Businesses are constantly seeking-out fresh talent to enrich their workforce. But sometimes your best assets are right in front of you – there may be talent that can be nurtured and harnessed within your existing pool of employees. Instead of looking outwards at talent acquisition, look inwards at the people who are already onboard and eager to develop. Here’s 12 ways you can improve your talent management strategy to help talent flourish in your business.
There may be some employees who consistently go above what is expected of them, who live and breathe the company values, who are driven, passionate and inspire others with their hard-work and dedication. These top performers are shown to be more productive; the more top performers you have working for you, the greater the overall productivity of your business will be.
The added value of your top performers is obvious, but what about those diamonds in the rough – the talent that is hidden away, waiting to be discovered? To find this out, you need to get to know your workforce. By understanding their strengths and weaknesses, but also their motivations and aspirations, you’ll flag any opportunities for development.
It’s worth bearing in mind that your best employees will also be in hot demand from other companies and recruiters, hungry to tap into passive candidates. Don’t assume employee loyalty is a given – you need to actively manage your talent within and give them something worth staying for. This isn’t always in the form of monetary incentives; supporting and enabling their career growth and progression is often more important than salary.
Your Employer Brand can help retain your best and brightest employees too. If they believe in what you are doing and why you are doing it, and align with your company values and culture, they are far more likely to stick around. If you make your hiring process rigorous and choose people who do this from the outset, you’ll have a whole company full of people who advocate your brand and values. Like breeds like – the more of these engaged employees you have, the more they will attract other likeminded people to want to work for you.
1. Create the right environment
Your company culture should embrace learning and development. Make sure employees know about any company policies surrounding training and progression, and how they go about accessing it. Include this information as part of your hiring and onboarding process too – within your staff handbook, in interviews and any new-starter materials. Ensure people at all levels and across all departments are brought up to speed on opportunities for development, not just within HR.
2. Lead by example
Training and development shouldn’t just be restricted to new starters or those in more junior roles. Set the precedent by ensuring managers within the business also participate in enrichment and education – this sets the right tone for the rest of the workforce.
3. Be a better listener
Talk to people at all levels within the business, from entry-level employees right up to senior management. Find out what works and what needs improving from their perspective. This gives you an insight into key people and departments that would benefit from additional support and training.
One of the biggest issues in any workplace is poor communication. When there’s a disconnect between different departments and teams it leads to a lack of understanding, with conflicting objectives and priorities. When you improve communication throughout a company and ensure people are aware of what’s going on in other teams, it dissolves the ‘us’ and ‘them’ mentality and makes people feel like they’re all part of the same team, all working towards a common goal. Effective and regular communication makes your employees feel appreciated, valued, and respected.
5. Give people a purpose
People want to feel like they’re making a difference to something. Having a clear vision and mission for the company helps keep people focused and feel like the work they do will actually have an impact and contribute to the business’s success.
Give credit where it’s due. Don’t be shy about letting people know when they’ve done a great job. Provide relevant, useful feedback where possible so the individual or team knows what they did well.
7. Measure performance
Give employees regular performance reviews to set individual goals and discuss their ongoing development. Set clear Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) – ensure these are quantifiable, relevant to the business, vital to achieving business goal, and communicated throughout business. This helps to build a picture of where individuals’ and the wider business’s strengths and weaknesses lie, and what is needed in order to meet business goals.
8. Present opportunities
Give people the chance to explore other career paths in the business. Create the opportunity for skill sharing and for employees to learn about other departments and roles. Encourage mobility throughout the business by encouraging promotions and advertising job vacancies internally.
Whether positive or negative, feedback is a valuable tool to help people grow. Giving recognition when someone has excelled boosts morale and makes them feel appreciated. Providing constructive feedback when things aren’t going so well helps people to improve so they feel competent and confident in their role.
Encouraging mentorship within the business helps more experienced employees to pass their skills, wisdom and business know-how on to someone else. This can help boost someone’s confidence, giving them the guidance and support they need to progress in their career.
11. Provide resources
Investing in staff training and development is well worth the value it adds to any business. Provide the necessary resources for people to be able to learn new skills, accreditations, and qualifications – whether that’s in the form of funding it, allowing people to carry out training during work hours or have time off to attend courses, or sharing information about where and how to access training.
12. Honesty and transparency
Ensure business news and events are made public to your employees. Keep a policy of being open and honest. Promote positive news and business successes to keep team morale up, but also make sure people are kept up to speed when things aren’t going so well. Keeping people well-informed about things like restructuring, redundancy, and relocation reduces the chance for gossip and people drawing their own conclusions – being transparent makes people feel like they are respected enough to be kept in the loop.
The ‘war for talent’ isn’t just about finding and hiring new people. By looking at what your current employees have to offer, you can help them to grow and develop into the most valuable asset to your business. By following these 12 tips you’ll create an environment in which people thrive, helping you to retain talented employees and reduce your hiring costs. Upskilling your employees not only benefits them by enabling career progression, but will ultimately benefit your business by the added value they bring.