Strategic Talent Management

Posted in : HR Updates ROI on 9 April 2015
Caroline Reidy
The HR Suite
Issues covered:

Talent management is imperative in a declining economy as the old style approach is faced with many more challenges than just hiring and retaining employees. This approach is still the norm for a lot of organisations, and generally retaining employees is achieved by improving wages. On the other hand many organisations have adopted a more conventional approach which stirs employee development into the mix but we have discovered that neither approach is as effective as we like to think.

Talent management should be considered part of an overall business strategy. The HR function needs to understand the strategy of a business before a talent strategy can be formed. So once the strategy is defined the next step is to identify workforce segments. Employees will be segmented dependent on their inputs to the business which work towards revenue and the overall organisational value.

Business strategy is hugely important in this current economic climate and managing people in the downturn can be difficult. Redundancies may seem like the only option to cut costs sometimes but employers should consider other options in order to retain staff for example part time working or job sharing. But if redundancies are a necessity, ensure that you follow the statutory dismissal procedure. In this instance employers should really think about the skills that the company needs. With those that remain, management should concentrate on highlighting their worth to avoid any feelings of mistrust that may occur following redundancies.

An organisation must nurture and develop the talent retained during a downturn. The remaining employees will appreciate being able to flourish in their working environment and will feel valued by their employer. Although an organisation may be struggling, this focus on employee development will ensure that it is still seen as an attractive place to work.

Employers must strive for a performance driven environment. This involves having an understanding of each employee’s skills, capabilities, and behaviours. What motivates an employee and their values within the organisation helps paint the picture of the employee’s performance. Performance should not be measured alone on short term factors so focusing on these traits can ensure high performance from employees for the long term.

The employer needs to figure out how people develop over time and what kind of behaviours lead to success i.e. how people build confidence with stakeholders, for example, by providing an excellent service. Employee training and development choices can then be made more effectively. Openness to discussing performance freely is encouraged in this environment. Employers should make employees aware of what they are hoping will be achieved and should seek feedback from employees on a regular basis with regard to each employee’s performance.

Key performance indicators (KPIs) can help an organisation define and measure progress towards organisational goals. Whatever KPIs are selected, they must reflect the organisation's goals, they must be key to it’s success and they must be quantifiable (measurable). KPIs usually are long-term considerations. The definition of what they are and how they are measured do not change often. The goals for a particular Key Performance Indicator may change as the organization's goals change, or as it gets closer to achieving a goal.

An action plan should be put in place and performance should be observed and measured. Behaviour that is beneficial or makes a long term contribution should be noted as well as behaviours that impede performance. These behaviours become the indicators and warning signs going forward within the organisation. Appraisals should be held regularly giving the employer and employee the opportunity to discuss performance. Performance goals can be set at these meetings with employees and these goals and their sub goals can be discussed in detail at the following appraisal. It is inevitable that you will lose staff during this difficult economic time or at any time due to many factors. An organisation should never be afraid to re employ former staff. These ex-employees with valued talents from their former employment with you and further talents gained with other employers could be highly valuable to an organisation.

Retention of talent is a top priority for 40 per cent of Irelands HR Leaders according to PWC Irelands first HR Director Pulse survey. The most popular approaches to appraising staff according to the survey are through informal feedback, annual people surveys, and performance ratings. A good talent management programme can have a massive impact on retaining key talent in the areas most needed. In a time when organisations are recovering and strengthening it’s time to realise that talent needs to be managed with the same energy as other parts of the business.

This article is correct at 13/10/2015

The information in this article is provided as part of Legal-Island's Employment Law Hub. We regret we are not able to respond to requests for specific legal or HR queries and recommend that professional advice is obtained before relying on information supplied anywhere within this article.

Caroline Reidy
The HR Suite

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