Challenges of Identifying and Nurturing Talent in these times of rapid change…

When a successful Sales & Marketing leader is strategizing and winning great success and the organization is steadily climbing the graph of growth, the competition is seriously tracking success factors and the engaged human capital that is driving the gears of growth. With this success comes great risks, the risk of losing valuable manpower, the risk of emulation of their people strategy and many more…. The industry has a keen eye on the success driving talent and they are constantly romancing these stalwarts with glorified career opportunities to attract them move on.

The lifecycle of successfully engaging effective people is grossly reducing. Employees are constantly seeking change, and change that aligns them to opportunities of wider scope and spans of strategy and control. The success of building and utilizing optimized human capital is greatly dependent on the keen eyes of an organization on identifying their people talent. With the dramatic drop in retention rates, the ever changing work environment and the demand for globally aligned work cultures. Organizations face huge challenges on identifying and deploying talent within the organization.

What is talent management?

Talent management is the science of using strategic human resource planning to enhance business results and to make organizations accomplish on their goals. It involves all that is done to recruit, retain, develop, reward and make people perform forms a part of talent management as well as strategic workforce planning.

While the world is busy aligning the millennial to organizational culture, the scope of employ, engage and retain is the theme and focus. This however faces the heat when it comes to being able to ascertain talent and deploy it effectively. With the huge costs on attracting and engaging manpower, Human Resource leaders are constantly trying to find innovative models that can support the organization identify talent, validate potential and thereafter construct a balanced and effective leadership pipeline. With technology and digitization, HR today deploys a number of system driven models on talent management, but the living truth is that identifying talent is more difficult compared to managing them. Most organizations walk the ‘Business Results Success Pointer’ as the first move on identifying talented manpower, but the truth is beyond this one yardstick generally used to measure.

Research suggests that success lies in having a brilliant Performance Management System and ensuring Performance Dialogue is a ‘Way Of Life’ practice in the organization, but this alone cant win it all. Brilliance of Goal Setting, and a dynamic monitoring approach needs to be well built into the processes. There a number of methods driving talent management, and many organizations adopt a tried tested method and yet it seems insufficient to hit the nail in the spot!

When you ask employees about how they feel their performance is managed by their organization, they often complain about the 3 most critical aspects…

  1. Goal setting is not a structured and well modelled exercise, and leaders themselves often are not aligned on the How Much, How, Why and By When.
  2. Competency based training is not adequate, as the dynamic demands of businesses today need the employee to have a varied set of skills and most are beyond functional and technical capabilities. The soft skills and people skills are completely misaligned.
  3. The personal development plans made are not in sync with the role and the future demands of success. The Training & Development plans are too broad and rarely inputs that impact practical performance at work.

Although these are known facts, HR teams find it challenging to get development plans well documented by Managers and Supervisors. The fault lies in the system! Performance Reviews are often an annual task it involves too many aspects getting reviewed and rated. A personal development plan needs to built on a model that is ‘Real-Time’. Managers need to keep tracking the needs on the go, and most critically employee themselves need to offer inputs on their own development needs. These can be digitized, but with the way HR digitization is happening, the decision making is becoming complex and too far fetched to yield desired results.

One of the key observations is that with the April to March business year model, HR gets Performance Review inputs around the end of the first quarter, and by the time a development plan and training is active, the first 2 quarters have already zipped by. This results in making development show its results only in the next year ahead! and this is poor as the dynamic circuit of ‘Business Change’ keeps throwing newer challenges with every year that unfolds.

Talent management is not a task of only monitoring a leadership pipeline, and to get good success with talent, we need to ensure that from the journey of the on-boarding of an employee, to the initial curve up the ladder, the leadership and the HR team both carve out a well laid plan and goal for an employee.

While the task of Talent Management has many aspects to address, one of the key aspects is carefully charting out the ‘Individual Development Plans’ for employees. The generic model of planning training aligned to skills and behaviours is inadequate to holistically support potential development for your people. People have talent, acquire skills, evolve with their capability, but to accomplish more they need to exploit their potential. Life and Business Coaching is the way to go.

Many successful organisations realize this aspect and they carefully identify trained coaches to support their executives on harnessing their potential to take their ability to next level. Over years of experience, individuals gather adequate skills to perform and excel, but as challenges of life take their contributing ability across obstacles, they grapple with their own performance standards.

Coaching is that support that leads individuals to recognise their own potential and therefore plot their goals to many notches higher on their own performance curve. The monotony of work-life, the multifaceted lives we lead in our personal and social space are all those factors that create obstacles in accomplishing our goals. Coaching can make a big difference to executives in their ability to grab the steps of the ladder to climbing higher up their own milestones of success.

Another critical aspect often ignored is the ability of managing and addressing ‘change’. With the dynamic global business environment, individuals are constantly battling with change. Change in process, change in working models, change in organizational structure, mergers, acqustions and also change in leadership. All of this is highly disruptive. Change Management is a ‘Hard Skill’ and is that critical ability that every corporate executive needs to excel at. Leading people and businesses through the turbulence that change brings in is one of the most desired capabilities of a leader.

Effective Change Management is imperative for business success, and to support this capability, all Talent Managers need to focus on building this capability with their High Potential work force.

The scope of talent management is vast. Human Capital is the most critical ingredient to business success. The need for a well channelized workforce is the most important capital that all businesses depend on. The world is rapidly changing, information is exchanged at Nano seconds today and people in the rally to success have become hungry to find mantras that can lead them to their meca of success. If you are responsible to build a competitive and effective workforce, then you need to put your ear to the ground and be vigilant to the needs of your people.

As a Behavioural Trainer & Life Coach, I have encountered several HR professionals who keep seeking innovative learning & development platforms to engage their employees on a developmental journey. The point I have noted is that most of them are eager to engage their learning audience with events that can be fascinating and innovative as event experiences, but the attention to real-time development needs is fairly ignored. People are eager to plot & plan events rather than plot & plan developmental needs!

Investing in training, coaching, and academic development are all serious initiative that need critical attention to the details of actual and real-time needs of their people. An effective model needs a practical and thoroughly enriching process in place. Sensitivity to all the links in the chain needs to be installed and implemented, and by this it means that you cant simply install great technology and systems! you need to support the process of implementation. People need to Hear>Understand>Act>Support>Use>Own the model themselves!

From Recruitment to On-boarding, and from Review & Appraising and then effective Training & Development, all the steps need to support the organization have adequate inputs on how they further identify potential and thereafter build a great succession plan. Be wary of the future, the challenge of human capital is getting complex and dynamic by each passing year…


Pramod Parkar

People Development Specialist and India Representative for Changefirst, UK

Published by

Edify Consultants

We are a People Development Solution Consulting Company. From Training Need Assessment, To Content Design, Training Tool Creation, To T&D Delivery is our core competency.

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