Organizations, big or small depend on their talent to achieve their goals and vision. It is therefore imperative that in order to head in the right direction, organizations not only need to have objectives, but also a clearly defined Talent Management Philosophy (TMP).
Talent Management describes an organization’s commitment to hire, manage and retain talented employees. It is this Talent Management Philosophy, which should form the guiding principle on how organizations can strategically hire, manage and retain their talent and by which all important talent decisions are made.
However, for most companies, the TMP is shaped by the organization’s management team, not as a planned strategy but in most part, quite randomly.
Should organizations let their managers act and make decisions as they think appropriate and simply hope for the best? That would be disastrous, given the highly competitive environment in which they operate. In the absence of a TMP companies may make unfit or poor hires, have high employee turnover, high absenteeism, unutilized skills or capabilities and low performance levels.
So what can companies do? There are five areas around which a company needs to define its approach:
- Performance – What level of performance is considered acceptable and what not, and what are the consequences for high or low performance.
- Accountability – How is accountability assumed for actions, decisions, and policies, at management level or lower.
- Transparency – How easy is it for employees to see what actions are performed, and how and based on what criteria are decisions being made.
- Behaviour – What kinds of behaviours are acceptable and which ones are not, and what are the consequences of the latter.
- Employee Relations – The commitment of management on how they communicate and how they facilitate and resolve issues.
These areas will be defined by the management team of the organization. Standards will need to be set and consequences will need to be discussed. For example, regarding transparency, if management decides on having a highly transparent process on promotions, this will mean that the criteria for promotions will need to be announced and management will need to be consistent with these criteria when taking such decisions.
In order for the defined TMP to be put in practice, some processes need to be created or adjusted. And these processes need to be explained to all employees along with the new TMP.
Of course, processes alone do not guarantee the realization of the new TMP if there is absence of commitment by upper management who will need to constantly safeguard that these processes are respected and followed.