Companies are always looking for new ways to drive performance, whether through innovative products or securing a new competitive advantage. One way companies can set themselves apart and drive performance is through talent management.
Unfortunately, talent management often goes overlooked. With a great talent management program, you can attract and retain excellent employees while also providing them with the training that they need to build their skills and better serve the company. Organizations should look at talent management as a mutually beneficial process. With a great approach, you both help employees improve their skills and make it easier for your company to fulfill its mission. Some of the pillars of talent management include the following:
- Far-reaching recruitment
The heart of talent management involves finding the right employees to start, which can be more difficult than you think. Companies may need to get creative with their recruitment, including using AI-driven tools and engaging with specialized recruitment firms. Harvard Business School teaches that companies need to recruit for attitude and then train for skill. Seek out candidates with drive and values that align with your own. Be sure they are excited about the opportunity to gain new skills. Aim to attract diverse talent to your company with different backgrounds and life philosophies that come with unique perspectives. Skills can always be taught, so be sure you find people that you like to be around and who believe in the mission of the company.
- Diversity in the workforce
Diversity has become an increasingly important topic over the past decade. Research has consistently shown that diversity drives employee retention and profitability as well as overall corporate morale.
For many companies, however, diversity does not come naturally. You need to make diversity a priority in terms of how you recruit and hire for your company. People from different backgrounds can bring unique ideas to the table that the company may not have previously considered. This benefit alone drives innovation and makes it easier to appeal to new customer segments, which can help expand the business. Track your diversity and the effect of new initiatives you take on to make your workforce more diverse.
- Continuous employee engagement
Employees who feel engaged with the company are less likely to be absent and more likely to go above and beyond for customers. Engagement is a key way of driving productivity and helping employees feel a sense of ownership over their work. You should have a clear strategy for engaging with your employees, whether that means through regular check-ins or increasing levels of autonomy. Mentorship opportunities are also very important. Always ask employees if they feel engaged and get feedback on how the company could be doing better. Your employees are your best source of information on how to engage them most effectively. Each person learns differently and engages differently, so be sure to approach engagement from a variety of angles.
- Ongoing development opportunities
Another way to engage employees is to provide them with development opportunities. However, this is important enough to become its own pillar. Figure out the skills that your employees want and connect them to opportunities for gaining them. Doing this will make employees feel valued while bringing new skillsets to your workforce. Remember that employees are individuals, so make development part of the regular check-in. Figure out where each person is currently and where they would like to be. The company can likely help that person along the path and benefit from the new experiences as well.
- Pathways for internal mobility
Effective talent management means providing clear pathways for internal mobility. As employees prove themselves and develop new sets of skills, they should be able to advance in their career with the company. If this type of advancement is not possible, then the employee may begin looking for other positions, which means your company will have lost what it invested in that person. However, people like to stay where they are happy and give back to companies that have nurtured them. Show people that there are opportunities for advancement, and they are much more likely to stay with your organization. When you check in with employees, see where they want to go and be honest about what it will take to get there.
- Employee quality of life
Another key part of talent management is providing employees with a great experience while they are at work. Encourage a good life-work balance, and make sure that people are taking adequate vacation time. If people do not take time off, they will burn out and productivity will wane. Though it may seem contradictory, you actually drive productivity by encouraging taking vacation time.
Also, make sure you are offering excellent benefits, especially in comparison to similar employers. Frequently, people will choose a position with a lower salary if the benefits are great. Think beyond traditional benefits and figure out what people need to have fulfilling experiences, such as on-site childcare or catered lunches.