Talent Management Strategies Series: Developing Top Talent

I decided to write a series of articles on topics that are top of mind for HR professionals and executives. As a consultant, I often come across leaders who say they are having the same problems no matter the size of the organization or the industry; attracting, retaining, and developing top talent.

Development of Top Talent

For years we have been reading that millennials want to be developed by their employers. This is true for other generations in the workforce too, not just millennials. As baby boomers continue their journey into retirement and less than full-time work, organizations must transition by capturing their knowledge to ensure their top talent is developed and ready to be promoted to the next level. Many companies are at a loss as to how to determine the gaps of knowledge or experience which exist with individuals.

Assess and test their skills for critical thinking, numerical ability, management skills and emotional intelligence. All of these are required of good leaders of people. Make sure you use assessments and tests that are third party validated instruments that have been proven to predict success in the workplace. Once you have the results, work with leaders to create development plans in order to prepare them for the next level.

Take a temperature of your workforce and determine who plans to retire when. Utilize these individuals as teachers of their skills to the up and comers in your organization. They will both learn things from one another. Long-term employees can pass on what they know from their years of experience, while less experienced employees can share their tech savvy skills. Everyone wins, especially the organization.

Keep your high potentials engaged. Give them stretch assignments. Challenge them and listen to them. Allow them to make mistakes that are not detrimental to the business and learn.

In Summary

I challenge you to be thoughtful and make plans for the strategically important items you should manage inside your business. Which tasks can you make less cumbersome with technology? Which items can you outsource to a partner? Don’t allow technology to take the personal touch out of your interaction with people. Be smart about being effective and efficient. In the end you will meet your own objectives as well as those of the business.