It was during the last summer that HR team at the Healthcare Technology center of a large MNC company had met for a post-lunch weekly meeting. We had just one agenda – conceiving and implementing a talent intervention to give platform to groom mid-level technologists. Though this seems to be a simple and common topic for most of the organizations, for our company, it had a far reaching significance – what we will do in future at the engineering centre in Bangalore was directly linked with the ability to groom talent so that we own and deliver end-to-end engineering design for healthcare industry from India to the emerging markets.
The India Technology Center houses 20-25% of our global technologist population of 1500 technologists and the organization is the engineering and design center healthcare products. These products are from emerging markets, and it makes perfect sense that engineering talent in these countries should have capabilities to design products as they have an understanding of their markets. To move up the value chain, it needed senior talent in India in three distinctive roles – technical, program management and people leaders. The task was to groom talent who were in mid-career level who could take those positions.
Here are four things that worked for us:
- Script writers – We have often heard the phrase ‘content is the king’ in the entertainment industry, and the same works for learning modules for talent development intervention which include ‘coaching by senior on a live project’ or ‘class room learning module’. We had 12 such modules completely created, developed and delivered by internal geniuses (senior technical talent) themselves and more time we spent on content the better it was for the participants of the program. It is very important that HR get the senior leaders fully engaged on talent intervention and they should be the ‘script writers’ of talent development intervention’.
- Regular face to face connect with Managers– Regular connection with the Manager of the employee is a must and it is necessary to keep them involved in the program. Involvement is much more than just getting informed about a program and their suggestions are great inputs to make changes in the program.
- Budget – Talent Management intervention has to be backed by budget for doing special things like Assessment Center and getting external experts to a class. It validates the importance of the intervention as the business leader supports it with a budget. For us, having a decent budget of Rs 20 lakh made the participants gain insightful knowledge since we got external experts for the sessions and do assessment center by external agency.
- Purpose – The HR team and the business leader should be doing talent intervention for a purpose and for us it was growing our capability to do things independently from India and we tried to reinforce this with all the stakeholders including the senior leaders who had signed up to be the faculty members. This was the glue that helped us bind together in the 15-month journey.
Fifteen months were long and tough however it was very satisfying for all of us as we were able to achieve the purpose we aimed for. I will be very keen to know if you are planning to start similar journey on grooming talent for a very specific business need. What are your business drivers? What will success look like for you for your intervention?