Are You Prepared to Meet Your Future Talent Demands?
Too many talent leaders admit that they do not keep close enough tabs on the size, quality and skills of their workforce in order to confidently meet future talent demands. That is bad news for organizations that rely on talent to scale and differentiate themselves from the competition.
People as a Competitive Advantage
If you believe, as we do, that people can create a significant and compelling competitive advantage, you need to regularly review how prepared your workforce is to meet the critical demands of your business not only now but in the future. Your talent management strategy must be ready for future talent demands to help you grow. You need a workforce plan that ensures you have the ability and the high performing organizational culture needed to quickly adapt to marketplace changes.
6 Steps to Get Ready for Future Talent Demands
Here are the basic talent management steps we recommend to our high growth clients in order to confidently get ready for future talent demands:
- Agree Upon the Relative Importance of People to Your Business
Gather your business leaders together to assess the perceived value of your workforce as a competitive advantage. The leadership team should explicitly agree upon the value of people (attracting, developing, engaging and retaining talent) compared to other strategic intentions such as operational excellence, financial strength, product innovation, customer satisfaction, etc.While there are many important ingredients to any business, different businesses have different strategic and cultural foundations. For example, Federal Express, Amazon and Starbucks are famous for putting their customers first. Google, Virgin and Southwest are famous for putting their people first. Both approaches, when well executed, can lead to success.
You and your leadership team need to take a stand on where talent falls on the priority scale and plan and execute accordingly. If there is not alignment at the leadership ranks regarding talent, your plans are just wishful thinking.
- Evaluate What You Have
Once you agree upon the relative importance of talent for your business, it is time to understand how well the workforce is currently performing. This includes assessing how prepared they are in terms of skills for what is needed today and what will be needed tomorrow and forecasting what is required in terms of headcount and skills to meet current and future needs. Look at both skills and roles.
- Predict What Could Happen
Research workforce trends and examine scenarios that have the potential to upset the current value and cost of your organization’s employee base. Take a look at both internal and external factors and begin to prioritize those events that pose the greatest risk to being able to attract and retain both the urgent and strategic talent you need to execute your business strategy.
- Assess What You Are Missing
This is where you begin to answer the question of “what if” any of the scenarios you described were to take place. Where do you need to beef up the workforce to meet those challenges? You should consider potential gaps in skills, knowledge, competencies, and bandwidth vis-a-vis the company strategy and competitive landscape.
- Know What You Need To Do
Now you are ready to decide the critical few talent management actions you need to take to fill the identified gaps. You know what you have, what could happen, and what you need. This is the stage where you figure out what steps the organization needs to take and their order of priority.Do you need to increase or decrease your workforce and how will you go about it? Do you need to improve performance overall or only in some areas? Is your talent armed with all they require to meet future challenges? Be as specific as you can in setting goals and timelines.
- Monitor and Measure How You Are Doing
As you make progress against the talent road map you have set, keep track of how well you are measuring up by identify the critical few leading and lagging indicators of success.
The Bottom Line
You have undertaken a worthy initiative to meet future talent demands. Don’t keep it a secret. Be sure your employees appreciate your investment in them, be sure your stakeholders understand why it matters, and be sure your customers recognize the value of your engaged workers.
To learn more about how to meet your future talent demands, download The Research-Backed Talent Management Recipe for Success