Managing Human Capital without a clear and deeply considered Talent Strategy will leave your organisation and leaders uncertain about who to attract, what capabilities to develop, how to engage employees and where to focus. A great Talent Strategy does not only support the business strategy and goals it often drives the achievement of the goals and can either accelerate it or slow it down!
It is the people in the game that enable the organisation to merely play the game or to rather compete for success.
WHY IS A TALENT STRATEGY IMPORTANT?
Successful organisations have a business strategy, objectives and an overall purpose, a reason for existence – where it wants to play, what it wants to deliver and what success would look like. The people that help the organisation to deliver on and even exceed the objectives, is the talent of the organisation. The Talent Strategy should define the skills, abilities and any unique talent requirements to deliver on the business strategy, to position the business to go beyond the current plan into the future and to be able to adapt to what may lie ahead. It should define the different categories or pools of talent as well as the guidelines and measures to manage each category, the processes, tools (including systems) and plans to enable the talent model.
The people of the organisation “live and breathe” the definition of talent in the organisation – they often define the organisational culture. Each employee is either part of the engine room, or part of the top talent group or somewhere between those ends of the continuum. Each group of talent has to be defined, understood, attended to and managed. Each employee, no matter the level, represents the organisation’s brand, acts as an ambassador for the organisation and determines the success of the value proposition.
A comprehensive talent strategy with leadership buy-in and committed implementation will ensure that your organisation have the right people, with the right capabilities and potential, in the right roles, and nurtured for sustained performance.
No game can be won without a clear game plan, a deep understanding of who is playing and how will they be playing.
WHO IS INVOLVED IN FORMULATING AND MANAGING THE TALENT STRATEGY?
Who sets the direction, who takes the accountability and ensures the organisation defines a strategy and implements it? Great Talent Management requires a perfect partnership between the Human Capital Function and the Leadership of the organisation. The Human Capital function has the functional responsibility to formulate and ensure impactful facilitation of the Talent Strategy. But the talent strategy should be owned, directed and implemented together with the Leadership teams. This process requires collaboration that involves leadership roles at all levels, the Specialist Talent function responsible for driving the principles and methodologies and the HR Business Partners that ensure impactful talent management!
Great leaders are great talent magnets. They can attract, identify, nurture and direct talent.
Talent has to be managed (selected, developed, reviewed, rewarded and moved) across the borders of the organisation – globally and locally, as well as across functions and between specialist and generalist roles. The broader your vision of your talent and the wider the opportunities are for manoeuvring, the better. This is therefore a well-defined and coordinated process, managed and trusted by a committed team.
The players will choose to play their best game when directed and supported by a committed coaching team.
WHAT TO BUILD INTO A TALENT STRATEGY?
The Talent Strategy defines how people will support the business strategy, provides a definition for talent in a particular organisation, outlines the key talent objectives and the processes that will form part of the Talent Management Framework. The different considerations to include in a comprehensive talent strategy are:
A: Business Strategy and Objectives
- The business direction over the next 1,3, 5 and 10 years
- Global and local strategic objectives
- Functional strategic focus areas
- External and internal challenges, risks and opportunities
- Industry and relevant benchmarking
B: Organisational Design, Structure and Talent Requirements
- Future business and functional design, structure and talent requirements
- Current design, structure and talent strengths and opportunities
- Key jobs and capability categories required for the future
- Key competencies and behaviours required for different entities
- Performance targets and measures for success
C: Talent Methodology
- Talent strategic objective
- Talent management principles and policies
- Talent pool definitions and scope
- Talent framework
- Evaluate – Analise and Review
- Elect – Attract and Acquire
- Evolve – Develop and Grow
- Engage – Retain and Empower
- Enablers – Processes that support the talent management processes
- Systems, Data, Measures and Reporting
- Enabling processes, i.e. Performance Management
Playing the game requires more than the coaching staff and the players – they need an understanding of the rules of the game, the playing field, the equipment, the scoring system, the performance requirements and the presence of a referee. (Agility to adapt to the weather conditions on the day, will be helpful as well)
A talent strategy must remain relevant and current. Frequent reviews of the overall strategy, as well as specific initiatives and critical measures, should ensure that the talent strategy evolves with the business.