Top 5 Tips to a Successful Talent Management Plan
Talent management is the process of (you guessed it) managing the talent in your workforce.
But what does that mean exactly? And how can business owners and HR professionals use talent management to improve their workforce and ultimately their bottom-line?
Put simply, talent management is everything an employer does to support their employees succeed at their job.
We’ve rounded up the top 5 tips for your organization to make the best use of your human capital. Read on to learn how to manage your current talent and plan for the future.
Tip 1: Create Clear Expectations
When employees know what’s expected of them, they have a better shot of meeting or exceeding that expectation. Whether it’s deadlines, practical skills, or job tasks, being crystal clear on what is needed is key.
This starts with a well-written job description. A successful job description will include not only the job duties but also skills and abilities needed to complete the task at hand.
Continue setting clear expectations through frequent communication with the employee, especially in the first 30 days of employment. One great way to do this is to set up your new employee with a coach or work-buddy.
Research shows that people understand what is expected of them best when they are told, prior to the task being completed and is then followed by immediate correction if the employee falls short.
Don’t shy away from providing feedback. Let’s talk more about feedback in our next talent management tip.
Tip 2: Develop a Strong Performance Management System
This tip is one of the most important on this list. A strong performance management system is critical to managing the talent in your workforce.
Create a policy for how often your employee will get a performance appraisal. I’d recommend twice a year in their first year of employment and once annually thereafter.
Create your appraisal based on the individual job description, the mission and values of the company, and allow for some narrative of the employee’s strengths and weaknesses. Always include actionable ways in which you feel the employee can do better.
Don’t Say: You’re not doing your job.
Do Say: You get behind on your tasks when you show up to work late consistently. If you arrived on time, you’d be able to finish everything that is required of you.
The specific, actionable directive is very clear on what the employee needs to do to succeed in their current role. Don’t leave anything open to interpretation.
It’s important to note that performance management doesn’t just occur at annual review time. You should be providing both praise and corrective feedback all year long. Nothing should be a surprise on an annual review.
Tip 3: Collect Analytics
Analyzing employee data is critical and as more businesses use electronic records management systems to monitor employee analytics, this will continue to become more evident.
If companies aren’t using tech HR software, they will quickly be left behind. Having an electronic system in place to track your analytics is critical for business and employee success. Electronic records management systems keep employees and employers alike organized and assist in decision making for employers.
Decisions relating to promotions, raises, and all other employee management decisions must be made based on analytics from your performance management system. Failing to do so opens your company up to liability.
I’ve seen too many companies face legal action because they were making employment decisions based on personal preferences or other reasons that were unrelated to the job at hand.
Avoid this by investing in a technology solution to collect and analyze employee data.
Tip 4: Provide Training, Mentoring, and Guidance
Most companies do a fair job of providing ongoing training to their workforce. Innovative companies are now offering off-site training opportunities made possible by technology to reach employees and clients alike.
Investing in said technology will increase the knowledge-base of your team as well as increase productivity since employees won’t have to commute to a singular meeting location.
Consider developing company-specific, ongoing training to your employees. In addition, you should be providing departmental and job-specific training also.
Additionally, document all training you’re employees are receiving. Even if it’s a casual encounter, have the employee acknowledge in writing that they’ve been trained on the topic you discussed and been given an opportunity to ask questions.
Employee mentoring and guidance is something that isn’t always given as much attention as training. Peer mentoring has huge benefits to both the new or less experienced employee as well as the more veteran staff member.
This ongoing guidance and support not only reinforces all the steps we’ve discussed so far but it also makes the employee feel like they are supported and valued. Make time for your employees and your business will benefit.
Tip 5: Plan for the Future
Employees come and go. Unfortunately pensions are no longer part of a traditional benefits package and as a result, employees aren’t staying with employers throughout their working years.
Because of this shift in labor force behavior, employers have needed to adopt pipeline planning as part of their talent management strategy.
Identify key positions that would be detrimental to the company if left vacant. These positions could be senior level managers or depending on your business, may be frontline managers.
You should then identify top performers at entry or lower levels of the organization. This (as stated above) should be based on employee data and performance analytics. Create groups and other support systems where you can begin training these top performers to step into these key position roles should they become vacant.
Ensure this process is a two-way street. I recommend involving the employee in the succession planning process. Learn what the employee’s professional goals are and find the right place for them within your future organization.
Keep your employees informed of upcoming position and role changes. There are many reasons why employees resist change even when the change benefits their career. The first is always because the employer has failed to communicate effectively to their employees.
Communicate clearly and often.
Thank you for reading our top 5 tips to a successful talent management plan!
While each business is different, everyone can benefit from basic talent management steps to improve their return on their greatest investment - their employees!