How to Improve Talent Reviews

How to Improve Talent Reviews
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What Is Wrong with Talent Reviews?
Let’s first consider the purpose of talent reviews. Organizations undertake these evaluations in order to assess an employee’s performance and potential in order to plan for the future growth of both the individual and the organization. But the process is broken. We need to improve talent reviews.

The process of reviewing an organization’s talent has important implications for succession planning, talent development, employee engagement, and the retention of top talent. The good news is that over 50% of organizations have a formal talent review process in place for their top performing employees. The bad news is that just as many organizations are struggling to retain top talent.

Almost three-quarters of high-retention-risk workers believe that in order to grow professionally they have to leave their current company. This statistic flies in the face of the purpose of talent reviews. We need to understand how to fix the process.

Four Ways to Improve Talent Reviews

  1. Clearly Define Performance Expectations
    First and foremost leaders need to agree on how to define high performance for each and every role. This definition process is the bedrock for creating a high performance culture

    While each company, each team, and each role is unique, the agreed-upon and explicit definitions of low, target, and high performance set transparent standards and measuring sticks for increased clarity, motivations, and accountability. Work with your teams to define desired behaviors, key performance indicators, and meaningful achievements so that everyone understands and commits to what it takes to be performing above, at, or below expectations.
  2. Establish at Least a Quarterly Frequency
    Performance reviews should not be a once-a-year exercise. Annual reviews lose their value for both employee and employer. Your performance management process should occur, either formally or informally, at least four times a year so you keep a fresh perspective on talent needs and opportunities.

    To develop, engage, and retain top talent, managers need to keep a close and constant eye on their team’s performance, career growth aspirations, and retention risk.
  3. Make Talent Reviews a Team Effort
    Don’t leave performance evaluations up to only one individual, even if that person is the direct manager. Feedback from others is important to fill out the full picture. Include other managers the employees may work with, their coworkers, and customers.

    Talent decisions that are made collaboratively raise everyone’s consciousness about what is and is not working.
  4. Agree Upon Next Steps
    It is not enough to discuss past and current performance. The real value comes in talking about each employee’s ambitions.

    What do they like best to do? Where do they see themselves in the next year? What kind of support do they need to achieve their work goals?

    Set up an individual development plan with clear follow-up steps and agree upon who will be responsible for completing them and when.

The Bottom Line
Talent reviews are fundamental to assessing gaps and strengths in your talent pipeline. Are you doing all you can to make the process of value to you, your employee, and your organization?

To learn more about how to improve talent reviews, download Why Organizations and Managers Must Reassess Career Development

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