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Utilizing your employee talents effectively

Could your business be wasting its talent? It’s all too common for employees to fit inside predetermined boxes, without being given the chance to break free and truly shine. Utilizing your employee strengths to their full advantage starts with a strong talent management strategy. Here’s what you need to know.

Talent management definition

A term used in HR, the talent management definition refers to the process of recruiting, onboarding, and managing the development of each employee. It not only focuses on attracting top-tier talent, but also looks at how to best help existing employees thrive in your company. HR talent management goes a step beyond the hiring process to look for new ways to boost employee engagement. This might include everything from continuing education to company culture.

The benefits of internal talent management

When your company is in need of more talent, you have the option of either hiring external candidates or developing internal candidates. In many cases, the second option will be the better one because you’ll already have access to an employee who understands your organization’s needs.

It’s often better to promote from within from a financial perspective as well, as continual turnover costs more than an existing salary. External hires not only have higher turnover, but they take longer to adapt to your business activities. With an internal hire, you already know you have a good fit. Plus, it’s motivating for other employees to see a colleague promoted internally, boosting retention rates.

How to develop a talent management strategy

There are many ways to approach the talent management process. When you’re managing with an eye toward internal growth, here’s what to consider.

1. Start at the beginning

You won’t have the right talent to manage unless you refine your hiring process. This means looking for candidates who go beyond merely ticking all the boxes on their resumes. They should also be a good fit for your company culture, ideally thinking in the long term. Vision and personality go a long way. Remember that skills can be taught, but enthusiasm can’t.

2. Play to employee strengths

Part of the talent management process is ensuring that every employee is in the best possible position. If someone’s extremely personable, put them in a client-facing role. If another is great with managing complicated spreadsheets, assign them to a bookkeeping or inventory management role.

3. Develop and nurture talent

Many companies choose to implement continuing education and development as part of a talent management strategy. But where they go astray is tracking this progression. Make sure that each employee has their own file in an organized system, which not only includes their original resume, but also all of the completed professional certifications and training courses since they started at the company. As talent grows with new skills and interests, their roles might change accordingly.

4. Engage in active goal setting

Take the time to get to know each team member. Along with monitoring performance appraisals, you should also be discussing short and long-term goals in life. This will help you work out a more personalized rewards system to advance them within the company. When individuals feel they are listened to, it motivates them to do their best. You can then move on to the next step of the talent management process, which is inviting them to take on new responsibilities within your organization.

5. Hold regular events

Get the full team together regularly with competitions, seminars, and other events. Whether you’re developing a new logo or brainstorming product features, ask for input from employees outside of the usual departments. This is one of the best ways to uncover those hidden talents that can take an employee to the next level. At the same time, people who come into the frontlines of work every day often have unique perspectives that you might not see from a managerial perspective.

With a combination of inclusive thinking and active rewards, you can formulate an entirely new talent management strategy to help employees thrive.

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