How to Create a Talent-Centric Culture

A graphic of a diverse workforce to show How to Create a Talent-Centric Culture

Putting Talent Front and Center
If you know how to create a talent-centric culture, does a talent-centric culture create higher performance?  Companies are being held to consistently higher performance standards and the risks of not measuring up are increasing.  Leaders tell us this means bigger goals, increased complexity and tighter budgets.  Employees tell us this means higher expectations, an increased pace of change and the need to do more with less.

Is knowing how to create a talent-centric culture the answer?

The Definition of a Talent-Centric Culture
We define talent as the workforce that leaders build and manage to create a unique advantage their competitors cannot replicate.  We define a talent-centric culture as the proactive and thoughtful attraction, development, engagement, and retention of the talent required to execute your strategic plan in a way that aligns with your corporate culture.

While the overall talent approaches are quite similar across companies at a high level, what makes talent perform at their peak is unique to each company’s strategy and culture.  In a nutshell, a talent-centric culture is all about leaders prioritizing that the right people are in the right place at the right time to create a competitive advantage.

Talent Management Research
Our organizational alignment research found that talent accounts for 29% of the difference between high and low performing organizations in terms of revenue growth, profitability, customer loyalty and employee engagement.  No longer can talent management be kept on the back burner.  Your people strategies belong front and center along with your business strategies.  If your people strategies are not aligned with your business strategies, you will struggle to outperform your peers over time.

Smart Leaders Get the Importance of Talent
The top leaders of successful organizations are placing more and more emphasis on talent.  They recognize that talent must be viewed as a critical factor in planning for success now and into the future.  The knowledge of how to create a talent-centric culture matters.

How to Create a Talent-Centric Culture
There are no shortcuts.  The process of how to create a talent-centric culture is not complicated, but it takes commitment, focus and perseverance.  The rewards will be plenty.  Just remember that you’re doing this for the long-term health and performance of your company.

1. Create 100% Alignment at the Top
Your key executives need to be on board – and this includes your HR leader. Your entire executive team must commit to, pay attention to and care about talent as a top priority.  From an HR perspective, you need to take a holistic and strategic approach to talent.  For talent to make a difference, it cannot be viewed in isolation from the business.

How you attract, develop, engage and retain talent must be an integral part of how you make strategic decisions and how you allocate scarce resources.  HR needs to sit at the table with your other executives during the strategic planning process so they can weigh in with their expertise on the talent strategies needed for success.

2. Foster Continuous Learning for Top Talent
In most organizations, a small subset of jobs and roles produce a disproportionate amount of value for the company. If you truly want to create a high performing organization, you need to identify those critical positions and fill them with top performers in whom you explicitly invest  for their growth, engagement and retention.  Make sure your talent investments give your company the people firepower it needs for current and future success.

3. Build Flexibility
Be sure to bake some flexibility into your talent management plans. With increased competition and constant disruption, your talent must be as flexible as your strategy.  The key is to develop leaders with the skills to anticipate change and the agility to make and adjust to changes as they occur in order to meet new challenges.

The Bottom Line
If you believe that your competitive advantage lies in your workforce, you need to get your key executives to work together, continually develop your top talent and build in the ability to shift gears as needed.  To create a competitive advantage through your people, invest as much time and effort into your human capital as you do in your financial capital.  A people advantage is difficult for competitors to replicate.

To learn more about taking your HR function to the next level, download What HR Needs to Do to Earn a Seat at the Executive Table

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