Talent Management: Not Just for Big Business Anymore

Posted by on February 13, 2013 in Hiring [ 0 Comments ]

talent managementTalent management consists of a range of practices and processes used to manage people throughout their employment lifecycle.

It includes: recruiting and talent acquisition, onboarding, performance management, professional and career development, succession planning, rewards and recognition, job descriptions and offboarding.

Some people still think that talent management programs are an administrative burden or luxury that only big businesses can afford. However, the reality is every organization needs effective practices and programs for managing their talent.

Related: Purchase recruiting software to streamline this process

Whether you’re a 10-person startup or a large enterprise business, the research is conclusive – effective talent management delivers big benefits:

  • McKinsey: companies with strong talent practices outperformed their peer group, earning 22% higher shareholder returns.
  • Watson Wyatt: good people practices can increase a company’s value by as much as 30%.

So where do you start? And which practices and processes are critical for smaller companies? As a first step, every company should have these three basic practices in place.

Performance Feedback and Coaching

To perform and achieve their fullest potential, every employee needs ongoing feedback and coaching on their performance.

So make sure you have processes, tools and reminders in place to have managers, supervisors, peers and even customers give your employees ongoing feedback and coaching on their performance. Don’t forget to provide all your managers with development activities to sharpen their skills in these areas.

Related: Hire a business coach to get all your managers up to speed

You can encourage things like:

  • Weekly or monthly one-on-one meetings between managers and employees,
  • 360 degree feedback,
  • Peer reviews,
  • In-the-moment feedback and coaching

Also consider quarterly or semi-annual mini performance reviews, and an annual formal performance review.

Goal Alignment/Management

Another vital talent management activity is the assignment and management of goals. To begin with, the organization should have clearly articulated and communicated goals. Then you need a process in place for every employee to work with their manager on creating individual goals that are appropriate to their role. These should directly link to and support organizational goals.

The second critical part to this activity is the regular communication of goal progress and status. Unless employees and the organization are held accountable for achieving their goals, they can be put aside and forgotten.

Employee Development

Investing in the professional and career development of your employees is another talent management must-have. Employee development improves the knowledge, skills and abilities of the individual as well as the organization.

Related: How to Use a Mentor To Your Advantage

And employee development doesn’t have to be costly. Research by the Center for Creative Leadership tells us that up to 90% of what we need to know to do our jobs, we learn on the job. So leverage on-the-job development opportunities like stretch goals, job shadowing, cross-functional teamwork, etc.

Align Talent Practices to Your Organization’s Culture

All of these basic talent management practices are known to help drive employee performance, satisfaction and engagement — and better business results. You can implement them with varying degrees of formality, to suit your organization’s size and culture. But you can’t really afford to do without any of them.

Bio: Sean Conrad is a seasoned writer and speaker on talent management best practices. He works for Halogen Software and is a regular contributor to their Exploring talent management blog

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