Talent Management | Success Mantras

As we move ahead into the HR/L&D and OD journey, Talent Management has become an integrated piece of work which beautifully ties into a story defining the employee’s life-cycle and touch-points.

Training teams have become Talent Development, recruitment function has become Talent Acquisition. There’s a definite movement from a short term and transaction orientation to a larger context with more ownership from support functions. Over and above, there are few organizations who took a step ahead and defined their talent management philosophies along-with the framework which tremendously helped in decision making and sustainability of these models in future.

There is no question raised about it’s impact and effectiveness, as systemic thinking has always been better.

Based on my last few years of experience, I observed a lot of places where things worked and where things failed, so decided to jot down some of my learning for those who are still venturing into this. Please feel free to add your point of views and experiences in the comments to enrich this subject :

1. It is important that one looks at the organization’s current climate. In an “extreme volatile climate due to a change (merger/acquisition etc.)”, TM initiatives like these usually don’t survive, as the energies are focused on business realignment, execution and not strategy. In these cases, TM strategy needs to have an immediacy effect to gain attention of the leaders.

2. TM strategy has to align with the business goals/vision. Each member working on the TM initiative/project should be able to articulate the business impact of the efforts.

3.  TM strategy has to be completely owned by the “Business”. When I write owned it means, right from defining the philosophy, framework, strategy, goals of the Talent Management, business leaders should be the ones calling the shots. Or atleast they should feel that they have called the shots.

4. The question that arises out of point 3 is, maybe business leaders don’t have the expertise around this subject, maybe their thinking is not as systemic, maybe they don’t see this as important, may be they view this as HR job… if this is true, then ideally an HR/L&D/TM consultant should feel thrilled, because it is here from where his/her job challenge begins. This is the true task of TM team to –

  • Educate, inspire and energize business leaders to take up TM agenda for the organization. There’s a lot of ground work (to establish business alignment) and selling skills required. This requires the core TM team to have expert and process consulting skills

5. TM initiatives yield maximum ROI, where the C-Suite members are directly involved in defining the frame and philosophy.

6. It is important that a base study is done around the leadership styles that are most prevalent in an organization. I loved reading this one – Based on a study – 30-40% of the organization’s performance is impacted by it’s climate, while 70-80% of the Organization’s climate is impacted by leadership styles that are prevalent in the organization.

7. Last but not the least, TM initiatives should be driven by the CEO and his Hi-Potential directs. An ideal methodology would be to set up a steering committee including members from various groups/functions and ensure a review cadence. These members should brainstorm and identify some org-wide people strategy goals. Remember HR / TM/OD/L&D teams are the consultants to facilitate this process, provide some expert insights into best practices and processes, check and raise flags when things are not moving. However, TM initiatives can never be designed and run effectively solely by support function.

8. TM team needs to set up measurable success metrics along-with the goals that are part of the entire leadership’s goal sheet.

9. TM team needs to have a direct access to the business leaders to facilitate the whole process seamlessly. 

Ending note:

I’m sure few of you will have additional points to share, or have different experiences than the ones mentioned above. Please share your learning and best practices, to enrich me and others in the similar fields. 

If you are a business leader, tell us how would you like HR/L&D/OD/TM teams to approach Talent Management Strategy?

Look forward to your point of views.

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