The old adage of “people are our greatest asset” isn’t a bad place to start when considering a talent management strategy. The adage has probably been over-used, but acknowledging the value that people have to an organization’s success is essential, and somewhat obvious. How much care and attention is given to foster this talent, is something that not all organizations do well.
I have been constantly surprised over the past 20 years how many organizations let talent management fall into disrepair, or paper over the cracks with a talent program that doesn’t breathe life into the organization.
The following 3 suggestions are arguably among the top reasons for developing a talent management strategy.
1. If you know the value of your talent, you’re more likely to look after it.
Knowing the value that top talent brings to the bottom line of an organization will stir most leaders to pay attention to it. Conducting a talent review, developing high potential leaders, creating talent pools for succession planning, and rewarding talent for contribution, are all signs that an organization values its talent. Recognizing the value that talented people bring to the diverse roles required to deliver organizational success is the beginning of the journey.
2. Planning for the future will stimulate attention to talent.
It’s fine knowing who the current talented individuals are in an organization, but just protecting the status quo isn’t the smartest strategy. Knowing the direction the organization is taking over the next 2-5 years, and planning talent requirements around that is essential. That of course involves not just the known talent pipeline in the organization, but attracting talent to the organization that matches the strategic direction.
3. Knowing how to motivate talent will help build it.
So often organizations have a brainwave to develop a high potential program, a succession plan or something similar in response to their sense of addressing the talent question. But the best talent management strategy is one that considers how talent is influenced by reward, development, performance, engagement, culture and leadership. All of these elements need to be considered when building a true talent management strategy.
A great analogy might be to consider a football team. Knowing the talent you have in different positions enables you to execute on a strategic plan. Knowing that you have back-up for your current talent means that you can cover for unexpected events. Knowing that you have emerging talent who can grow and learn means that you have an investment for the future. Connecting all of the above into an integrated talent management strategy should mean that talent is retained, motivated and developed to deliver against aspirational goals. I say “should” because there is always the element of the competition … a key variable in achieving goals.