Successful leaders know their talent is critical to the bottom line and use talent planning and development for a sustainable advantage. Asking the questions “What roles are critical for the future? Do I have the right talent? and How can I maximize my existing talent?” are all key to achieving strategic goals.
Prioritizing your talent management strategy can help you grow responsibly and reach your business goals while retaining and hiring top talent.
While many small and mid-size organizations are challenged to find time and resources to build a talent management process, the returns are significant.
Simply optimizing employee-job fit, the match between employee attributes and role requirements, can increase performance, engagement and commitment. According to Gallup, engaged employees contribute to 20% higher sales, 17% higher productivity and 21% higher profitability.
The sunk costs of turnover and low performance are also substantial. Additionally, your team may resent carrying the load for low performers, further diminishing team engagement and commitment.
A talent management process doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are a few steps to get you started.
1. Identify talent requirements for your future
2. Assess your existing talent
Use your enhanced job profiles and a simple methodology to evaluate each employee’s fit and performance. Review their personality profile for a natural capacity for those competencies. Poor fit can increase burnout and performance challenges. We want them to thrive.
Is their current job the right fit? If not, will development help? Are they better suited for a different role that highlights their strengths? What roles are good next step?
You can unlock untapped potential across your organization in this one exercise.
3. Listen to your team
Elevate your 1:1 discussions to get the employee’s input. Continuous and effective feedback and coaching are critical to this process. Thoughtful questions can uncover strengths, preferences, motivations and personal goals. Be prepared for your assumptions to be challenged. The more you know about a person, the more you can support their growth and performance.
4. Plan and develop for future openings.
Eliminate the rush search for the right hire and enable career growth through talent planning. Encourage routine cross-organization talent discussions to drive awareness and mobility. The steps above will identify internal successors for critical roles and prepare them for success. You may have a few talent gaps that could benefit from external partnerships such as with colleges, trade associations and non-competing industry peers to build your new hire pipeline.
Talent development and effective coaching will strengthen your internal pipeline and organization health. The skills and tacit knowledge of a highly valued employee will far outweigh the costs of hiring externally.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Talent management is a strategic business process for a competitive advantage and people-focused culture. Supported teammates drive results because they more engaged, motivated and fulfilled. Not advocating for career growth within your organization could force the team to manage it externally.
The costs of not prioritizing may be too significant to wait.
Rochelle Ramos is the principal consultant and coach of The Development Source, LLC. She helps small and mid-size businesses achieve business goals through talent and organization development strategies.