How to identify talent in an organization? Workforce management is a consideration of many parts for any business. It goes beyond scheduling and how to best leverage your employees – including their potential. Identifying and developing top talent is a significant step toward workforce efficiency as you position your best assets and people in positions and paths that would work best.
Managing your workforce should involve understanding who the talent in your organization is – and what their potential is. To achieve the most practical workforce efficiency, it would make sense to see where your assets are and then figure out how to support them.
There are, of course, any number of ways to assess employees for their potential, but often it will be dictated by what the company does and what is most needed. However, creating a talent development program that all employees can use may be the best option.
When it comes to developing talent within an organization, giving every member of an organization a chance to build these skills is a wise move. Creating a training system that works within all levels to help identify potential superstars will do much of the work for you in identifying your most talented assets.
With such a system in place, by the time these talented employees are identified, they are already involved in talent development. But how can you take this further, and what sort of elements make for a talent-building program?
Set Clear Objectives
Objectives are an element of workforce efficiency. They serve as a guiding principle for decisions at all business levels. How well do your company’s plans to develop talent account for the overall objectives of the company? These two things should be closely linked.
For example, if your company is transitioning from products to a service-based economy, your employees should begin training in skill sets involved with service-based markets. After all, According to the UCLA Anderson Review, “the products and service businesses of the information economy make up about 62% of U.S. GNP as of 2017, up from about 46% in 1967.” Subscription or service-based duties would encounter a separate skill set from marketing one-and-done purchases – rapidly becoming a reality for many employers.
Rethink Skill Sets
When an employee is hired, they may have experiences and skills not utilized in their current position. Still, they can be used as the company’s objectives change, or market forces dictate. Taking a periodic inventory of employees’ skill sets outside of what is expected of the current positions is a vital step toward building workforce efficiency, as businesses must pivot for various reasons. Being an internal resource, employees may offer a wealth of untapped potential for transitions to new avenues.
Upskilling initiatives are also a great way to develop talent. As work grows more decentralized across entire industries, that can leave some employees behind in a skill gap as they must learn new technology and processes that differ from their in-office skills. Helping sales talent adapt to new at-home work methods is an excellent example of rethinking job skills and developing talent.
An essential element of developing top talent internally is understanding that different learning styles exist. In a broader sense, only some employees will benefit from training the same way, so instructional designers should work multiple training alternatives into whatever talent development program exists. Your talent development program must use various learning methods to improve workforce efficiency.
How many avenues are available for skill development? Do you offer on-the-job learning, coaching, mentorship, and self-guided instruction? These are valid learning styles that result in the potential growth of talent. When designing your skills training, don’t put all your effort into one method. According to a 2019 Training Industry report, 39% of midsize companies use a classroom-led approach to training, 25% blended learning methods, and 17% utilize virtual classrooms.
Promoting a workplace culture around developing talents and skills is critical to make employees more valuable. A strong business fosters a culture of adaptability and exploration. Allowing employees to explore processes and operations outside their department can create a cohesive and efficient workplace.
Making learning a core tenant of employment opens up many options for workforce efficiency. Major companies are investing heavily in education and learning within their workforce, such as in the case of Visa. Their usage of Visa University, an internal training program, yielded surprising results.
One-on-one coaching in the workplace provides many benefits and should be integrated into any program to improve workforce efficiency. Coaching is one of the best ways for a business to leverage experience in a way that directly motivates and educates employees. Coaches can not only help instruct on job-specific processes but can help close skill gaps and promote personal growth. Employees also want coaching: One statistic suggests that 67% of Gen X leaders want more external coaching, and 57% want external development.
Businesses can do coaching within the company by pairing experienced employees with new employees, but external coaching can also be quite valuable. Thanks to their distance from the company’s existing culture, such coaches can identify areas that need improvement or skills that staff should be building to be more effective overall.
Finding leadership and seeking it out at all company levels is critical to increasing workforce efficiency. So often, companies make the mistake of promoting from a poor pool of candidates through rote promotion habits and only looking at one level. A good leadership development plan allows anyone from any group to be put on a path toward becoming the kind of leader the company needs.
Great leaders can come from anywhere within the company. It just becomes a matter of opportunity to develop those skills and recognition to be in such positions. Developing leadership through training programs is a substantial investment toward workforce efficiency.
Understanding how to leverage your company’s #1 resource – the people within- is vital for improving business. Recognizing that talent needs to be discovered, fostered, and developed is one of the most crucial long-term success factors. Leveraging employee development and upskilling to embrace and enhance skills through proper scheduling also presents opportunities.
Employers can also use AI to optimize employee scheduling. An optimized schedule, factoring in training and development, means a more efficient workforce.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. How do you develop and retain top talent in an organization?
Ans. Developing and retaining top talent in an organization requires a multi-faceted approach that includes:
Offering competitive salaries
Providing ongoing training and development opportunities
Fostering a positive work environment
Recognizing and rewarding top performers
Having a strong employer brand and reputation
Providing opportunities for advancement and promotion
Providing a work-life balance and supporting employees’ well-being
Q2. What are the five key areas of talent development?
Ans. Here are the five key areas of talent development:
Skill Development: Building specific skills that are relevant to the individual’s field of work
Knowledge Enhancement: Staying up-to-date with the latest industry trends, news, and technologies
Leadership and Management Skills: Developing effective communication, delegation, decision-making, and conflict resolution skills
Personal Growth: Building emotional intelligence, self-awareness, adaptability, and resilience
Creativity and Innovation: Developing the ability to think outside the box, take risks, be open-minded, and embrace change
Srikant Chellappa is the Co-Founder and CEO at Engagedly and is a passionate entrepreneur and people leader. He is an author, producer/director of 6 feature films, a music album with his band Manchester Underground, and is the host of The People Strategy Leaders Podcast. He is currently working on his next book, Ikigai at the Workplace, which is slated for release in the fall of 2023.