Now more than ever, talent engagement is key to a company’s success and, quite possibly, to its competitive advantage. To enable execution of any business strategy, leaders must develop a comprehensive talent strategy customized to enable business strategy execution for the future.
To achieve effective recruitment, retention, and staff development, leaders must develop a comprehensive talent strategy to address the company’s current and future needs. Blue Horizon conducted research that confirmed seven key elements provide a structured framework for talent management, which can scale and grow as the business grows.
While existing processes may already exist in many organizations, it is necessary to evaluate them, to modify or enhance where opportunities are revealed, and then to ensure alignment with overarching business strategy. We recommend integrating these seven key practices for developing a talent strategy:
1. Conduct a needs assessment. This process provides insight, measures organizational health and maturity, and informs and shapes key initiatives to be developed.
2. Define success. This next step engages leaders to establish meaningful performance indicators and success factors for the future of the organization. Establishing critical behaviors, competencies, and values and ensuring alignment with the business strategy for the future means key performance indicators are defined, a baseline is established, and a talent dashboard will be developed for ongoing monitoring. This step equips leaders to maintain proper focus on the most effective levers of success for the organization.
3. Understand engagement. By measuring employee engagement, we can determine the greatest levers for creating significant impact with the talent initiatives. These levers will be integrated into the talent dashboard for ongoing measurement. In addition, research shows the links between employee engagement and customer satisfaction are clear. We would expect to see an increase in customer satisfaction as a secondary, indirect impact of implementing talent initiatives that address any hindrances to employee engagement and retention in the organization.
4. Evaluate development programs. By taking a holistic view of existing processes, leaders may determine the degree to which existing programs, processes, and practices are effective in cultivating the desired behaviors, competencies, values, and outcomes necessary for future success. In addition, new opportunities or gaps may be identified.
5. Augment with new or revised programs, practices, or processes. During this phase of work, new resources may be created or refined to ensure alignment with the business strategy and raise the performance standard across the organization.
6. Change leadership coaching. Throughout the process, the leadership team must remain conscious of the human impact of change. It may be helpful to have an experienced member of the team, who monitors the pulse of the organization to inform decision making during the implementation.
7. Measure, monitor, and adjust. Any talent strategy requires flexibility and adaptability throughout implementation and beyond. During this phase, a talent dashboard may provide insight for ongoing goal-setting, communication, and change management by the leadership team. Activities may include periodic pulse surveys, focus groups, stakeholder engagements, or other methods of gathering feedback for finetuning the implementation.
Employee engagement is the key to competitive advantage. As a result, customers will have a pleasant experience and are more likely to return to the business. This practice differentiates a business from its competitors. By implementing a robust talent strategy, business leaders can expect to see higher quality recruitment, higher employee engagement and retention, and higher customer satisfaction, all of which increase the bottom line.