Managing Talent in the Modern World
Talent is the magic word that makes or breaks a business.
Without the right talent in place, an organisation can suffer despite adopting sophisticated systems, world-class processes and the latest technologies. With several generations working under one roof, managing talent has become a challenging and daunting task both for HR professionals and line managers. The ultimate task for all HR professionals is to manage and utilise the above-mentioned generation’s unique strengths in the organisation. This gets tougher as the world is experiencing a digital transformation.
Organisations play a significant role in ensuring talent is engaged at work.
In other words, be a proactive change agent instead of a reactive firefighter.
What creative methods can you adopt to understand employees’ opinions about their jobs, their work environment as well as their satisfaction about monetary and non-monetary benefits? In other words, what is driving employees to remain with the organisation?
In my experience, basic recognition and information sharing are important employee retention methods. Ultimately, you must determine the talent identification and retention processes that work best for your organisation and its employees.
Talent professionals have to clearly understand key employees’ needs and desires. Focusing only on day to day operational tasks can be risky.
It’s time to embed digitalisation, the human touch as well as strategic thinking within our daily responsibilities. In other words, be a proactive change agent instead of a reactive firefighter.
In identifying key talent, I suggest that you consider:
- previous performance;
- longevity in the role and in the organisation;
- significance of the position; and importantly,
- contribution to the business.
A combination of these works well in identifying and managing key talent. Along with identification, talent professionals have the responsibility to actively engage and retain such talent.
First, it is critical that employees understand the vision, mission statement, strategy, objectives, and values of the organisation. Do senior leaders and the talent function heavily promote the organisation’s core values as organisational success pillars? Additionally, to what extent do employees practise these values on a day to day basis? Are the organisation’s values embedded in the culture and in every leader’s and employee’s beliefs and action?
Keeping talent attraction and retention considerations in mind, assess your organisation’s “talent health”. Upon understanding “talent health” and identifying key talents, the next step is to empower employees and ensure their ongoing contribution to the organisation.
A number of strategies can be used for retention including:
- an internal hiring program;
- manager development dialogue;
- job rotation;
- suggestion scheme;
- communication session with management;
- employee rewards programme;
- a well-defined career path;
- clear job profile;
- work-life balance;
- employee-family involvement;
- corporate social responsibility (CSR) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
The ideas below might help achieve this.
There is no doubt, communication breakdown, at any stage, can jeopardise employee morale and productivity. Talent professionals play an essential role in communicating across the organisation, both top-down and bottom-up.
Providing accurate information at the right time and through the right channels creates a sense of belonging to the organisation. Some of the common communication tools are digital e-notice boards, organisation e-newsletters, suggestion schemes, focus groups, team building, mobile applications and employee retreats.
Engaging employees, especially key talent, is vital for talent retention. Try implementing examples of the strategies above and adapt them for your unique talent and organisation needs for greater success.
In your experience, which strategies work best for retaining key talent?
I have personally implemented the IFON (Inside First, Outside Next) concept in hiring where we emphasise internal hiring transfer and promotion. In order to show appreciation for employees, we trained them as organisation Value Ambassadors.
Learning and growth
Promote mandatory completion of a certain number of learning hours each year, inclusive of non-classroom learning solutions. It is important to incorporate a range of suitable L&D interventions and customise them for talent and business needs.
A L&D tool that I found to be effective for employees across the business is the Skillset Inventory, which includes a list of all of the hard skills and soft skills required for each position. The average of combined individual skills and team skills can then be used to generate an individual development plan (IDP) for the year.
Recognising longstanding employees by asking them to act as talent retention ambassadors can be an excellent strategy for many organisations.
Hold a regular knowledge sharing session to gather key information from these experienced talents. Additionally, longevity awards, bonus disbursements as well as monthly and quarterly incentives improve employee retention.
Even the most engaged employee can potentially fall for the bait of a more attractive job offer from a competitor. Ask yourself whether you have a Plan B in place to substitute your key talent.