4 Ways to Optimize Talent Development

Welcome to week two of our Talent Optimization and Development series. Talent Development is your first approach to keeping your key players. It helps you cultivate the skills your business needs to remain competitive. After all, you can look outside for that purple unicorn – but none will be so sparkly as one cultivated within your business.

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Optimize the Climate for Talent Development

Developing people effectively means aligning your people with your business strategy and culture. This will help you understand where you have been. It will also help you define where you are going. Only from here you can achieve the organizational buy-in to achieve your vision.

Engage your employees to gain their perspective. If you have an internal Organizational Development team utilize their expertise. Alternately you can work with an external firm with expertise in this area, like The Hire.

To do this effectively from the start, plan wisely. Gain the approval and support of your organization’s formal [and informal] leaders. They are your evangelists for change. Your front-line advocates. Build a plan to support and develop them. Then watch as they inspire results.

Ask employees what they think is working. Find out what could be better. Get their input on what they need to strengthen their performance. Then make your plan to upskill and hire.

2018 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends

Successful organizations are providing tailored solutions that empower individuals to reinvent themselves within the company. This is key both to enabling workers to navigate 21st-century careers and to allowing employers to access the skills of the future.

Customize Leadership Development

While many organizations  talk about the value of developing leaders, few have found the secret sauce. This is because they often try to apply generic or “cultivated” solutions to a problem that is complex. But generic models are only a starting point. You must dig deeper.

You must examine the environment and approach to development systemically. Give leaders the opportunity to be successful coaches. Ensure they can focus on developing their team. When you do that, they will be able to effectively bring work and learning together for others. Then they can foster a culture of high performance, because…

  • Leaders develop Leaders and,
  • High performers help you meet your business goals and surpass the competition.

Prioritize Development Opportunities for Everyone

Leadership Development is necessary for success. Providing development opportunities for all employees is just good business.

ATDStats News

The Association for Talent Development (ATD), reports that organizations that have comprehensive training and performance coaching have 218% higher income per employee. Further, the same companies report a 24% higher profit margin.

Great Leader’s can do this when your organization provides avenues for growth. This includes, but is not limited to, skills training, on-the-job learning, and individual coaching. You will find these opportunities especially attractive to your high-performers as Reward or Recognition.

Anne M. Mulcahy

Employees are a company’s greatest asset – they’re your competitive advantage. You want to attract and retain the best; provide them with encouragement, stimulus, and make them feel that they are an integral part of the company’s mission.

Start at the Beginning

Developing people means first defining what the organization intends to achieve (Strategy) and how (Culture). From there you can define the competencies and skills needed. Only then you can determine the state of those skills in the workforce and determine employee sentiment, and capacity, for change.

Change Readiness Cartoon News

If this sounds like a lot, fear not. You likely have what you need to start. Things like your company’s goals, the Vision/Mission/Values, Job Descriptions, and subject matter experts on your business.

Following are some guidelines to get you thinking:

  1. Be transparent. Communicate what you are doing in a way that makes it relevant to ALL employees.
  2. Be authentic. People can see when you behave differently from the norm. This is not a show. This is your work. Play to your strengths. Interact in a way that is both effective and natural.
  3. Talk to people directly, even if over a web conference or phone, one-on-one.
  4. Create more intimate settings, like sponsored lunches or regular small team meetings, with specific work groups.
  5.  Consistently ask for employee opinion.

We can help you take a closer look at your culture. The key is to engage your employees at every level. That way you will be in the best position to attract, hire, and retain top performers. Come back next week when we continue the series with the Talent Acquisition pillar of your people strategy.

Lisa Crockett is a leader and professional development coach with more than 20 years of experience in Human Resources, Learning, and Performance. To learn more about her professional career visit her on LinkedIn.

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