9 Talent Management Questions to Test If You are On the Right Track

man on a tightrope approaching a question mark symbolizing Talent Management Questions

Talent Management Questions to Test If You are On the Right Track
If you truly want to attract, develop, engage and retain a high performing workforce, you have to break through talent management barriers – outmoded ways of thinking about talent in old-fashioned and ineffective ways.

The Goal of Talent Management
Talent management is no longer about providing isolated and unconnected recruiting, training, employee relations and retention programs.  We believe the goal of talent management is to create and sustain organizational excellence through people to consistently drive your business strategy forward.

9 Talent Management Questions to Test If You are On the Right Track
You will know you are on the right talent management track when you answer yes to all nine questions:

  1. Do you consistently hire employees that help achieve your short- and long-term strategies?
  2. Do you retain 75% or more of employees who are critical to your future success?
  3. Do employees have the necessary skills and knowledge to be successful in the short- and long-term?
  4. Does the quality of talent give your organization a competitive edge?
  5. Do employees have access to the resources required to do their job?
  6. Do people make the extra effort in their jobs?
  7. Do 75% or more of teams meet their performance goals?
  8. Do people understand the consequences of not meeting your stated goals?
  9. Does 75% or more of employees recommend your company as a great place to work?

While the above talent management questions touch upon the attraction, development, engagement and retention of top talent, we believe that learning and development can be used to bring all of the people components together.

Use Learning and Development as the Link
Done right, learning and development can be the link between recruiting, engaging, retaining and managing your workforce. These days, you can’t think of people functions in isolation.  Each must be working cohesively together to accomplish a predetermined people and business objective.

For example, people leaders need to think of learning as ongoing and as occurring in a wide variety of ways…from on-the-spot teachable moments to change initiatives that occur over long periods of time. Traditional one-time learning events add minimal value and, on average, only change the on-the-job behavior of 20% of attendees.  Not a great return on investment.

Truly effective learning must serve individual employee needs and be integrated into an overall strategy that will optimize behavior change and performance improvement.

Use Scenario-Based Learning to Create Relevance
The more you can involve front-line managers and employees themselves to identify the on-the-job situations that matter most to their short- and long-term success, the more you can design learning solutions to help them to succeed in their role.  Because each company has a different strategy and culture, each company also faces different challenges by function, level and geography.

For example, your sales team in Europe may need to negotiate pricing pressure better while your sales team in North America may need to improve their ability to identify what matters most to their executive-level buyer.  Similarly, your executive team may need to improve their ability to communicate and cascade strategies while your managers may need to improve their ability to set clear and meaningful performance goals.

Regardless of the situation, stay away from off-the-shelf learning and design to what matters most to your unique situation, target audience and business.

Use Training Measurement to Improve Adoption and Accountability
To manage and improve almost anything, you need to have a way to monitor progress…to know what is working and what is not so you can adjust accordingly.  For any training you design and deliver, ensure that you can answer three training measurement questions:

  1. Adoption: Are people using the new knowledge, skills and processes?
  2. Impact: Are we making an impact?
  3. Reinforcement: Are managers involved, supportive, and reinforcing?

The Bottom Line
The eight talent management questions can let you know if you are on the right track.  Using scenario-based learning combined with effective training measurement can boost the on-the-job performance of your people to help improve your ability to attract, develop, engage and retain top talent.

To learn more about how to invest in talent management, download Why Talent Is Only 1/3rd of the Talent Management Recipe for Success

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VP Human Resources

Blackhawk Network

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