a talent management platform.
Talent management, when handled strategically, should flow from your organisation's mission, vision, values, and goals. This enables every employee to see where they fit within the organisation. This, in turn, enables employees to participate in the overall direction of the company. From a strategic perspective, an effective talent management system helps crucial employees feel as if they are part of something bigger than their current job. A good talent management strategy will enable you to capitalise on the strengths and abilities of your employees, helping them to become stronger and grow within your organisation.
Depending on the size of your organisation and the scope of your team, talent management will take different forms. You may work in a large company that has a well established end-to-end system, or you may be in an SME that is just looking to build out your talent management processes, or somewhere in between. Regardless of where your organisation is currently, there are some core areas that are always worth looking at when considering how to improve talent management in your organisation.
Improving Talent Management
Secure visible senior support
Get buy-in from senior leaders and executives, whether it’s for a new element of your talent management programme or for the entire programme and ensure that leaders know how their role and involvement impacts the company. There are few things that will be more effective than visible support from senior management towards staff development when it comes to encouraging staff to actively engage in learning and improving your talent management programme. This support shouldn’t stop at senior level though, to really encourage staff to engage you must make sure support trickles down to managers at all levels of your organisation. Employees truly value managers that are bought into their personal growth.
Make sure your organisation has a clear mission
Ensure your talent management strategy supports your business objectives – and to do that you have to have a clear mission and have set goals. In addition, when planning a new product or service launch for the future, for example, ensure your planning identifies the talent that will be needed to make it work and whether your organisation already has this talent or needs to secure or develop it. Don’t fall into the trap of aligning your talent management programme and then failing to review it though. Your talent management goals should be reviewed periodically to ensure they are still well aligned to business objectives and company mission.
Look within your organisation
Put strategies in place to retain talent. You shouldn’t just rely on finding talent – you should have clear strategies to retain it through performance management and reward processes that encourage personal growth and engagement. This is often overlooked, and many companies make the mistake of believing that if staff are simply well remunerated they will remain in their role. However, a 2020 report of HR Leaders by CIPD ranked salary as the third most important factor that motivates employees, behind ‘feeling valued’ and ‘learning and development’.
Recognise that the world of work is rapidly changing. To secure and retain the best talent, you will need to take a new approach. Changes in technology, lifestyle and demographics mean that the current generation of candidates and employees have new expectations from the workplace: they want their work to be meaningful and career enhancing, something that co-exists with the rest of their life and worth more than just a pay packet.
Covid-19 has changed the world of work and for many companies this means that work and office have been decoupled. This poses a huge new challenge for HR Leaders, but ultimately it is something that will improve talent management as it will drive us to build back better. At Ethical Angel, we're always looking at how the world of work is evolving and how changes in the workplace are having an effect on learning and development within organisations. One approach we have taken is to build use of our own platform, Ethical Angel, into our talent management programme. This has allowed staff to engage with applied training experiences that not only improve their skills, but have the dual benefit of helping the global causes with projects that they need additional support with.
Make talent development part of your company culture
Develop a culture where it becomes second nature to discover and nurture talents – part of the day-to-day mindset. Very quickly, attitudes to support that will become a regular part of the workday.
This helps not only strengthen your current teams but is also useful in recruiting additional members in the future. Today’s workforce craves growth. Create a workplace where learning is prioritised and built into your daily operations and you’ll create a place where people love to work.
Use appropriate methods for developing talent
There are obviously lots of ways to develop talent such as coaching, mentoring, projects and assignments. Talk to individuals about what would be right for them and don't forget that talented people are often motivated to manage their own learning. The key here is remembering that every one of your employees is an individual, so you should have a range of approaches available to you when looking at how to develop talent. This will allow you to create the right combination of development opportunities for each staff member to help them reach their potential.
Have an integrated approach to your strategy
Talent management spans and overlaps with several activities across your organisation including recruitment, learning and development, reward and retention. Ensure that your talent management strategy is integrated and linked to these processes and systems. Beyond this, you should also consider how talent management can be integrated with your CSR or corporate volunteering programmes, as you can increase staff motivation by allowing them to support global causes while learning.
Adapt and rethink what normal looks like
Although Covid-19 has been devastating, it has also unified people in a way that nothing else could have. People have been at the heart of business’ responses, continually adapting to change and restrictions, becoming accustomed to remote working and demonstrating a level of resilience that has scarcely ever been required in a corporate setting. Crucially, your workforce has also experienced wellbeing challenges, and as a result, expectations have been formed as to how they may want to work in the future amid continued uncertainty.
As we move back towards some kind of ‘normality’, we need to keep talent management front-of-mind. What was normal in the workplace before may not be appropriate or welcome now. Employers need to adapt and rethink what normal looks like, building on the positives from this experience and addressing some of the challenges that still exist.
Many employees have used lockdown as an opportunity to take up a new hobby or learn a new skill, so now is an ideal time for managers to expand on that self-motivation by helping employees take responsibility for their career. This can be achieved by managers conducting substantial career conversations with their employees, exploring what their motivations are and helping them identify where their strengths and gaps lie.
Take a deeper look at how talent management is evolving...
That rounds off our list of effective ways to improve talent management.
For an in-depth look at how talent management needs to evolve as the world tentatively returns to offices, download our white paper: Talent Management In A Post Pandemic World.