As a small start-up, those in senior positions of an SME, or HR Managers in bigger businesses – Do YOU know who are the high and low performers in your company? Do you recruit and hire very talented people? Is your company committed to keeping top performers, and removing low performers? Does your business know how to develop its people effectively?
Your answers may determine how – and if – your business manages talent. As an astute professional, you don’t need to be reminded about how important competent, capable employees are. Although you may know this, you may still be experiencing typical pain points, such as a high staff turnover, clashes in the team or a general lack of passion and staff morale.
Remember that Talent Management is a comprehensive strategy that brings together different initiatives which includes sourcing and the recruitment of quality staff, retention, learning management, leadership development, and succession planning. When done properly, you'll select the right people for the right jobs, and you'll develop your people so that they can perform at their best.
Where to begin?
When you whittle it down, Talent Management is essentially an issue of corporate culture. It is NOT just about aligning HR systems; it's about recognizing that your organization needs talented, well-trained, highly-motivated people if it's to perform at its best and realize its full potential. Your Talent Management strategy should be aligned to the overall business strategy, as opposed to a function which operates as a silo.
Your HR department can create a talent management system, but for this system to be effective, it must be supported and developed by managers and leaders from all parts of the organization.
You may think that as South Africa experiences a period of high unemployment, you are spoilt for choice. The reality is that quality employees are difficult to find, and so it's critically important to attract and retain high-quality candidates to complement your work force. When competitors are actively trying to recruit your top people away from you, and experienced workers retire, you need to be confident that managers throughout your organization are committed to keeping the talented people they already have.
At Holistan, we don’t like the term “recruitment”. This is because the act of recruitment typically works outside the function of Talent Management. In other words, gathering CV’s and throwing them at a role, in the hopes that something (or someone) sticks. However for the purposes of our discussion, let’s use this term. Recruitment efforts are greatly improved with a Talent Mindset. The organization's talent management practices naturally help to build the business’s reputation as an employer of choice – one that treats its staff well, recognizes and builds talent, and provides advancement opportunities.
Manage their Performance
Poor performance in ANY work environment is toxic. However it is YOUR responsibility to hold your employees accountable for their performance. Do this by developing an effective performance management system , and monitor its use. Make regular feedback sessions mandatory, and communicate performance results consistently. When people understand their strengths and weaknesses, they have the opportunity to grow and develop. Follow up with coaching to improve performance.
Also, be sure to recognize and reward team members for their performance and talent. When people feel good about their performance, and know that their efforts are appreciated, and in turn they work even harder.
Develop your Employees
Not only is this an imperative from government, but it makes business sense. With regular monitoring and feedback, you'll be able to identify your highest-performing people.
What then? Look for new challenges for these people. This helps to keep high performers motivated and interested in their work. It's also a great way to nominate candidates for future strategic and leadership roles.
Finding people with lots of potential will keep you on your toes in terms of developing them. Problems such as “glass ceilings” will no longer be an issue if you adopt a Talent Mindset. People generally want to do what they do best; however if you don’t know what someone is good at, how are you able to build your colleague’s confidence in their capabilities? If they are not growing, their motivation and job satisfaction is sure to dwindle.
Mentor Mentor Mentor
Mentoring is an effective technique used to develop talented people within your organization. It's also a highly effective retention tool, because the people who are being mentored can see that their talents are recognized, and that the organization is committed to helping them grow and develop.
Reward and Recognition
When managers become aware of how their own behaviour impacts the retention of talented employees, they'll usually make an effort to use reward and recognition more effectively. If their own performance is tied to how well they manage the talent on their team, the "talent mind-set" message can be even more effective. Establish a talent standard within your organization, and make all leaders accountable.
In order to understand the talent that you need within your organisation, one needs to create a "database" of competencies – and establish processes for developing, monitoring, and managing the development of skills, abilities, knowledge, and behaviours within the workforce.
When you discover skill gaps, ask management to identify people who can fill those gaps now – or talented individuals who can be developed to fill these gaps in the future.
This approach helps you to "benchmark" and define your talent, so that you know what top talent looks like. By monitoring and evaluating the skills and competencies of your current staff, you can make better decisions about the skills and competencies that you need over the long term.
Further Training and Development
South African businesses are required to pay a Skills Development Levy to ensure that the employee force is uplifted. It’s no secret that there are benefits from a Tax and BEE perspective when uplifting staff through accredited training courses. But how do you know who to train on what?
Together with competency management, a successful approach to talent management includes ascertaining training needs and the preparation of development plans for your workers, to decide upon which courses you should offer your talent.
Talent management is a critical function for succession planning. Defining, tracking, and developing talent are important parts of developing successors for key positions in the business. The earlier you identify these people, the better. When you commit to talent management, you'll not only start to find out which skills you need for the future, you'll also learn who has those skills – and you'll actively develop their skills even further.
Big businesses understand the critical need for Talent Management, and have the luxury of dedicated departments and professionals to manage this function, in alignment with the overarching company vision. However, a large proportion of businesses – even multinationals based in South Africa – are experiencing the pain points of having a gap in their Talent Management strategy. This may manifest its ugly head in the form of high staff turnover, an apathetic culture climate or the failure in finding talented staff.
Holistan is proud to introduce our Talent Management offering which encompasses the above mentioned processors. We have various packages no offer, ranging from light support right through to the entire Talent Management bouquet. Our processors are seamless, scientific and digitally based, allowing your talent to complete assessments, training and development all online, and to allow us to track relevant metrics in terms of skills gaps, top performing talent, the adopted culture, identified future leaders in the business and so much more.
If you’re interested in a comprehensive demo of our offering, please get in touch with us today:
011 201 2142
Our contributors collectively boast a wealth of experience in assessments, HR, organisational development, change management and more!