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Words on Wise Management

Time for a change in 2019: talent management resolution

January 24, 2019

2018 has come to a close, and a new year is upon us. As the new year begins, it’s a perfect time to re­flect and reassess personally and professionally. Businesses use strategic planning and budgets to re­flect that same thinking at an enterprise level. How­ever, all too often those choices are rushed—and even forced—based on constraints and lack of time. More importantly, people tend to be considered last on the list.

This year, take the time as leaders and HR profes­sionals to reflect on your role and your department’s role when it comes to your organization’s people. Think of it as a talent management resolution (TMR).

Here are seven trends that affect people and should influence your TMR.

  1. Embrace a blended workforce. With low un­employment, we need to find the right skill set for work assignments. Contract employees may have more specialized skills. Women who left the work­force to raise families are looking to come back. Re­tirees are living longer and many want to work again. Your workforce has an opportunity to be more diverse than ever. Are you up for it?
  2. Keep employees engaged in an effective environment. Technology can cut costs or create ef­ficiencies. The only problem is it can also alienate em­ployees and weaken relationships. Use technology to strengthen relationships, include remote workers, and improve collaboration. Engagement is about relation­ships and connections, not efficiencies.
  3. Create a more positive experience for candi­dates from sourcing to onboarding. Employee expe­rience is all the rage—and for good reason. It seems to take on importance, however, after an employee gets settled. We must remember the experience starts be­fore they ever take the job. Modernize your recruit­ment systems and efforts to come across as relevant. Do what hardly any employers do—offer considerate, genuine feedback along the way. Demonstrate con­fidence in new hires, and make it a priority to give them a quick win or success when they first begin.

Last, truly onboard rather than orient. Paper-pushing orientations do little and are passive and boring. The onboarding process should include an ongoing jour­ney that integrates new hires into the way the com­pany works and how you like to get things done.

  1. Use the appropriate training format. Online learning has its place, and so does face-to-face learn­ing. The trend shouldn’t be to move training online but rather to find the best way to achieve our goal— to create better, more powerful learning experiences for employees that have a real effect on the business. Sometimes real networking is needed and helpful. If you do move to online learning or collaborative online training experiences, make it good.
  2. Refocus your attention on hiring for atti­tudes and behaviors rather than qualifications. We typically hire for expertise, and then we fire because of attitude, poor cultural fit, and soft skills. Remem­ber to use the hiring process to build your company brand, and make sure the company’s values and ethos are advertised in the public domain. Most important, determine how your organization can screen for cul­tural fit as well as job skills.
  3. Have a plan to keep your very best. Reten­tion is key again with our current low unemploy­ment rates. Managers need to understand why people stay, why they leave, and the influence they have over those factors. Creating a “stay plan” that determines the risk of potential departure on your team and the ability to address those risks early can have a signifi­cant bottom-line impact.
  4. Business has gotten tougher, and we need to as well. Resilience or mental toughness has become a key survival skill in this new and disruptive world. To what degree have we created that skill set in our workforce? The companies that have will surpass those that have not.

What will your talent management resolution be?