The 3 Essentials of World-Class Talent Management

The Basics of World-Class Talent Management

Many executives talk a good game around talent management. They know what to say on the subject…the right words to use to show their understanding and support. But few go much further. It takes a lot more than mere words to implement a game-changing talent management strategy. It takes a boat-load of energy and commitment. Are you up to the challenge?

First you should understand why first-class talent management matters.

For companies that rely on their people to succeed, business results depend on designing and implementing the right talent management strategies. You need to be able to attract, develop, engage, and retain your next generation of leaders. You need to build an environment where high performers flourish. This is the way to create your unique advantage…one that competitors cannot replicate.

Here are the three essentials of world-class talent management:

  1. Clarity around the organization’s purpose
    When you can state your company’s vision, mission, values and strategy in a clear and compelling way, it can be a powerful draw for top talent who want to join your effort. They understand, subscribe to and enthusiastically buy into the reason you are in business. The work force as a whole operates in sync and pulls in the same direction toward the common goal.
  2. Focus on high performance
    Employees understand what is expected of them in their roles and know what constitutes high performance. They are measured regularly against the agreed-upon standards and their success metrics are fair, transparent, achievable and aligned with the strategy and each other. Help in the form of development and coaching is provided for substandard performers but, if there is no meaningful performance improvement, they are moved on fairly and empathetically. A critical part of a high performance environment is holding employees accountable, providing meaningful rewards for top talent and proportionate consequences for those who miss the mark.
  3. Consistent values modeled from top to bottom
    Leaders abide by the principles the organization has said would guide its mission and strategy. There is passionate commitment in the C-Suite to adhere to clear, ethical principles of behavior. And there is no tolerance of wayward behaviors or practices at any level in the company.

How does your company score on these three essentials? To help determine if your talent management strategy is lacking, watch out for the following:

  • Too low or too high employee attrition vis-à-vis your talent management and business strategies
  • No explicit workforce strategy to attract, develop, engage and retain top talent
  • Lack of a strong link between business success and talent management
  • Minimal difference in treatment between high and low performers and strategic and non-strategic jobs
  • Comparing yourself to external talent metrics (i.e. industry benchmarks) instead of measuring how your talent is moving your unique strategy forward

If you detect any of these talent management warning signs, you ought to invest in working on your talent strategy…with no delay.

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