The people that work for any organization are its most important resource. Firms that can attract and retain the best talent have strategic competitive advantage in the market because such firms are in a better position to execute their business strategies in an effective and exact manner. Why? Because they simply have the right skills they need.
Talent management is a growing need among organizations globally because there is enough evidence based on research to prove that good talent drives business by all means. Talent management in its very essence, is a two-pronged strategy. It increases employee satisfaction and employee engagement that ultimately translates into better business.
Employee satisfaction refers to the general happiness or level of satisfaction that employees have with their organizations. Put an employee who is good with finance into the marketing department and his satisfaction is bound to be low. Talent management seeks to make the correct job-skill match so that both the organization and the employees are on the right track. Not only this, talent management initiatives also polish the skills of their employees so that they feel that they are evolving in their career, which leads to better employee engagement. Employee engagement is an indicator of how involved employees are with the business. Would they be willing to think and ideate beyond their regular duties to drive your business forward? Do they feel personally associated with your organization? If the answer to these questions is in the affirmative, well your employees are engaged. But engagement is not a one-time activity, and talent management is what sustains it. Activities that help employees set realisic targets and achieve clear, measurable goals along with mentoring and feedback from their managers on a regular basis are known to increase employee engagement.
Every organization has some key goals; and those often require key talent. One of the biggest challenges faced by organizations is to attract and retain that key talent, because it is in great demand (and short supply). The question is: why do organizations lose out good talent so easily? The answer is: because they do not know the path between attracting and retaining talent. They may attract the best people to work for them, but how to convert those people into long term, loyal employees that feel committed to the organization is what the crucial task is.
How to manage talent?
After attracting the best talent, which involves planning and sourcing your workforce, the next task is to develop that talent in order to drive leadership by coaching, mentoring and giving them access to specific technical and functional learning that may relate to each of the roles. The next step is to reward the best talent. Rewards and recognitions have a significant impact on employee morale. The good ones feel acknowledged and motivated to continue to work to their best, and the not-so-good ones get inspired to achieve those rewards. So far so good, but what happens next? Well, now that your employees’ skills are aligned with your business needs, the next step may be to deploy them in different or higher roles. For example, giving them international exposure to encourage leadership and social learning; or putting them through different cycles of experience so that they may develop a more holistic understanding of your business. This not only increases their engagement and satisfaction but also helps you to manage your succession planning to fill leadership roles in future.
Talent management, thus begins with planning and continues in a cyclical fashion throughout the life of an organization. Learning, training and development activities which are able to generate enough interest and involvement, and spur motivation to perform are what keep this cycle moving.