Talent Management – Sustenance

Most of us are always relieved when completing a project.  While that is deserving of praise, I will not consider the project completed unless the value that came out of that project can continue to be present or even increase. There should be a design-in feature in the project phase to ensure sustenance after the project ends.

Sustenance is about continuity of intentions set out when a program has started.  In the context of talent management, the focus is on getting talents into the organization that will keep achieving business results for its continual revenue growth and profitability.  There must be programs in place to sustain these achievements, as it is not going to happen by chance.

Talents are free to go anywhere they want because they can.  If they stay, there has to be something that the company has to offer (and can continue to offer) that meets his expectations.  The company therefore needs to put in place several programs that will keep the talent engaged continually.  There may be many permutations of programs but these two are critical for sustenance:

(1)  An effective rewards program that is aligned with the business strategy. It has to be simple and yet holistic. All employees understand the program and know what results are needed in order to achieve payout.  When implementing such a program, the company must ensure that the right rewards goes to the right person at the right time for the right amount that measures up to the right results he has achieved.

(2)  A career development program that offers opportunities for the talent to grow in the company.  This growth need not be vertically upward (promotions within his own department), but can be horizontally (different competence development at the same job level) and diagonally (cross-department at same level or promotion).

Companies may put in place several activities to support each of the above.  For instance on rewards program: The company may use the balanced scorecard to align the business strategy across the organization.  Key performance indicators can be set up in terms of financial, customer, process and competence perspectives. Normal and stretched targets can be set to differentiate rewards payout and can also offer as checkpoints to the organization on where the organization is heading (or not heading).  There may be a performance appraisal scheme with a forced rating distribution to assist the organization to review salary.  There will also be reviews on effectiveness of the company’s compensation and benefits plan based on company’s needs.

Activities that are linked to career development programs can be talent mobility.  Talents move internally and externally, the need for a succession planning process is indispensable.  Mapping out who is ready and when will one be ready to take on the level equal or above him helps the company prepare for situations when key levels are vacant.  Without knowing where the potential gaps are, the company cannot prepare others to fill in those gaps.  Active discussions by management on what to do about these gaps reduce risks to the company.  Promotions, transfer of resources, acquisitions of talents, re-training of resources and possibly redundancies may be outcome of such discussions.

I hope I have given you a concise understanding on talent management and where you should focus your activities to make it effective. Will hope to write more on some of the activities above eventually in this blog.  Appreciate your patience and thank you for following my articles.

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