Organizations have a variety of talent management tools and resources at their disposal including such things as: robust talent management software platforms, automated nine-box grids, and dynamic succession plans. However, in the absence of the solid execution of consistent talent management practices, these tools become largely ineffective.
Whether you have a fancy talent management system or not, the HR leader needs to focus on these five factors for sound execution:
1. Communication—Link the talent management initiative to the business drivers, and share a vision that the organization can rally around. Set expectations for what will happen in the organization.
2. Accountability—Provide role clarity so that each individual in the talent management initiative knows what is expected of them.
3. Skill— Develop the coaching skills of your line managers and provide mentors for support.
4. Alignment— Align talent management initiatives to the business drivers. Use solid processes to identify high potentials, to link to performance management, and to focus on development that really changes behavior.
5. Measurement—HR leaders can’t manage what they don’t measure. Lack of measurement creates tension. Objectives need to be clear to help execute a talent strategy. The most effective measurements help quantify what’s working in talent management, why those initiatives are effective, and what impact they have on the organization’s business results.
Finally, remember that software does not equal talent management. Software vendors typically claim that a piece of software can provide a full talent management system. That claim is a stretch at best.
Talent management software systems are only valuable in support of both a good plan and solid execution. The right tools clear the path for smoother execution and may indeed improve the end product. But tools mean nothing without the right expertise, the right processes, the right measurement, and the right follow-through behind them.
Should you have any questions regarding talent management or any other Learn and GO topic, please call me at 919-325-4113.
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