Effective Training and Development
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Top 10: talent management…

1: Spotting: have systems developed to spot and capture talent.  Internal spotting includes formal and informal feedback, nominations, recommendations and applications, development centres, and of course, achievements.  External systems might include a network of ‘scouts’ who would be your eyes and ears, media scanning, and partnership working – any place you might spot talent.  And of course you can include self nomination too – one client of ours uses a 3 x 3 matrix, based on the axes of potential and performance, to rate their own talent, and how best to exploit it

2: Recruitment and selection: you may want to produce a talent profile, based on your short, medium and long term workforce planning needs, then search and recruit accordingly.  You might want to promote specific brands or images of the company to attract the talent – eg values, working conditions, etc; you need to think about the messages you want in the media, and your recruitment staff need to know what they are looking for.  Assessment centres might be focused on assessing talent, and be designed accordingly; selectors, like recruiters, need to know what they are looking for

3: Integration: new talent needs to be integrated into the organisation – not left to chance.  There should be a clear induction programme or event, and the cultural, as well as technical, role the talent is expected to play (eg change agent) should be made clear; a new appointment is particularly vulnerable to being ‘captured’ by the prevailing culture, so manage the direction of influence….!  There may also be an initial ‘mismatch’ if the talent is seen to be at odds with the prevailing norms and practice

4: Retention: talent management is often linked to workforce planning – how to keep the best of your staff.  The next heading covers reward and recognition schemes, but you might also consider career pathways, succession planning and how aligned the individual is with the core values and ethos of the company.  If the talented individual is increasingly at odds with the organisation’s identity, they will leave, easily…

5: Reward & Recognition: incentive and bonus schemes are common, as is promotion, but often these may be less important than other forms of recognition.  Many talented people, for instance, do not value promotion, since it takes them away from their area of interest and expertise.  Reducing the number of hours they have to work for the same pay, allowing them to use research facilities for their own use, allowing them to attend conferences and courses of their choice, may all produce a psychological benefit for the individual concerned.  So perhaps the strategy that works best of all is to ask them what they would like….as for most people, it’s mostly about being valued

6: Replacement: if your talent is leaving, eg due to retirement, then advance succession planning will help; the main issue here is buy in v grow your own – there are pros and cons on both sides.  Growing, essentially, is cheaper but slower…if the succession planning is poor or non-existent, shortage of development time means you are likely to have to buy in.

7: Recording: you will need some way of tracking progress, and collecting results in terms of track record and achievement.

8: Benchmarking: how talented is your workforce or individual compared with what else is out there?  There are various ways of benchmarking (and thus spotting) talent – from 360 degree feedback questionnaires, to competency assessments (we have a ‘competency footprint’ instrument designed precisely to assess an individual’s competence, or talent), to skills audits

9: Development: one of our clients ‘spots’ talent and offers a ‘rising stars’ development programme for that cohort.  Another of our clients has a very inclusive strategy, assuming everyone is available for the talent management programme, unless they are a persistently poor performer.  Once talent has been identified for development, however, there are the usual ways of developing that talent further, ihcluding coaching, mentoring, project work, assignments, and development/leadership centres.  Genuinely talented individuals of course may be more inclined to manage, and be capable of managing, their own learning….

10: Marketing:do you let people know you are on the lookout for talent – in general, or more specifically?  does this just raise the asking price?  Success stories, networking, publicity and role modelling can all add to the marketing impact

Please contact us, by email or through the contact box below, if you would like our help in setting up a talent management scheme.  We have considerable experience in the following, all referred to above:

  • developing networks and partnerships
  • designing and delivering Development and Assessment Centres
  • building core values and core behaviours
  • cultural assessment and awareness (including a cultural questionnaire)
  • transformation strategies
  • workforce analysis, career and succession planning
  • coaching and mentoring
  • design and delivery of reward and recognition schemes
  • Performance Management Frameworks linked through PR&D to recognition schemes
  • benchmarking surveys, competency assessments (including our own competency footprint model)
  • design and delivery of ‘talent development’ programmes
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