The focus throughout the corporate world, including within the realms of eLearning and training, is all about talent management.
As we’ve mentioned in previous articles, it’s no longer enough to simply focus on cutting costs. Employers are recognizing the skills gap between what they need and what’s available is their biggest downfall right now, and the solution lies in successful talent management.
The following are the basic steps to creating and implementing a talent management strategy within your organization:
- Look at your organization on a holistic level. Many times, companies lacking an effective talent management strategy also lack a clear culture that lends itself to this type of development and continual growth. You need to define your organization’s goals in the short and long-term, and also have a definitive picture of your mission and values. If you’re lacking clarity on these concepts, how can you expect your employees to feel like they’re part of a solid organization with a distinct path toward the future? At this point, you should also define job descriptions, otherwise you’ll have no way of gauging whether or not you’re hiring individuals who are a good fit for any given position.
- Assessment should be the one of the first steps of any talent management program. In order to know the talent you currently have, as well as identify any needs or gaps, you need to make a thorough assessment of your organization as it stands right now. eLearning and learning management systems (LMS) can be a valuable way to begin the initial steps of assessment, by looking at your employees on an individual basis, and then moving to a team-based assessment, and tracking what you find. This will help you remain clear and organized on just where your talent management efforts should be focused.
- Create open communication channels between employees and organizational leaders. Talent management relies on a culture that supports feedback, both on the part of employers, but also feedback that comes from employees. Employees need to be engaged in order for talent management to be beneficial, and a significant part of engagement comes from the feeling their voices are being heard. Make it known your company welcomes feedback from employees, and don’t just listen, but actually utilize what you’re hearing from your employees.
- Develop training and eLearning strategies that accomplish two goals: focus on long-term, generalized employee development, and also that focus on more specific skills and talent training. Research shows the most successful talent management programs are able to address a variety of unique needs through training and eLearning that’s approached in both a general and a specific way, and training and development should become a long-term proposition. Talent management needs to be an ongoing strategic focus in order for it to be most successfully and valuable to a company.
- Finally, when you’re beginning the creation and implementation of talent management strategies, don’t forget to create metrics that will help you define the success of your strategies. Begin tracking the impact of your talent management in a variety of ways, from job performance to engagement, and you’ll be able to see a clearer picture of what’s working and what isn’t, what talent gaps still exist, and how employees are growing and developing as a result of your strategy. Your metrics should be based on your overall company goals you outlined at the start of your talent management development, since the primary goal of managing talent is really to create a high performance workforce.
Talent management can seem like a daunting task, particularly when it’s a new concept in an organization, but it really relies on your willingness to shift your corporate culture, and make it a priority. When you’re able to do this, you’re going to save money, and also become more profitable, making talent management a worthwhile venture for businesses of any size and in any industry.
Photo credit: Flickr/CIPD
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