Great Business Ideas: Talent management

Great Small Business Ideas to Start: Talent management

Whatever your business, having the right people in the right roles is essential for success. Talent management ensures that you have a steady supply of one of the scarcest, most expensive, and important resources: the right people.

The idea

Good people are hard to find, and during a time of declining population, notably in developed Western countries, it is becoming harder and more competitive to fi nd talented people. The solution is talent management: attracting, developing, and retaining the right people.

Nurturing, developing, and retaining the most talented people requires specific, in-depth skills and expertise. The importance of an explicit focus on talent management was evident in the experience of Mellon Financial, which developed through the 1990s from a traditional bank into a strong financial services business. The challenge was to develop new products and services, cross-sell to clients, and expand into new markets.

This required new skills and a different approach, so Mellon, under CEO Marty McGuinn, took several important steps to manage talent within the organization. Centers of excellence were introduced, where experts devised leadership development tools and programs, which were taken into each business unit to provide training and development to individuals. The leadership development program involved senior management frequently meeting with emerging leaders one-on-one. The skills that emerging leaders would need were explained and individuals were helped to develop those skills. The focus on talent management was an important aspect of Mellon’s development.

In practice

Addressing questions in several key areas will help you focus on talent management within your organization:

  • Corporate culture. What are your priorities? Does your organization have the desired identity and culture? Do all of your employees understand your vision and core values?
    What keeps your employees coming to work each day? What affects their attitudes and behavior with your customers and with one another?
  • Recruitment and selection. How do you identify and select the right people? Do you clearly understand the skills and experience required now and in the future, and do you get the best available people?
  • Managing performance. Are you actively managing performance, giving feedback, and coaching employees to improve?
  • Employee development. Do you have adequate resources, processes, and tools to develop your employees? Do all employees have a personal development plan to improve their skills and maximize their potential?
  • Remuneration. Are you properly rewarding your employees? Do your bonus schemes encourage and reward the desired behaviors?
  • Succession planning and leadership development. Do you have succession plans for key roles?
  • Diversity, compliance, and procedures. Does your workforce reflect the customers and markets you serve? Are you meeting your legal obligations? Are you engaging with key stakeholders and handling employee relations?
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