When it comes to your talent management strategy, ask yourself: Have we inadvertently created silos within the HR function to manage talent programs? Are we missing opportunities to better support the rest of the business and improve employee engagement? Or should we aim higher and integrate the processes of acquiring, deploying, developing and rewarding talent and turn talent management into a distributed capability for building and sustaining a competitive advantage?
Here are five steps organizations can take to develop and execute an integrated strategy that actually delivers business results.
Articulate the business needs and realities. Talent management is a means to an end—better business results—not the end itself. Don’t lose sight of the fact that practices must deliver business results in addition to HR results. Start a talent management program by identifying business-based needs and circumstances. Answering the following questions can kick start the process:
Define the desired talent management end-state. Next, identify a desired talent management end-state that addresses 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, employeesin the desired future state would consistently answer the following questions in alignment with business objectives:
Organizational leaders in the desired future state would be aligned in answering the following questions:
Picture the power of an integrated talent management program. A useful talent management 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 acquiretop 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.
Describe the support that will be required. Don’t underestimate the effort. Even with world-class integrated talent management practices, organizations can still find their system sub-optimized in the absence of the following enablers of success:
Identify success measures and milestones. 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.