At its core, talent management is a very simple idea; acquire the right people and keep them. But it can be one of the most complicated areas of business. There's not only the various different elements of a talent management strategy to consider but also the challenges that may arise as with anything that is tied so closely to employees.
However, it shouldn't be difficult to understand whether your talent management strategy is being effective for the organization as a whole or not.
Talent management metrics to watch
The simple concept behind talent management should make it easy to determine whether the strategy in place is working. One of the most important metrics to measure is average employee tenure, as this will give you a clear indication as to whether people are motivated to stay with your organization or not. Of course, it's not the only thing that matters in talent management but it’s a solid starting point.
You can also look at other metrics, such as profit per employee, to see whether you're able to keep the right type of people. If you have high employee retention but low profit per employee, it's likely that your strategy is falling short somewhere. Talent management should focus as much on keeping your most valuable professionals as it does attracting new people to the organization or motivating people to stay.
The importance of talking to employees
Data is incredibly valuable in evaluating the efficiency of any strategy but your most qualitative information lies with your employees. Your talent management program should allow for feedback or insight from professionals at every level of business to ensure that, as an employer, you're providing everything possible to motivate, maintain and challenge employees. This information should also be used to assess the value of your current strategy.
People are a business's most valuable resource so make sure you are openly communicating with them, even if you think your talent management strategy is perfect. They are the people who are on the ground every day and may have some wise words to say about improvements that could boost productivity or employee retention.
Talent management and your business strategy
One of the reasons why talent management is such a complicated element of an organization is that it has to not only please employees but also align with the business strategy.
Business objectives should be fluid and, as such, are likely to change in even a short space of time. This means you need to consistently be evaluating your talent management strategy in relation to what direction the company is heading in. Of course, there's likely to be some overlap between the two. For example, retention is bound to be a key part of both your talent management and business strategies.
However, other areas may cause conflict between the two different focuses. If your business strategy for 2019 is to be focused on cutting costs but the drive of talent management is to boost company culture through consistent training and a more varied social program, there may be tough decisions to be made.
There will always be a happy compromise to be had, but it's about ensuring that this analysis is done in the first place to make sure neither is veering off course.