July 2021
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TD Magazine

Get in Alignment

Talent-optimized companies fare better in challenging times.

Is your company's talent optimized? What does that look like? The Predictive Index—which offers assessments, training, and consulting to help organizations with workplace challenges—published its 2021 State of Talent Optimization Report, which surveyed 500 executives from an array of industries around the world. The report defines a talent-optimized company as one that has a talent strategy and a business strategy and then aligns the two.

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Alignment is important. According to the study, 93 percent of companies that practice talent optimization avoided major financial losses in 2020. Further, a greater percentage of talent-optimized employers said their teams continued to work well together despite the obstacles presented last year. Those companies also prioritized employees' skills development.

"Talent optimization is a people-first approach to business. It involves the collection and application of behavioral people data, which can be used to build individual self-awareness and awareness of others," explains Predictive Index CEO Mike Zani. "When you have a foundation of awareness and acceptance, when you assume good intent, when you trust the people you work with every day, conflict is minimized. Even in stressful conditions, teams are able to join together and work toward a common goal."

This past year and more has undeniably come with its share of stress and challenges. Zani acknowledges, "If there was ever a time to get your talent strategy aligned with your business strategy and mobilize your people so that everyone is marching in the same direction, 2020 was that year."

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He continues, "Companies realized they couldn't rest on their laurels. They had to show real leadership, they had to make the difficult decisions, they had to pivot their strategic goals. They also had to inspire followership, be transparent, and lead with empathy to survive. As we can see, talent optimized companies didn't just survive, they thrived."

If your company isn't currently talent optimized, take steps to do so. The Forbes article "12 Effective Strategies For Aligning Talent and Business Goals" recommends such action items as having clarity on key performance indicators, understanding what talent you need, creating internal coaching programs, and aiming for cognitive diversity.

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