Creating an effective talent management strategy is key to ensuring that your people feel valued, motivated and challenged.
Attracting and retaining the best talent is vital for organisations who want to maintain their competitive advantage but this is especially important within the service sector where people are often the biggest asset that a business can possess.
An effective people management approach can help to retain your brightest talent (and in turn, reduce your recruitment/training and management costs) as you invest in their future careers with your organisation.
In addition, a proactive talent management strategy should also reduce the time you spend on managing performance issues as they are identified earlier through open dialogue and clear expectations.
Is setting time aside to create a holistic talent management strategy difficult when you’re struggling to keep on top of the daily grind?
If so, here are five elements that every talent management strategy should include to help you to get started:
1. Job Design
Before you begin any recruitment campaign or think about the development and succession planning of your people you need to have a clear idea of what the different roles are within your organisation. This could be in the form of a job spec, job description or person spec which outlines the purpose, the main responsibilities and the type of experience, skills and qualifications required to do that role.
A concise but well-defined job spec will give you the foundation you need to have informed discussions with your people about the progression routes available to them and will also help you to start to build a clear succession plan to help you to future proof your organisation.
The aim of a proactive talent management strategy is to reduce staff turnover and consequently the need for recruitment should decrease. This will allow think more strategically about your recruitment planning rather than firefighting to fill unexpected vacancies.
For instance, you know that you struggle to recruit in a niche area but until now you have just had to rely on high-cost recruitment agencies to fill these roles. With a strategic recruitment plan you can start to think of more innovative ways to attract your future talent before it becomes an urgent need.
A 2019 report by Gallup highlighted that engaged employees are good for business as employees who are engaged will stay with you, consistently show up to work and will exhibit a great commitment to the quality of their work.
A simple way to understand the current levels of engagement within your organisation is to ask your people what they honestly think. Hardly rocket science but often communication is the first casualty on a hectic day.
You could do this on a large scale through a company-wide engagement survey or small scale through 121s and company briefings. However, you choose to gain this insight it’s important that you have a clear idea of engagement levels as this will help to shape any future initiatives you plan to introduce and ensure that any change is a success.
Performance management is seen by many as a focus on managing poor performers but that absolutely should not be the case.
Performance management should be positive and collaborative if it is to work effectively.
By identifying progression routes, understanding people’s motivations and aspirations and identifying the future leaders of your organisation you can actively engage and retain your talent.
We’re not suggesting that you have to find a spare £1m down the back of the proverbial sofa to introduce huge training budgets and complicated skills matrices. Far from it.
Simple changes can be immensely effective in improving the perception of training and development within your organisation.
For example, ensuring that training and development plans are linked to the strategic objectives of the business means that you have a clear idea of the future needs of the business. Skills gaps can then be identified and plugged through training and developing your current talent pool.
Need more of an incentive to invest in training and development? The 2018 LinkedIn Workplace Learning Report found that of the 4000 people they surveyed, 94% would stay at a company longer if it invested in their careers. A staggering number when you consider how simple investing a little time and focus in the development of your people can be.