Futureproofing your talent management strategy: A guide for endurance and sustainability in the workplace

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A new workforce has emerged and it is time for the workplace to catch up. As the workplace continues to evolve, both on the human and technological side, the need for an adequate and unified Talent Management System (TMS) has become increasingly clear.

Hybrid work is here to stay! According to a recent survey by McKinsey, 58% Americans reported having the opportunity to work from home at least once a week, and when given the choice to work flexibly, 87% percent said they will take it. While remote work has proven to benefit both workers and employers, additional long-lasting trends emerged, impacting the workforce landscape, such as higher employee turnover and “quiet quitting,” to name a few.  

And if that wasn’t enough, humans have officially entered the era of the knowledge economy.

In this new reality, in order to efficiently manage workers while keeping them productive and engaged, organizations began changing their approaches and course correct their workforce strategies, as well as adopting a wide range of HR-related technologies.    

Although digitalization of processes is critical for organizations to thrive in the face of rapid change, businesses quickly learned that they need a thoughtful and cohesive technological strategy and an infrastructure that can support it.

What is talent management and why is it so important?

In basic terms, talent management refers to the strategies and processes used by organizations to identify, attract, develop, and retain a skilled workforce. The goal of talent management is to ensure that organizations have the right people with the right skills and abilities to achieve their objectives and succeed in a competitive environment.

Talent management typically includes activities such as recruitment, selection, training and development, performance management, succession planning, and retention. It involves identifying individuals with the potential to become future leaders within the organization, providing them with opportunities for growth and development, and creating a supportive work environment that encourages high performance and career advancement.

Effective talent management can help organizations improve productivity, reduce turnover, and build a strong employer brand. It can also help to create a positive workplace culture where employees feel valued and motivated to perform at their best.

It goes even further than that; there are 3 key elements in talent management that are important to understand when rethinking an organization’s entire talent strategy, especially when it comes to large and complex organizations that are highly regulated.

3 Key elements of talent management

1. Alignment with business goals

Aligning the organization's talent management approach with the overall business strategy is key for achieving and exceeding both short- and long-term goals. It involves identifying the main competencies and skills needed to achieve the organization's strategic objectives, and then developing and deploying talent management practices to acquire, develop, and retain the talent needed to achieve those objectives.  

For example, if an organization's strategy involves expanding into new markets, its talent management practices may need to focus on recruiting individuals with expertise in those markets, providing training and development to help employees acquire the necessary skills, and creating a culture that encourages innovation and risk-taking.  

Aligning talent management with strategy requires a holistic approach that considers the organization's long-term goals, its current and future talent needs, and the external factors that may impact its ability to attract and retain top talent. This may involve developing a talent management plan that integrates with the organization's overall strategic plan, identifying key performance indicators to measure the effectiveness of talent management practices, and regularly reviewing and adjusting talent management strategies to ensure alignment with changing business needs.

2. Establishing internal consistency

When it comes to talent management, consistency is critical. It refers to the degree to which an organization's talent management practices are aligned and consistent with one another. This means that there is coherence and compatibility among the various talent management activities, such as recruitment, selection, performance management, training and development, and succession planning.

Internal consistency is important because it ensures that talent management practices are integrated and support one another, rather than working at cross purposes or creating conflicts.  

For example, if an organization has a performance management system that emphasizes individual performance, but a training and development program that focuses on team-based skills, this may create confusion and inconsistency among employees and managers.

To ensure consistency in talent management, organizations should establish clear policies and procedures for each talent management activity and ensure that these policies and procedures are communicated and understood by all employees and stakeholders. They should also regularly review and evaluate talent management practices to identify any areas of inconsistency or misalignment and adjust as needed to ensure that all activities support the organization's overall goals and objectives.

3. Creating a strong culture

Consistency begins with culture. An employee focused culture in an organization is determined by the degree to which an organization's talent management practices and priorities are aligned with and are supported by its organizational culture. In other words, it refers to the extent to which talent management practices are integrated into the norms, values, and beliefs of the organization.  

For talent management to be culturally embedded, it must be aligned with the organization's mission, vision, and values. This means that the organization's talent management practices must reflect its commitment to developing and retaining top talent, and that employees and their managers must view talent management as a critical component of the organization's success.  

Culture can help to ensure the sustainability and effectiveness of talent management practices over the long term. When talent management is deeply embedded in an organization's culture, it becomes a natural part of the way things are done, and employees are more likely to buy into talent management practices and see the value in investing in their own development.

Every organization, being unique in its own right, has different needs and ways of operating, therefore requiring tailored strategies that will address those needs, directly and precisely. There are many ways to go about developing an effective talent management strategy, many of which are addressed here.

The building blocks of a talent management strategy

Most elements of talent management today are managed by a growing variety of apps and other comprehensive technological solutions. Investing in digital platforms, tools, and processes that can help organizations better manage and develop their talent is the only way organizations will be able to remain productive and thrive in the near future. Talent management technologies typically include a variety of features that can help organizations to effectively manage their talent pool, regardless of where they are, who they are, the nature of their work and their skill level. But for all these technologies to truly be effective, we must always prioritize the people they were intended to serve in the first place. Laid out below are the key elements to consider when designing a comprehensive futureproof talent management strategy.

Key technology features of talent management technologies:

Talent Management System (TMS):

The TMS is a cloud-based software platform designed to help organizations manage their workforce and talent strategies. It typically includes a suite of modules for recruiting, onboarding, performance management, learning and development, succession planning, and other related HR functions.

Applicant Tracking System (ATS):

ATS is used to streamline the recruitment process and improve the efficiency of hiring by automating the tracking of candidates throughout the recruitment process.

Performance Management System (PMS):

PMS is used to assess and manage employee performance, set goals, provide feedback and enable continuous development.

Learning Management System (LMS):

LMS is used to deliver and manage training and development programs to employees.

Succession Planning:

Succession planning involves identifying and developing internal talent to fill key roles and positions within the organization.

Compensation Management:

Compensation management software helps organizations to manage compensation plans, including salaries, bonuses, and benefits, and to ensure they are competitive within the industry.

Analytics and Reporting:

Talent management systems include data analytics and reporting features that enable organizations to monitor and evaluate their talent management strategies and outcomes.

Employee Self-Service (ESS):

ESS allows employees to manage their personal information, view their performance metrics, request time off, and access training and development resources.

HR Analytics and Insights:

HR analytics provides real-time insights into key HR metrics, such as employee engagement, turnover rates, and workforce demographics, which can help organizations to make data-driven decisions about their talent management strategies.

By investing in digital solutions in talent management, organizations can improve their ability to attract, develop, and retain top talent, while also increasing efficiency and reducing costs. Digital tools and platforms can enable organizations to manage talent more effectively, while also creating a more engaging and flexible work environment for employees.

Read Case Study: Maximizing Productivity by Minimizing Complexity

Offer remote flexibility  

Leaning into remote work is the process of embracing remote work as a core part of an organization's work culture, and actively seeking to support and optimize remote work practices. This involves implementing policies, processes, and tools that enable employees to work effectively and efficiently from remote locations.  

With the rise of digital technologies, remote work has become increasingly popular in recent years, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many organizations have found that remote work can offer a range of benefits, including increased productivity, reduced costs, and improved work-life balance for employees.

Find out how you can lean into remote work

Invest in learning and development

Investing in learning and development refers to the process of providing employees with opportunities to acquire new skills, knowledge, and experience that can help them improve their performance, advance their careers, and contribute to organizational success. This involves providing resources, tools, and training programs that support ongoing learning and development.  

A good starting point for developing your L&D strategy includes the following:  

Conducting a skills assessment:

Organizations can assess the skills and knowledge required for success in different roles and identify any gaps or areas for improvement. This can help to inform the design of learning and development programs.  

Creating a learning and development plan:

Based on the results of the skills assessment, organizations can create a learning and development plan that outlines the training and development activities that employees will participate in to acquire the necessary skills and knowledge.  

Providing training and development opportunities:

Organizations can provide a range of training and development opportunities, such as classroom training, e-learning courses, coaching and mentoring programs, and on-the-job training.  

Measuring the impact of learning and development:

To evaluate the effectiveness of learning and development programs, organizations can measure the impact on employee performance, productivity, and engagement, as well as the return on investment.

By investing in learning and development, organizations can help employees to acquire new skills, increase their knowledge, and stay up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies in their field. This can help to increase employee engagement, retention, and productivity, while also contributing to overall business success. Additionally, investing in learning and development can help organizations to build a culture of continuous learning, which can promote innovation and agility.

The 9 stats you need to know to understand L&D

Focus on the employee user experience    

Focusing on the employee means also focusing on their experience in order to create an environment in which employees feel valued, supported, and engaged. This equally applies to their access to resources and technological useability as the main users.  

The employee user experience (UX) is becoming increasingly important in today's workplace. Here are some reasons why:

  • Increased productivity: When HR-related technologies are designed with a focus on employee UX, they can be more intuitive, user-friendly, and efficient. This can help employees to complete tasks more quickly and accurately, increasing their productivity.
  • Improved engagement: HR-related technologies that are easy to use and engaging can help to increase employee engagement. When employees have a positive experience using these tools, they are more likely to use them regularly and engage with the HR processes that they support.
  • Reduced errors: HR-related technologies that are user-friendly and intuitive can help to reduce errors and ensure that data is entered correctly. This can save time and reduce the likelihood of costly mistakes.
  • Enhanced data accuracy: When employees find HR-related technologies easy to use, they are more likely to enter data accurately and completely. This can help to ensure that HR data is accurate and up-to-date, which is essential for effective HR management.
  • Increased adoption: When HR-related technologies are designed with employee UX in mind, they are more likely to be adopted and used regularly. This can help to ensure that the organization's investment in these tools is maximized and that the HR processes they support are streamlined and effective.

Overall, the employee UX in the workplace is essential for ensuring that these tools are effective, efficient, and engaging for employees. By prioritizing employee UX, organizations can increase productivity, reduce errors, enhance data accuracy, and improve overall HR management.

Recruit effectively

Recruiting excellent candidates quickly can be challenging, but there are several strategies that organizations can use to streamline the process and attract top talent in a timely manner:

  • Leverage technology: Technology can be a powerful tool for streamlining the recruiting process. This can include using applicant tracking systems to manage resumes, leveraging social media and online job boards to reach a wider audience, and using video interviewing to conduct initial screenings.
  • Use employee referrals: Employee referrals can be a valuable source of high-quality candidates. Organizations can encourage their employees to refer qualified candidates by offering incentives such as bonuses or other rewards.
  • Attend job fairs and events: Attending job fairs and industry events can be a great way to connect with potential candidates and promote the organization's brand. These events provide an opportunity to network with candidates and to showcase the organization's culture and values.
  • Streamline the application process: Simplifying the application process can help to attract more candidates and reduce drop-off rates. Organizations can achieve this by minimizing the number of required fields, using a mobile-friendly application process, and providing clear and concise job descriptions.
  • Move quickly: Candidates who are in high demand are likely to receive multiple job offers, so organizations need to move quickly to secure top talent. This includes promptly scheduling interviews, providing timely feedback, and making job offers as soon as possible.

By leveraging technology, using employee referrals, attending job fairs, streamlining the application process, and moving quickly, organizations can attract and recruit excellent candidates quickly and efficiently.

Keep diversity, equity and inclusion front-of-mind

Promoting fairness and equity in talent development is critical to building a diverse and inclusive workplace where all employees have equal access to opportunities for growth and advancement.    

Strategies for promoting fairness and equity in the workplace:

  • Establish clear criteria and metrics: Organizations should establish clear criteria and metrics for evaluating employee performance and potential. This can help to ensure that all employees are evaluated fairly and objectively, based on their skills and abilities.
  • Provide equal access to development opportunities: Organizations should provide equal access to development opportunities, such as training, mentorship, and coaching, to all employees. This can help to ensure that everyone has the support they need to grow and develop their skills, regardless of their background or identity.
  • Ensure diverse representation in talent development: Organizations should ensure that diverse voices and perspectives are represented in talent development programs and initiatives. This can help to ensure that everyone's needs are taken into account and that biases are not perpetuated.
  • Encourage transparency and feedback: Organizations should encourage transparency and feedback in talent development processes. This can help to ensure that employees understand how decisions are being made and that they have a voice in the process.
  • Monitor and address disparities: Organizations should monitor talent development processes to identify any disparities or inequities and take action to address them. This can include conducting regular diversity and inclusion assessments, reviewing promotion and advancement rates, and addressing any pay disparities.

By promoting fairness and equity in talent development, organizations can create a more inclusive workplace where all employees can reach their full potential. This can help to improve employee engagement, retention, and overall organizational performance.

Empower employees

Empowering employees is an essential element in building a strong and engaged workforce. 

Strategies for empowering your employees:

  • Provide autonomy: Employees feel empowered when they are given the autonomy to make decisions and take ownership of their work. Encourage employees to take the lead on projects, make decisions, and offer suggestions for improvements.
  • Offer growth opportunities: Empower employees by offering them opportunities for growth and development. This can include training, mentorship, and coaching, as well as opportunities to take on new projects or responsibilities.
  • Foster collaboration and communication: Encourage collaboration and open communication among employees. This can help to build a sense of community and support, as well as help employees feel more connected to the organization's goals and objectives.
  • Recognize and reward good work: Recognize and reward employees for their contributions and achievements. This can include verbal recognition, public acknowledgement, and financial or non-financial rewards.
  • Listen to feedback: Empower employees by actively listening to their feedback and suggestions. This can help to build trust and respect among employees, as well as help the organization identify areas for improvement.
  • Lead by example: Leaders should model the behaviors they want to see in their employees. This includes being transparent, communicative, collaborative, and open to feedback.

By empowering employees, organizations can create a more engaged, motivated, and productive workforce. This can lead to improved organizational performance, increased employee satisfaction and retention, and a stronger employer brand.

Sustainability, a strategy and a goal

Retaining talent is no easy feat, especially while still being able to adapt to changes in the workforce.

Here are some steps an organization can take to develop a plan for sustained turnover rates in talent management:

  • Understand the reasons for turnover: It is important for organizations to understand why employees leave their jobs. By analyzing exit interviews and conducting surveys, the organization can identify the key drivers of turnover and develop strategies to address those issues.
  • Focus on employee engagement: Engaged employees are less likely to leave their jobs. The organization can develop strategies to improve employee engagement, such as offering career development opportunities, recognizing and rewarding employee achievements, and creating a positive work environment.
  • Develop a retention strategy: Once the organization understands the reasons for turnover and has identified areas for improvement, it can develop a retention strategy. This strategy should include initiatives to retain key talent, such as mentoring programs, career development plans, and competitive compensation and benefits packages.
  • Monitor turnover rates: It is important for the organization to track its turnover rates over time to determine the effectiveness of its retention strategies. If turnover rates remain high, the organization may need to adjust its strategies and initiatives.
  • Build a talent pipeline: To ensure that the organization has a steady supply of talent, it is important to build a talent pipeline. This can include initiatives to attract and recruit new talent, as well as programs to develop and promote existing employees.
  • Foster a culture of continuous improvement: Finally, the organization should foster a culture of continuous improvement, where it is constantly reviewing and refining its talent management strategies to ensure they remain effective over time.
  • Upskilling, the ultimate win-win: Upskilling, reskilling, any type of skill attainment opportunity, is more than just the right thing to do for people; the future of work as we know it depends on it. As top talent becomes scarce and the world around us changes every day at a breakneck speed, we need to provide our workers with all the tools they need to keep up, adapt and grow.  

By following these steps, an organization can develop a plan for sustained turnover rates in talent management, which will help it retain its key talent while still being able to adapt to changes in the workforce.

Learn how the healthcare industry’s approaches talent management

The bottom line

Understanding the “Whats”, the “Whys” and the “Hows” of talent management are crucial when planning an effective talent management strategy. Organizations today are entering a new era defined by knowledge and speed, and they can’t afford to be left behind. They need to be thoughtful, humane, forward-looking and creative - and can easily achieve it with a partner like Learnsoft.

Ready to see how Learnsoft can help meet your talent management needs? Schedule a demo today.

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