Why Talent Management is an Important Business Strategy by Lynn Whitesell

As a business leader, you’ve most likely heard the term “talent management”. You may have even dismissed it as just “HR jargon”. But as a business leader or owner, it’s important to understand what is meant by talent management and why it’s an important business strategy to develop.

Simply put, talent management is an organization’s commitment to hire, manage, develop and retain the most talented and superior employees available in the labor market. A well-thought-out talent management strategy aligned with your organization’s corporate strategy and culture will allow you to attract top talent in competition with other employers.

An example of a talent management framework
A talent management framework provides leaders with a structured approach to developing staff potential and retaining talent. Talent management is about developing people to meet both organizational and individual needs. It acts as a fundamental part of the workforce planning process and is essential to organizational effectiveness.

The talent war is hot!
Unemployment is at its lowest since 1969, and although there are several generations in the labor force, skilled workers remain scarce. This means that for organizations large and small, it is becoming increasingly difficult to attract and hire top talent.

When you tell a potential employee that you are committed to a talent management strategy that will ensure they have the opportunity to grow professionally, you attract top talent. Studies consistently show that the opportunity to continue to grow and develop their professional and personal skills is a major motivation for employees taking and keeping a job.

You found them, now keep them!
Companies make tangible financial investments in employees, and also incur intangible costs such as the time it takes for a new employee to get up to speed and establish new relationships, and the workplace knowledge a employee who leaves takes away.

In addition to making good financial sense, retaining talent can be a competitive advantage. As part of their talent management strategy, organizations need to think about how they do workforce development. Having strong development programs helps attract and retain great employees. Offering training and development as part of the hiring package gives your company a competitive edge over those with similar jobs and salaries. It brings in good people looking to improve, and it’s an employee you want to hire in the first place! It also builds engagement, and engagement builds loyalty — and loyal employees aren’t likely to quit. As employees become more efficient and competent, you save money. A good employee is like money in the bank. Seen in this light, employee development is not an expense, it is an investment.

Leaders play a key role!
Leaders are the enablers of your successful talent management strategy. Successful organizations have strong growth cultures – one in which leaders lead the way as positive role models. Leaders who seek to improve their own performance motivate and demand employees to do the same. What do leaders with engaged employees do differently? They understand the importance of product, policy and operations management. However, they also spend just as much time creating a culture in which employees are recognized and valued, and feel connected to their work. The most successful leaders are those who best understand the impact of their behaviors on others. Leadership development helps leaders achieve positive, measurable, and lasting changes in their leadership behavior for themselves, their employees, and their teams.

Where are you with your talent management strategy?
Your effective approach to talent management will allow you to attract and retain the employees you need for the success of your business, now and in the future.

Lynn Whitesell provides advanced expertise in leadership solutions, organizational and culture transformation, and executive coaching. She co-founded Harris Whitesell Consulting, LLC to partner with leaders and organizations to help them achieve measurable improvement and reach their full potential. For more information, visit harriswhitesellconsulting.com.

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