The talent management process involves attracting and retaining high-quality employees, developing their skills, and continuously motivating them to improve their performance.
It is a continuous process that is refined and repeated throughout its lifespan. Running a company takes more than hiring employees. It needs a workforce that can continually grow in their skills, take leadership roles and help scale the organisation’s growth.
It is important to build a competitive workforce by sourcing in-demand skills, investing in continuous learning and future talent development, and managing and optimising performance.
For this to work, strategies must be put in place by the organisation. These strategies should match your company’s goals and define what type of talent you need.
The article is a part of our comprehensive series on “Talent management”
Talent management strategies for the workplace in 2022
1. Pre-establish organisational goals
Start your journey by identifying the objectives of your organisation. These are set by the leadership, and they will inform the direction of the strategy.
These goals should be ordered by priority as it is impossible to be the best at everything. Identify the priorities and use them to develop future strategies.
The goals that you set should ideally answer important questions like:
Should we prioritise marketing or sales?
What are we focusing on- expanding the customer base or strengthening our relationships?
Are we working in a project-based setting, or are we an operational partner for our clients?
The answers to these questions are indicators of the skills you’re looking for in your new employees and the ones you want to develop in your existing talent pool.
2. Standardise the onboarding process
Employee onboarding is the process through which companies equip new employees with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed at their jobs.
Getting people to resume their responsibilities as quickly as possible helps make them more productive. Additionally, it helps keep the workforce aligned with the organisational goals.
This process must be standard across the whole organisation. Irrespective of the organisational level of the employees (trainees, junior/senior management), a standard employee induction program should be followed.
3. Set goals and track performance
Performance management includes activities such as planning, target setting, monitoring progress, smooth communication, feedback and training, implementation of employee development programs, and rewarding achievements.
Goal setting helps employees improve, and more so when included in the procedure.
Securing employee buy-in allows the company to develop its short and long-term goals, increasing achievement likelihood. Encouraging them to set stretch goals also helps push performance and serves as a motivator for ongoing development.
When done properly, setting goals can improve employee commitment and provide them with more clarity on their role.
Tracking of the employees’ performance should not be neglected. It involves periodic assessment or measuring of employees’ performance, providing feedback to employees and workgroups on their progress towards realising their set goals.
Continuous progress review helps identify unacceptable performance at any time.
4. Provide feedback and reviews
Performance reviews are often used as a basis for career development, compensations, promotions, and even employment termination.
These review processes usually happen quarterly, bi-annually, or yearly, allowing you to set clear goals and KPIs for each employee. They also help to determine expectations and provide them with feedback based on their past performance.
It’s also recommended to initiate discussions with your employees about challenges, keep them updated with their task progress, and gauge their current level of motivation and work satisfaction.
With these conversations, you can also determine if they’re looking for more employee training or additional support through mentoring.
5. Make use of employee training tools
The first step towards developing your workforce is to provide them with professional development opportunities through good training programs.
Use employee training tools like microlearning platforms, virtual learning platforms, video training software, learning management systems (LMS) to create and deploy interactive learning content.
Virtual reality-based training and immersive learning are the latest in the industry when it comes to workforce training.
These tools will help you identify your employees’ performance gaps and pain points, and give them immediate feedback. They also cost less in terms of time and money versus face-to-face sessions.
6. Employee recognition through rewards
As per a study by Gallup, lack of recognition is one of the most critical reasons why an employee leaves a company.
Keep your employees motivated and happy by recognising their achievements and giving them appropriate rewards and incentives. This is often overlooked and yet is a simple and cost-effective method of motivating employees.
Rewards can be in the form of a bonus or raise, a promotion, or big prizes like vacations. If you’re working with a smaller budget, shopping vouchers and gift cards are great options.
7. Employee motivation
Every employee experiences low motivation levels once in a while. It becomes a problem, however, when this becomes an aversion to work.
Motivation requires continuous effort, and there is no single approach.
Many simple things can be done to increase motivation.
A good tip is to prioritise your team’s health and well-being. Ensure that the team members take regular breaks to destress.
Another strategy is to include the element of fun to keep your employees motivated. Modern techniques like gamification help the employees to achieve their targets while enjoying the drill.
Many leading corporations acknowledge that including the employees in decision-making roles within the organisation is one of the strongest motivational factors. Making them involved in the company’s growth curve helps them associate with their work at an emotional level.
8. Create career development paths
Employees engage more with their work when they feel that their employer is committed to their growth and development.
By offering them a career development path, you provide them a chance to grow their skills and eventually master their jobs. It further opens the opportunity for promotions to higher roles within your organisation.
In return, it helps the organisation by leadership development and filling in the senior positions internally.
These strategies will result in higher employee retention, greater career satisfaction, increased productivity, and better performance.
9. Create mentorship programs
Mentoring is a strategy many companies use to improve their employees’ performance and develop future talent.
Unlike online courses or seminars, mentoring provides direct interaction between two individuals where the mentor helps the mentee grow their skills through communication, hands-on teaching, and collaboration.
It has many benefits, including reinforcing accomplishments, improving decision-making and time-management skills, enhancing communication skills, and building confidence.
Mentoring can be achieved regardless of location, gender, race, or culture, making it a very effective strategy.
10. Promote diversity and inclusion
Diverse and inclusive (D&I) talent management gives you the opportunity to attract, support, and retain a truly diverse workforce.
Diversity is explained as different characteristics in people belonging to a specific group. These characteristics are often unique in individuals such as race, age, gender, ethnicity, culture, religious background, physical abilities, and geographical location.
It has also been found that there is a competitive advantage to diversity and inclusion, with more diverse organisations showing better financial performance.
The following strategies can help you in promoting diversity and inclusion:
- Make your recruitment accessible– Let people know that you are committed to diversity. And get the right people in from the get-go.
- Prioritise wellbeing– Employees who know that their wellbeing is your top priority will feel more confident in bringing their talents to their work. The diverse workforce will thrive more knowing this.
- Stay mindful that D&I is a business strategy– It is important to remember that this has a positive impact on your finances. Diverse and inclusive talent management means attracting the best people for the job, which in turn means better output and profitability.
- Make job rotation desirable and accessible– Most employees often have a hard time adjusting to new teams and departments. Every new role will mean answering a barrage of questions from their new teams as they get to know them. This can be unnerving, and putting in place strategies for smooth transitions will go a long way in improving diversity in an organisation.
Examples of talent management strategies
A talent management strategy is a plan to improve employee performance and satisfaction within an organisation.
- Oxford University Hospitals: Leadership and Development Framework
This framework aims to establish the means for Oxford University Hospital to attract, identify, develop, and retain leadership capability of the highest quality.
They are boldly moving away from a ‘command and control’ model of leadership and moving towards one based on inclusiveness, influence, and authenticity, rather than authority.
They are promoting shared ownership rather than responsibility invested in the few.
- Google offers their employees just about everything they need to be comfortable at work, even implementing the philosophy of 80% work and 20% play – emphasising how much they care about their people and how much it pays to work hard and play hard too. They offer a diverse and inclusive working environment, free food, free gym, fully paid paternal and maternal leave, etc.
Not having proper talent management plans and strategies will leave your employees confused, demotivated and, perhaps frustrated. They may fail to understand their individual and collective roles in working towards the company’s targets.
However, when handled strategically, your employees will feel empowered, helping the company achieve its visions and goals.
A well-built talent management strategy will set your company apart from the competition.
Co-founder and Managing Director
Stuart Harris, co-founder of Growth Academy Asia, has a vast background in corporate events and learning & development. As co-founder and managing director at Team Building Asia, Stuart has developed a large network of international clients over the past 20 years and brought an innovative perspective to the more traditional elements of team building, which lead to the founding Growth Academy Asia. With GAA, he aspires to disrupt the L&D industry with the immersive VR organisational and leadership programmes.