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WINNING OUTLOOK

Building Relationships with Critical Talent

An area for organizations to strengthen is their organizational culture, specifically to increase the focus on leadership and learning. This means not only providing formal learning opportunities but also creating an environment where leader growth and learning are encouraged informally

By Mandeep Kaur

Organizations today need to view talent as critical to their business units and overall corporate strategies and create talent experiences that encourage cultures of growth, insight, understanding, engagement and communication.

Thus, organizations need to not only focus on talent management excellence but also invest in a relationship with their talent to gather their collective intelligence and respond to that insight appropriately. To do this, these organizations implement technology systems, processes, and practices designed to ensure that both individuals and the organization communicate with and understand one another, through the following:

1. Maintain awareness of their individual talent (data analytics, succession management conversations, real-time feedback systems, etc.)

2. Communicate back to them (via blogs or social media)

3. Make changes to the organization that reflects talent needs

As a result of these efforts, employees in these organizations begin to have an engagement experience that feels at least somewhat customized for them, with the organization listening and responding to their needs.

Now specifically focusing on expectations of “Critical Talent”, let’s look at what is needed.

Critical Talent desires talent experience that reflects the types of experiences they have outside of their work roles—one that is customized, unique and seamless.

Thus, organizations need to invest in "three differentiating talent management practices” that are each critical to achieving the desired talent experience for critical talent.

One, have a systemic "two-way" dialogue with talent which enables leaders to understand and respond to employees more effectively. This can be done through

• Realtime feedback systems (e.g., pulse surveys, recognition systems)

• Leveraging blogs and social media

• Having an integrated career management / talent acquisition system that captures information on employee skills and suggests new job opportunities

Two, organizations need to have HR technology systems that improve their managers’ ability to respond to key talent. These systems should not only provide a basic method of recording information but also give managers insights that help them manage talent more effectively. Further, organizations could improve the quality and breadth of succession management conversations so managers have a qualitative (in addition to a quantitative) understanding of talent that enables them to change their management approach appropriately.

Three, an area for organizations to strengthen is their organizational culture, specifically to increase the focus on leadership and learning. This means not only providing formal learning opportunities but also creating an environment where leader growth and learning are encouraged informally. Specifically:

- Integrating leadership development with other talent management activities.

- Creating an environment where learning is encouraged, enabled by senior leader role modeling and reinforcing desired behaviors.

Summarizing, critical talent is the life force of an organization which gives businesses the confidence to act. Given the fiercely contested nature of today’s talent marketplace, those organizations that successfully build the capability to have relationships with their critical talent put themselves at a significant advantage over their competition. These efforts would help organizations attract and retain talent more effectively and deliver stronger business and talent outcomes.

 

Mandeep Kaur
Talent Management/Leadership Development Leader
IBM

* Mandeep Kaur is currently Talent Management/Leadership Development Leader at IBM. Human Resources leader with over twenty years of diverse experience in varied sectors and geographies.

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