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Talent Management – 8 Steps to Maximise Investment with Talent Management

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There is confusion about what Talent Management really is in the marketplace.  Some people refer to all the processes in the Employee Life Cycle as Talent Management.  Others believe that Talent Management is a process all on its own.  So what REALLY is Talent Management and how can we use Talent Management to maximise Return on Investment.

We believe that Talent Management lies in between these two beliefs.

Talent Management is about DIFFERENTIATION!  What do we mean by Differentiation?  We mean identifying the different categories of staff from a Talent Management perspective, and then investing where the organisation will maximise return on that investment.

Talent Management starts with Competency Management and the 9-box matrix – or a derivative of, and there are plenty of those.  But if you don’t have and use Competency Management and the 9-box (or a derivative), you’re not even on the road to effective Talent Management.

Setting up for Talent Management

Step 1:   The first step for effective Talent Management is to understand the Strategy of the organisation for the next 3 to 5 years, and to define the competencies needed and the quantities needed for the organisation to achieve its strategy.

Step 2:   The next step is to ascertain the availability of these competencies in the marketplace.

Step 3:   The third step is to map these findings into a matrix.

The matrix will help to determine where to invest learning and development money to achieve maximum return on that investment.  Obviously the organisation needs to invest more on the development of competencies in the red square as these are critical for strategy, and not freely available in the marketplace.  The organisation needs to develop the skills necessary to deliver strategy.

Step 4:   Once the competencies are established the 9-box matrix (or a derivative) is the next step.  To start with the 9-box matrix you need to have systems for Performance measurement and Potential measurement.  And these systems need to be fair, consistently, and regularly applied, or else the 9-box Talent Management is not going to work for you.

This step requires that both line management and their HR business partner understand the workforce at a deep level.

Step 5:   The final step in the analysis is to ensure that the High Potential / High Performing employee population are located in the critical jobs.

Step 6:   Now comes the Differentiation, but where do we start?  Now we look at the different stages of the Employee Life Cycle to determine how to best invest to maximise return.  So:

  • Competencies that are “strategic” are handled differently to Competencies that are not
  • High Performers are handled differently to Low Performers
  • High Potentials are handled differently to Low Potentials
  • Jobs that are “strategic” are handled differently to jobs that are not

Step 7:   Each of the categories listed above needs to have its own different Employee Lifecycle Management system including:

  • Employee Value Proposition
  • Recruiting and placement policies, practices and investments
  • Onboarding policies, practices and investments
  • Learning and Development policies, practices and investments
  • Succession Management policies, practices and investments
  • Compensation and Reward policies, practices and investments
  • Motivation and Engagement policies, practices and investments
  • Retention policies, practices and investments

Step 8:   Repeat these steps on a regular basis – at least annually.  Remember what Drucker said “What gets measured gets managed”.  Our differentiated policies and practices ensure that employees change over time – if they don’t, we’re doing something wrong.  So we need to keep measuring and changing to ensure that we move employees in the direction that we need them to move and also to ensure that we keep the process fair and transparent to all.

Today, the Total Cost of Workforce is generally the largest item on the organisations budget.  We owe it to ourselves and to our investors to use that money wisely.  We can achieve that by understanding where we will get the greatest return on the investment, and then measuring to ensure that we do achieve that return.  THAT is effective Talent Management.

To learn how we at TalentAlign can help you improve your investment in Human Capital, contact us now.

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