Before we talk about how you can overcome obstacles often associated with talent management, with your permision, I want to briefly share some findings from a recent comprehensive business survey conducted by Harvard Business School's Boris Groysberg and Deborah Bell in partnership with WomenCorporateDirectors and Heidrick & Struggles.
They asked board members globally to rate their organizations' performance in these talent management dimensions: attracting top talent; assessing talent; hiring top talent; developing talent; rewarding talent; retaining talent; firing; aligning talent strategy with business strategy; and leveraging diversity in their workforce.
Here's an excerpt from their findings: "What did they say was their biggest concern? Not competitive threats. Not rising costs. Not innovation, risk management, technology, debt, or the regulatory environment. Corporate directors identified talent management as their single greatest strategic challenge."
According to The Aberdeen Group's Human Capital Management Trends 2013, most organizations today are unclear about the future of the economy and its impact on organizational growth. This uncertainty forces them to make leaner and smarter decisions...particularly, around talent.
Despite the uncertainty....and, in fact, because of it...business professionals are in agreement: strategic talent management is vital!
Making sure you have the best talent management in place helps to ensure that your business survives throughout any economic environment.
Another recent Aberdeen report found that 55 percent of organizations believe HR has become more strategic, but that said today's greatest obstacles are those preventing HR from aligning talent and workplace initiatives with overall business initiatives. These top obstacles include:
- Lack of HR leadership
- Lack of support among business leaders
- Lack of buy-in from senior management
Often, the underlying cause of these obstacles is a disconnect between HR and the overall organization. To overcome them, let's identify best practices to make talent management more strategic and close the gap between HR and the rest of the organization:
- Align goals and objectives: To have an effective and strategic talent management program, HR must align talent management initiatives and practices with overall business objectives. For sure, strategic talent management is a two-way street, so it's important for business leaders to be involved, too.
- Identify gaps between the talent supply and demand: This has been a new trend in the talent management discipline. Top organizations are beginning to look for gaps between their workplace supply and business demands to ensure all business requirements are met efficiently. To identify these gaps, organizations are using skill gap analysis and scenario planning, which will keep HR prepared for all current and future business needs.
- Foster a culture of employee engagement: I can't say it enough...employee engagement is incredibly important in all aspects of business and impacts the success of your employees, teams, leaders and the organization as a whole. Keeping employees engaged and motivated is a must in today's economy, but isn't always easy if you're operating in the dark. You must get some deep, objective insight on the climate and what influences engagement in your workforce. Collecting definitive data that measures how much your employees connect to their work and feel committed to your organization and its goals is a significant first step. By combining these results with employee data that reveals satisfaction with their managers and with the organization overall, you will have the intelligence you need to continue and improve your engagement program.
It is heartening that more and more organizations are engaging in dialogue and implementation around their talent management processes and which strategies are the greatest predictors of success. Talent management has many elements. Considering a few fundamental questions is the beginning of a well-crafted strategic talent management plan. Let's begin with: how do you define and measure talent?