Key Steps to More Strategic Talent Management

Key Steps to More Strategic Talent Management
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The Opportunity in Tough Times
One thing a pandemic provides is the opportunity to re-think what we might do differently and better. In order to survive through the tough times, business leaders must improvise. Some of those forced innovations can now help us identify and forge improved ways of doing business, like achieving more strategic talent management.

Think of the multiple changes in the world of finding, retaining, and managing talent. Not only was much of the work force suddenly operating remotely and anxious about their health and the future of their employment; but also, their managers were challenged to keep employees on task, engaged, and connected without face-to-face interactions.

More Strategic Talent Management
What are some of the key strategic lessons we can take away to improve talent management going forward? Like most things, it all starts with being good at the basics.  It is important to maintain strength in proven talent management strategies like:

  • Hiring the Right Talent
    Hiring right matters as much as it always has. But that’s not to say that you cannot improve the virtual interviewing process for your employees and for your candidates. Invest the time to make sure that you have the right tools in place to attract and hire top talent.
  • Onboarding New Employees
    The Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology reports that half of hourly employees leave their new jobs within four months and that half of senior level leaders fail within their first three years on the job.  After investing all the time and effort to find a candidate that fits, ensure that you have a coherent plan in place to accelerate new hire productivity and engagement.
  • Developing the Right Skills
    Having an accurate assessment of what skills are needed will help you design appropriate and relevant learning and development programs to improve performance. Just remember, as the work changes, so should the training opportunities.  Start with the desired business outcomes and ensure that any investment in training is relevant to the participant, their boss, and the company as a whole.
  • Managing Performance
    With so many employees hoping to continue to work off-site, it can be challenging to manage performance without on-the-spot observations and performance feedback. It is even more challenging if performance standards are unclear, unfair, or misaligned.  First, make sure that success metrics are agreed upon and make sense.  Then equip your managers with the confidence, competence, and time to check in regularly with their employees and conduct effective coaching conversations.

But talent management success will also depend on working on emerging talent strategies like:

  • Ensuring a Positive Employee Experience
    Fully engaging employees is more of a challenge if they continue to work remotely. Companies need to invest in creating a better employee experience and people managers need to create strong links between team members so they feel connected to each other, are clear on the team goals and accountabilities, and can readily articulate (and believe in) the company’s overall purpose and strategy for success.
  • Looking to the Future
    Keeping an organization healthy enough to thrive during good and bad times requires more than just effective day-to-day management. It is critical that you invest time and money in workforce planning and strategy. Know what core jobs will be required for future success, what leadership qualities will be needed, and whether you need to develop new skills in current employees or must hire new employees to meet future challenges.

The Bottom Line
As you become acquainted with the “new normal,” are you spending the time to evaluate new and better ways to attract, develop, engage, and retain top talent?

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