Yarmouth Clam Festival Bike Race by Robert H. Goun on Flickr Creative Commons

In preparing for a recent talk to financial executives on Talent Management, I came up with several key points on what to look for when making investments in that area. Here is part three…

Need for SPEED

Time is money.  Always be looking at those areas that slow down the business.  One prime example is the time it takes to bring a person up to speed after the hire.  A common tendency is to let new hires sink or swim (and see if they make it).  Perhaps the idea is that if the new hire makes it then they have proved that they have what it takes.  What a waste.  If there was any proving to be done that should have been decided by the organization from the beginning.

Investments that speed up the on-boarding process (everything from knowing how to motivate and develop this person to verifying if the manager has the skills to get the person up to speed) should be evaluated. Talent Management practices that speed up the utilization of the workforce are worth investment and can include: speed to hire, succession planning, systematization and documentation of workflows, development of the hiring manager and skills development of the team.

Boxing of Behavior

Be careful of investing in training or personality assessments that tend to put people in boxes.  The publishers of these assessments (like MBTI) are very clear that the intent is to create awareness.  My experience as a coach is that people will often hold on to these labels (and those of their co-workers) beyond usefulness and it can both mislead and stifle development.

The best approaches to invest in are the ones that factor in the needs of the challenges at hand and give people options for development forward.  One of my business owner clients found a clear path forward in the communication with the team after realizing that they need to develop both frankness AND diplomacy – and not just stick in a box.

Talent Management investments deserve the same attention as any other investment made by an organization –and buyers need to be well-educated on what a good investment might look like.  In my mind good investments are:

  1. Investments with a defined result
  2. Investments that use and produce actionable data
  3. Investments that factor in the appropriate use of Enjoyment
  4. Investments that speed up the process
  5. Investments that move people in a path forward