February 05.2019, 10.21am

10 tips to boost your talent management strategy

The best leaders in the world don’t see themselves as employee performance managers – they’re performance enablers.

It’s a shift in ideology that has a significant impact on the personal and professional development of team members, which then goes on to fuel excellence across the board. But better talent management doesn’t suddenly appear out of thin air.

Annual and mid-year appraisals play an important role in setting the groundwork for the year ahead. Taking advantage of employee review best practices can help a company align its team members’ goals to key business objectives and promote a corporate culture that attracts and retains the industry’s top talent.

Here are 10 tips you can incorporate to give your talent management strategy an immediate boost:

1. Give employees goals that have a purpose and align them with business objectives

We’ve sprinted past the days of setting goals for policy’s sake. When leaders develop short- and long-term career paths that support meaningful growth, they have a much better chance at generating real support and meeting key business objectives.

“There’s too much of a disconnect between what organisations and its people want to achieve,” Dave Scully, Head of Strategy & Innovation for CoreHR says. “Aligning the two creates a certain level of harmony that every successful business should have.

2. Implement a competency framework that reflects company values

Competency management is a critical component of building a capable workforce from the ground up. Far too often, businesses will take another company’s approach to qualifications rather than laying out a strategy that incorporates their values and mission.

Personalising upskilling to have it map a person’s needs – rather than an age-old corporate routine – creates a personal connection between leadership and the rest of the workforce. Furthermore, it creates a stronger company culture that resonates throughout the business.

3. Digitalise key aspects of talent management

HR teams can have their hands full on an easy day, never mind having to manually track one-to-one meetings, competencies and employee appraisals. Digitalising the process can automate most of those components and allow leaders to focus more on performance enablement and less on performance management.

“Being able to see how one employee stacks up with another in terms of competencies at a moment’s notice means that there’s far less of a chance anyone is accidentally left behind,” Dave says.

4. Offer real-time feedback and goal tracking

HR software isn’t just great for automation. It also plays an important role in helping employees and their supervisors stay up to date with their annual goals and objectives.

Talent management solutions provide a real-time glimpse into how close or far employees are from reaching their goals. It creates a living and breathing process and allows team members to plan their year out and track progress on the fly. The combination of technology and strategy is the necessary evolution of performance management.

5. Transform goals from aspirations to sure-fire plans

Many businesses walk through the motions of talent management, instead of taking the necessary steps to make it effective. Creating individual objectives for the sake of ticking a box does more harm than good.

Aligning employee goals with business objectives is one way to make them more transactional instead of aspirational. In turn, HR can present proof of return on investment for the HR talent management solutions that made it possible in the first place.

6. Continuously analyse and improve strategies

Employee goals and competency management strategies should be rooted in hard data to support a uniform approach across the business. Furthermore, teams can use HR analytics to show the programme’s value to leadership and refine the minor details that ultimately make a big difference.

“There are so many rich data points available to HR teams now, but it’s nearly impossible to maximise their value without some sort of solution for data analysis,” Dave says. “Those who buy into big data often see the biggest returns.”

7. Have succession plans in place

Minimising disruption can maximise the positive impact of a strong corporate culture. It’s one of the reasons why succession planning is a staple at larger companies, which can’t risk the market volatility that follows excessive turnover.

Leverage talent management software to streamline succession planning and make the strategies available to all essential personnel. Doing so will also be a key driver in retention and help to create a better corporate culture.

8. Implement better change management when deploying succession planning

It’s not enough to simply have a plan in place – HR leaders need to enable smooth transitions by putting people in the best position. Have a clear and succinct change management strategy in place and continually revise it to learn from mistakes.

9. Ensure your managers’ interpersonal skills are up to par

Organisations can set the right goals, follow the best practices and implement the right talent management software. But if leadership can’t effectively communicate and collaborate with team members, HR will see the value of its performance management programme flounder.

Managers at all levels should receive regular training that coaches them on how to get the most out of annual or mid-year reviews, deliver feedback the right way and plan towards the future in a manner that aligns with company objectives and culture.

10. Meet the needs of top tier talent

Many organisations have a particular way they operate when it comes to talent management, but the hiring market doesn’t work that way anymore.

Smart employees expect their companies to help them grow professionally and personally, as well as to find ways to effectively use these skills. An overwhelming 96 percent of survey respondents feel their organisation could benefit from leveraging their strengths more often, yet just 37 percent have seen an initiative like this adopted at their workplace, our Smart Talent Expects study found.

“Great wages or compensation are still important deciding factors,” Dave says. “But smart talent want more for their workforce; intangibles like great company culture and space to achieve will make all the difference to them.

David ScullyBy David Scully