As introduced in the January article “Creating Sustainable Advantage: A Framework for Talent Management,” successful implementation of an organization-wide talent management strategy requires a proper foundation. Two factors are key in establishing this organizational foundation: one, aligning — and communicating — an organization’s vision, mission and strategic plan around organizational goals; and, two, recognizing management’s full commitment to the importance of human capital as its most critical asset.
Most successful organizations are well-versed in outlining a vision, defining a mission and developing the fundamentals of a strategic plan. The problem, however, lies in communicating both a vision and strategic goals within the organization — specifically, broadening these goals into unit, department and individual goals to ultimately gain organization-wide buy-in. Failure to effectively accomplish this communication undermines effectiveness and results in the inability of team members to execute the strategy in consistent, meaningful ways.
In considering whether your organization’s vision and goals are properly aligned, consider the following factors:
- Is the strategy communicated and passed through all levels of the organization? Do individual contributors understand their roles in supporting the larger strategy?
- Do the organization’s leaders and employees have the competencies necessary to effectively execute the strategies?
- Does the organization’s structure support the strategy?
- Has growth and/or expansion impacted strategic communication?
- Has attrition and/or the loss of key team members negatively impacted organizational leadership and communication?
Answering these questions will provide insight into how effectively both your vision and your strategic goals are communicated and embraced throughout your organization. This step is fundamental to building your talent program.
Unfortunately, in many organizations, issues pertaining to talent management such as workforce development, recruitment and retention have traditionally been delegated to human resource offices with minimal involvement from organizational leadership. Successfully weaving of talent strategy throughout an organization’s culture must be considered one of the senior leadership’s primary responsibilities. Additionally, front-line managers must be viewed as key to implementing talent strategy. As such, the job of “talent management” falls squarely on the shoulders of managers throughout an organization. The TM/HR practitioner or department should play the role of advisor, coach and facilitator to provide the tools, counsel and resources for the company to be successful. Managers throughout the organization must be held accountable for all aspects of a successful talent management program in order for it to be a success.
Organizations with sustainable talent management systems have a framework that is woven into the fabric of each organization. As such, the roadmap to good talent management starts with creating strategic partnerships between HR professionals and organizational leaders while aligning talent systems with strategy.
Front-line managers must be viewed as key to implementing talent strategy. As such, the job of “talent management” falls squarely on the shoulders of managers throughout an organization.