Is your organization delivering on its strategic objectives? If the answer to this question is no, have you considered whether your talent is aligned to your organization’s strategy? In today’s competitive business climate, many leaders fail to realize that people are the key driver to business success. While leaders fear the so-called “talent shortage,” they often overlook the importance of developing talent from within to be aligned with the organization’s strategic mission.
Why is talent development so important?
Whether you reside within the provider, pharmaceutical, or payer sector your organization is, no doubt, being impacted by the dramatic changes taking place within our industry. Disruption caused by the paradigm shift from volume to value, the consumer movement, transparency in quality and pricing, and new competitors have forced leaders to redefine their strategy. However, more often than not, well-intentioned companies treat their talent strategy as an afterthought and are therefore, unable to deliver on their objectives and position their organizations for long-term viability and success.
Aligning talent to the organization’s strategy is critical to bolster an organization’s performance. A structured talent strategy ultimately drives recruitment, succession planning, training and development, performance management, as well as the overall organizational culture. Investing in talent management and the systems and processes that support employee growth and recognition enables organizations to motivate their employees to deliver and reach their greatest potential, which in turn results in bottom-line business success. Furthermore, having a strong, prepared, and dedicated workforce enables organizations to face our volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous environment (VUCA) with courage and resiliency.
Talent Management Best Practices
First things first – Begin with a clear understanding of your organization’s mission, goals, strategy and direction, and then determine how to align your talent to be consistent with these objectives. An understanding of where your organization currently stands and where it seeks to go will set the stage for all future development decisions. Ask yourself:
- Where do we see the organization heading and what talent will be essential to achieve these goals?
- What skills and competencies are important to support our organizational strategy?
- Which individuals on our workforce can be developed into our organization’s future leaders?
- What are the gaps between our current talent strategy and those needed to drive performance?
2/Create Success Profiles
Success profiles are a key component of talent development as they provide a standard by which to assess and develop your talent. Success profiles define exactly what is needed to succeed in a given role. Start by developing a future-focused model that identifies necessary skills and experiences needed to meet the demands of the role, as well as leadership expectations and behavioral competencies critical for success in the position.
3/Know the Difference Between Potential, Performance, and Readiness
While past performance is a good indicator of future success, it is not the only important factor to consider when assessing the strength of your talent pool. First, it’s important to know how to identify whether an employee has the potential to develop into a successful leader, and then provide him/her with essential learning experiences to build leadership competencies such as didactic training, coaching and mentoring, and on-the-job learning experiences.
To ensure the effectiveness of your talent strategy, periodically assess how your organization is doing at aligning talent to organizational strategy. Frequent assessment will allow you to track your organization’s progress and fix any road bumps along the way. Sample assessment questions include: Has performance improved? Which changes have worked, and what needs further improvement? Are your people in the right jobs?
The process of linking your talent strategy to your organization’s strategy takes time and effort. However, the results are well worth the effort. In a tough business climate, a strong workforce is essential to stay ahead of the curve. Having the right people in the right roles at the right time is critically important to strengthen your talent pool, increase your organization’s bottom-line performance, and meet future goals.
Next month we will introduce our new bi-monthly video blog series to complement our bi-monthly themed articles. The focus of our video case studies will be to provide a “how to” for aligning talent strategy to business strategy for exceptional organizational performance.