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Talent Development Strategy for Your Workplace

Why do organisations exist?

• Theorists would say to achieve economies of scale
• Businessmen would say to achieve profits
• Social Entrepreneurs would say to bring out change
• An economist might say to generate employment

Whatever be the reason, there never existed an organisation without goals. Each business has a vision and mission which they try to achieve through their operations and strategies. And, ‘Talent development’ plays an important role in this regard.

At Yellow Spark, we firmly believe that people make businesses successful. But it is not just any person, your talent developmental plan needs to be developed based on the growth plan of your organisation.

Take a manufacturing unit for instance; they produce a certain kind of product and when they anticipate a high demand in the market, in other words, expect to grow in the market; they produce more of the same product to ensure that there is a steady supply in the market. If the market demands a variation, the company re-engineers the product and makes a new product available in the market. However, at no point in time they run out of products (unless there are some unforeseen reasons that derail them out of business).

Compare this to your organisation, your people are your products; especially if you are a service-based company. When you anticipate growth in the market, like in the example above, you need to provide more of the same quality output to ensure you are servicing your business optimally. Now would it be possible to grow in leaps and bounds if your primary product (your people) don’t grow or multiply or are not re-engineered to meet your client’s demands? Imagine if you run out of high-performing people?

Talent development can’t be looked upon in isolation.

Talent development when approached strategically allows you to elevate your team’s performance levels by attracting, motivating and retaining high-performing human resource. The talent development strategy needs to take into consideration the behaviour, traits and competencies (usually referred to as the competencies matrix) required at each level to achieve this growth. It also needs to take into consideration the current level of skills & competencies that exist within your organisation (usually compiled from your annual performance reviews). Once you have mapped the talent requirements, you can then decide which skills & competencies should be developed internally and which should be bought from outside through recruitment.

Why is talent development so important?

Since recruiting talent is a separate discussion in itself, for the moment we will focus on why it is important to develop talent among existing employees.

There are various benefits that you can reap if you are able to effectively develop and motivate the talent resources in your organisation. These include:

• Keeping employees motivated since you take an active interest in their development

• Reducing performance management issues and grievances as you can easily identify best-suited candidates

• Offering a fair procedure of development and thus ensuring increased employee interest and engagement

• Helping you retain top talent and reduce performance management cost in the long run

• Attracting skilled and talented candidates during recruitment who work towards improving the company’s results and revenues

• Increasing client satisfaction as fewer people to deal with and greater efficiency levels

Must-have Talent development initiative include:

Talent development is most effective when various initiatives are plugged into each level in the hierarchy, thereby ensuring talent readiness at all levels. Irrespective of the talent requirements of your organisation, these 6-must-have talent development initiative can help every organisation ensure effective implementation of their talent strategy:

1. Career planning

Most of the freshers who join your company are unsure about their scope in your firm. Having an organised career planning exercise for these entry level and level 1 employees thus becomes essential. Here you outline how their career graph is likely to shape based on their aspirations, talents and skill knowledge. Allowing them to see their growth path within the organisation also helps them stay motivated and committed to the tasks assigned.

2. Individual coaching

For those on a mid-level segment in your company, you need a different plan. Here, more than a career, you need to focus on their individual coaching. This is possible by identifying their core competencies, behaviours and traits in the first place. Then based on it and how well they are suited for their current role, you design programmes that prepare them for their next role. For example: A person who is quick in learning and has a flair for helping others could be then trained in how to work in a supervising position. This would enable them with skills required for the role before they actually take it up.

3. Succession planning

As the employees move up the ladder, they need to have someone take their place and relieve them from their current role too. Training your second line of leadership can ensure that they are also being effective leaders to their current teams. Giving exposure to someone who has the potential to move up the ladder requires commitment from the person in the current position too. Succession planning must be approached very cautiously without threatening the current dynamics of people involved. Consider succession planning only for critical roles where you are not keen to bring the talent from outside the company. While rolling out succession plans, it is imperative to ensure that the team shows enthusiasm and excitement when this change in the role comes into effect. When done correctly, a positive and encouraging work culture is promoted.

4. Group workshops

Along with individual development, group workshops are also equally important in developing talent at your workplaces. You can make these groups based on various parameters like skills, experience, functionality, seniority, etc and have common skills/competency workshops. These ensure that the basic soft skills required for a particular task are developed among all in a similar fashion.

For example: Through your annual performance review, if people management skills emerge as a key skill that needs development across the organisation, having a group training session on people management skills can help both the team and the managers to get on the same page.

5. Collective learning opportunities

Collective learning opportunities is another strategy that you can adopt at any level within your organisation with the primary objective of knowledge sharing. Due to the crunch in a number of jobs in each academic sector, people often jump sectors and domains when they switch jobs. Hence, every team would have a group of employees from varied academic and professional backgrounds and each brings their own set of value to the team.

Encouraging sharing among the employees through collective learning gives them a chance to feel valued as their past knowledge is not considered wasted. It also helps them learn from others and improve in their skills from their experiences. This versatility and sharing of knowledge thus become a value-add for the human resource when they move to higher roles and handle bigger responsibilities.

6. Encouraging individual enhancement courses

Another way of developing talent in your organisation is by encouraging self-development courses that your employees might be interested in. This could mainly be focused on mid-level employees to enhance or develop subject matter expertise.

For example: An employee interested in analytics and research could be motivated to do a course with Google about google analytics. This would also make them feel cared for along with helping them polish their interests and skills. Similarly, a lot of people are interested in doing higher education and additional courses while working through correspondence.

While this initiative might seem as though they are working towards being overqualified and eventually moving out, your support in their study time might actually attract their loyalty. You might end up with self-motivated and highly qualified employees who might add value to you in more ways than you hired them for.

At Yellow Spark, we help in formulating talent development strategies for your teams at all levels. Write to us at contact@yellowspark.in to know more about how you can develop talent through various tailor-made strategies for your employees at your workplace.

Author Profile: Deepam Yogi is an adventurer at heart, socially conscious in her gut and professionally a strategic consultant. She co-founded Yellow Spark to support organisations to build workplaces that people love being a part of. Deepam describes herself as a shy yet opinionated writer, and firmly believes that most answers to complex issues lie in simple communication.

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Talent Development Strategy for Your Workplace
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Published on:  August 29, 2018

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