When it comes to your talent management strategy, ask yourself: Are we aiming too low? Should we settle for compliance with HR policies and programs? Or should we aim higher and turn talent management into a capability for winning the battle for business?
In helping organizations ranging from Fortune 500 companies to family-owned businesses, we’ve learned that there are five steps the HR leader must take to get off the talent treadmill and execute an integrated talent management strategy that actually delivers business results.
Talent management is a means to an end – better business results – not the end itself. Don’t lose sight of the fact that these practices must deliver business results as opposed to HR results. Start a talent management program by identifying business-based needs and circumstances. Answering the following questions can kick start that process:
Next, it is important to identify a desired end-state from a talent management perspective that reflects the questions above. One effective way of articulating a future state is to determine the questions that employees and leaders in the organization should be able to answer in the future. For example, employees in the desired future state would consistently answer the following questions in a manner consistent with business objectives:
Organizational leaders in the desired future state would consistently answer the following questions in a desirable manner:
A useful strategy can be developed by working backward from the end-state questions above, and addressing how the company in the future will acquire, deploy, develop, engage and retain talent. Those activities need to be aligned to deliver their full value. Integrating these components will ensure that the talent management system is more purposeful and repeatable. In addition, it will help ensure that the business can acquire top talent, accelerate development efforts, deploy talent where the business needs it most, and retain “A” players with engaging work and competitive rewards. Scenario planning that includes two to three examples of what an integrated talent management system can accomplish for the business is very useful in building a clear and compelling case.
Don’t underestimate the effort. Even with world-class integrated management practices, organizations can still find their system sub-optimized without the following three key enablers to success:
Reaping the full value of an integrated and business-based talent management initiative can require up to two to three years of effort. Therefore, it is critical to articulate before the work begins how you’ll know if you are making the appropriate progress. Set milestones that will help the team assess progress, pace and direction, and agree on the results metrics that will define the ultimate value and impact of this work.