Your organization may already be doing it to a certain extent—maybe informally, maybe in different areas of the business; ask a manager who she thinks will replace her when she moves on, and she probably already has a fairly good idea of who that will be. But to be successful and consistent—and to allow the organization to spot, develop and nurture talent across the whole business—an effective talent management strategy will be driven by the context within which the organization is operating and fully aligned with the business strategy. This strategy will set out and define what your company needs to do for and with its people that will enable the business to achieve its goals, thrive, grow and increase its profitability.
By drawing together and aligning the talent management activities that are taking place disparately, the organization will put itself on a path to firstly realize the bottom line benefits of talent management, and secondly to side step many of the issues associated with the implementation of a collection of interdependent processes, policies, and practices.
Talent management clearly depends on context, and for the purposes of this post, we are going to view it as:
“A combination of interdependent, integrated, and adaptive human resource management practices, driven by and aligned with the business strategy to achieve optimal, sustainable organizational performance.”
The key activities of talent management are shown in Figure 1. This list is not exhaustive and will depend specifically on how you choose to define and manage talent within your organization. These processes benefit from being closely integrated and are dependent upon each other with the “output” of one forming a key part of the “input” of another. Each activity is outlined below:
- Performance management links individual performance to corporate or department goals.
- Monitoring, reviewing, and supporting performance throughout the year to ensure that people are empowered, enabled, motivated, and committed to achieving their goals.
- Creating an employee development plan and monitoring progress.
- Understanding competencies and knowing how to improve those skills that lead to other roles in the company, whether up, down or accross the career ladder.
Learning and development:
- Focusing on resources that improve skills and competencies
Developing and reviewing competency frameworks:
- Developing a framework of competencies that helps HR build internal talent
- Succession planning involves identifying people within the organization that can be developed for future critical roles. This is top-down, position, and business-driven. Determining key positions for organizational success, growth, and survival, creating processes that will identify those with the potential to fill those positions both in the short and long-term, and developing those individuals to be effective in the roles.
These all require support by the appropriate systems and metrics. For instance, where do you keep your talent MI (talent management information)? How is this information used, by whom, and how it is kept up to date? Who owns this information?