When a person joins a company, what exactly attracts him there? Similarly, when an employer recruits a person into the company, what was it that was in the mind of the employer for that person? For both employer and employee, has that changed over time? Will this change result in both building up dissatisfaction and end up in a separation or will it grow stronger and bind both? That’s the alignment issue in talent management that is important to address on an ongoing basis.
During the selection process, the interview questions may address alignment issues in a superficial way but is subjected to different interpretations by both employer and employee. As the work partnership continues, they will then start to see the subtle differences and hopefully address them if it poses a risk to a break in work- relationship.
When I start out my paper-folding model, I need to ensure that my starting point is correct. If it’s a square paper, then it better be a square with all sides equal and at right angles to each other. If each side of the paper has a different colour, then which side faces the top at the start of the folding instruction. When I do a fold, the fold-line has got to be in the correct place. Did I follow the instructions correctly to use a mountain fold or a valley fold, etc. So with a new hire, even with the right selection process, there is a need for both the talent and the management to have a few sessions to be aligned on several things. The approach should be simple and most importantly, sincere and with passion to want to make this relationship work out for the good of the company (and I emphasize, not just for the department).
A good start in the alignment stage is to have an orientation of the company’s business, its vision, mission and goals. Introduce the various business processes of the company and highlight the key interfaces that connect these processes. Each business process should define what it does and does not do as specific as possible, especially when it comes to its goals. Communicating each business process’ targets and aligning them across the company will then ensure better engagement across function groups. Giving an overview of the company’s performance, the customer’s feedback, the supplier’s partnership and the company culture will help the talent attune his mindset on what values he can add in the company. With clarity and alignment of values, the talent will then be able to set out the right activities accordingly. A good approach to do all these is to use the balanced scorecard and have a systematic way of communicating and reviewing them across the organization.
It is also important for the manager to have a regular bilateral discussion (1-1) with his staff. This meeting should not be about work as that is already frequently done through meetings and other daily work interactions. The 1-1 meetings should focus on the heart issues. What keeps the talent awake? What makes him challenged or disheartened? What are his views concerning the company’s direction or leadership? Where does he see his career developing? Willingness to spend quality time with the talent is an important step to have successful alignment.
May this Christmas holiday help you align yourself to a better management of your talent. God bless you and may joy and peace richly be with you!