Talent: Only 1/3rd of the Talent Management Recipe for Success

An upward leading arrow is being held aloft by a cooperative team of business people.

The Talent Management Recipe for Success is elusive for many high growth organizations.  The goal of talent management is to create and sustain organizational excellence through people—by attracting, developing, engaging and retaining the top talent that makes sense for your business strategy and unique organizational culture.

Done right, effective talent management can differentiate your company from the competition in both good and bad times.  Done poorly, inconsistent and unaligned talent management methodologies can grind your company to a halt.

If you are looking for a sustainable and profitable talent management recipe for success to help grow your business, there are three critical factors that need to be in place.  And all three need to be inextricably connected and aligned.

  1. Strategy
  2. Culture
  3. Talent

Successful leaders know that talent management plans cannot succeed unless they are purposefully linked to the most pressing priorities of the business. Fundamentally, strategy is about making hard choices and focusing only on the areas with the greatest leverage. If your strategy contains more than five major priorities, agree upon what really matters most.  Otherwise, your strategy is not compelling enough to focus the troops.

Once your strategy is clear enough to act, designing a high performance culture to execute it provides the glue necessary for the talent strategy to stick.  It takes more than a winning business strategy to beat your competition. It also takes a high performing organizational culture that supports and accelerates the strategy.

The purpose of creating a differentiated talent management strategy is to drive organizational excellence.
Organizations can ill afford to hire wrong or to lose current players that matter.  With your strategy clear and your organizational culture aligned, building a high performing workforce has four main building blocks:

  1. Attracting Top Talent
    Have a clearly defined employee brand that aligns with your overall company brand promise. A clear, compelling and differentiated employee brand can help your company stand out in a crowded market while attracting the necessary talent that fits.Define the profile of a successful candidate and the organizational culture in which they need to succeed.  Selecting new employees is one of the most critical decisions an organization can make.  Invest the time required to get the job profile right, conduct thorough behavior-based interviews, hire smart, and increase speed to productivity and engagement with a quality onboarding program.
  2. Developing Top Talent
    Effective leaders ensure that each and every learning and development initiative can demonstrate a measurable contribution to the business. To develop top talent, you must change on-the-job behavior and performance. To change behavior and performance, you must treat learning as a change initiative, not a training event.  Our own research of over 800 training measurement projects has shown that only 1 out of 5 people change their behavior from training alone.Start by identifying the specific business metrics that you want to impact with your key business stakeholders.  We call this the “metrics to move™.”  Make sure that you:
  • Finalize key business and learning objectives
  • Agree to leading and lagging success metrics
  • Calculate current baseline and desired targets for each metric
  • Complete a high-level business case that aligns with company priorities
  • Draft a high-level project, communication, measurement and change management plan
  1. Engaging Top Talent
    Based on employee data from over 5,000 employee engagement surveys annually, we know that engaged employees are more productive, more profitable, more customer-focused, and more likely to stay.Start with understanding your current engagement levels. Employee engagement surveys done right reveal much more than an organization’s shortcomings. They can paint an accurate picture of their employee brand, culture and their value to prospective hires.
  2. Retaining Top Talent
    More than 50% of highly engaged organizations report lower attrition rates. It has been well documented that unwanted employee turnover negatively affects customers, employees, productivity, and profitability. If your company’s turnover is too high, it’s time to understand why. Use a combination of:
  • Employee Exit surveys to get a complete turnover picture
  • Employee engagement surveys to discover organizational culture strengths and weaknesses
  • Experiential learning to help managers understand, and own, their role in retaining talent
  • Targeted action plans to affect change

If you want your talent management strategy to create organizational excellence, start with the business strategy and the organizational culture.  Then you can confidently create an aligned plan to meaningfully attract, develop, engage and retain top talent.  That is the Talent Management Recipe for Success.

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