The heart of talent management

The key ingredient to an organisations performance and competitiveness lies in the organisations talent; the people who make it all happen!

Knowledge, experience and innovation are the keys to unlocking business success and getting ahead of the competition. Having a strategy that is focused on attracting, developing and retaining talent is, therefore, fundamental.A rounded approach to talent management will mainly focus on the following 3 elements:

  1. Talent Attraction – consisting of talent acquisition, employer branding, referrals and talent pools.
  2. Learning and Development – learning interventions, training, coaching and mentoring.
  3. Retention – Robust career and succession planning and employee engagement strategies.

A balanced approach is required, however, the talent management strategy in practice is often mainly focused on the attraction of talent, however once this talent is on-board the development and retention are often overlooked.

Investment should be equally if not more intensively focused on the development and retention aspects, otherwise talent sourcing just becomes a bit like running on a treadmill, it also becomes costly to keep recruiting and replacing.

Learning lies at the heart of Talent Management

Apart from learning and development being a major employee value proposition and draw card for attracting and developing talent, employees who are competent in their roles are generally happier, more confident, more likely to perform and stay with the organisation. If competency gaps exist and are not addressed then this will lead to the employee becoming frustrated, burnt out, demotivated and they are likely to exit the business.

Learning features in every aspect of the employee’s life cycle, from on-boarding through to job-specific training and performance management.

Competency-based learning begins by identifying the required competencies to deliver present and future work. Competencies consist of the knowledge, skills and attributes that employees need to do the tasks required of them. An appropriate learning intervention can be identified and linked to each competency.

A good way to determine job specific, competency-based learning interventions is to conduct a 360 competency gap analysis on each individual against their competency profile, using their own input, their managers and / or a technical specialist to identify competency gaps, then translate this into an individual development plan with the selected learning interventions to address the competency gaps.

PMI can assist in this regard, and offers an extensive range of learning interventions and Human Capital Development solutions, including a great system to manage learning at all the various stages of the employee life cycle.

Map out a Career Path

Employees want to know where they are going, and not only that, but they need to have attainable goals which are supported by their leadership.

Map out a career path with your employee from the current role through to the role that the employee would like to work towards, then conduct a competency review on the future job superimposed on the employees existing competency profile to identify the learning gaps. What you are then creating is a competency based career ladder that you can translate into an individual development plan with the goals and timelines attached.

A critical part of this process is for the leader and employee to ensure that this does not only get reduced to paper, but to stay engaged with the process, to keep following up and working on it day after day.

Foster a process of continuous improvement that keeps the employee engaged and challenged and benefits the employer in terms of higher levels of engagement and productivity from the employee.

Build Meaningful Relationships with your Employees

A fundamental part of talent management and employee retention lies in relationships. There is a very common saying: “Employees don’t leave companies they leave managers.” Employees want to feel valued and that the company and their leadership cares about them, about who they are holistically, and not just who they are at work. Leaders need to take the time to really get to know what their people are about, their interests, children, their likes and dislikes, goals and aspirations.

The most meaningful engagements can mainly be achieved in an informal setting, it is important for leaders to create opportunities to connect with employees. Going for coffee, having lunch, arranging the social time or just taking the time to engage in the workplace can go a long way in establishing meaningful relationships.

The way in which leaders engage in the workplace relating to tasks is also important, leaders should always make an effort to be personable and to connect before going to task.

“Leaders touch a heart before they ask for a hand”
– John C Maxwell

Contact PMI Navigo for more information on the PMI Pathfinder system and our Human Capital Development Solutions.

Jun 2015

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