How Talent and Strategy Fit Together for Success

Ideally, Talent and Strategy Fit Together
Our organizational alignment research found that when talent and strategy fit together, they account for 60% of the difference between high and low performing companies in terms of profitable revenue growth, customer retention, leadership effectiveness, and employee engagement.  Just imagine the opposite.  How would you expect a company to perform if their talent and strategy for success were misaligned?

What Is Your Competitive Advantage?
When all is said and done, how would you vote when asked to define your company’s greatest competitive advantage?

  • Is it your product? Just think how quickly it could be replicated or become obsolete.
  • Is it your pricing? Competitors will soon lower their approaches and prices to match.
  • Is it your market? You know how fast others will follow.
  • Is it your talent? It is very difficult for competitors to copy a high performing and highly engaged workforce.

A Talent Advantage is Difficult to Replicate
For companies who do not have the right talent they need, it typically takes time and a concerted effort to attract, develop, engage and retain the level of talent required to set a company apart. If yours is the company with the right talent in the right roles, this is most likely your true advantage that is difficult to replicate.  One that will create better products and pricing for the right industries – consistently over time.

In fact, a recent article in HRO Today cites research by Steven Joyce that top-performing talent management organizations posted earnings that are 15 percent higher than their peers.  No surprise to us.

How To Build and Sustain a Talent Advantage
Now the question becomes how can you build and sustain a talent advantage? You want to be able to attract, retain, manage, and engage top talent where it counts for your organization. This is your challenge…to manage your workforce so that you have the right people with the right skills in the right jobs at the right time.

1.  Hire, Develop and Reward Talent Where It Matters Most
Aligning your talent strategy with your business strategy is key. You need to map your top talent to the critical few strategic initiatives that matter most and immediately fill any gaps.  For example, if you have determined that your business strategy for success is to create a customer-focused culture, then you must hire, develop and reward for the customer-facing skills, competencies and attitudes that promote customer intimacy and satisfaction.

Have you mapped your talent to your business strategy?

2.  Leaders Need to Put Their Money Where Their Mouth Is
All the research tells us that CEOs are increasingly concerned with the available level of talent for today and for the future. But they must not relegate this task to a single, under-resourced and underappreciated HR department. HR and senior leaders need to work together to support and fund the effort to build, develop and engage talent across the board in a way that makes sense.

Is your succession planning pipeline up to par?

3.  Identify, Hire, and Develop the Qualities You Need
Create job profiles outlining exactly what you need for each and every hire to be set up for success.  And then stick to them – do not settle. And remember, “A” players exhibit more than the competencies required; they have the proven behaviors that drive toward success and that fit in your unique organizational culture. Once hired, your job becomes one of engagement and performance management to see that employees are equipped and held accountable to meet clearly defined job expectations.

4.  Look to the Future
Talent management is not just about the here and now. Done right, you would select high potentials and put them on a thoughtful, productive, well-monitored path forward. Watch these special employees carefully. Be sure they are ready and willing for the challenge, eager to grow, and fully capable of the trust you have placed in them.

When they do not measure up, find them a path more in line with their abilities and aspirations.

To learn more about how to build world class talent, download 5 Steps to Defining Attracting Top Talent

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