Organisations are becoming increasingly savvy when it comes to developing talent programmes to help their employees fulfil their potential, and achieve and maintain competitive advantage. What’s critical is that such talent programmes are closely aligned to the business’s long-term objectives and succession planning needs.
During this session we discussed talent programmes on a global scale that specifically relate to developing senior leaders and aspiring managers, whilst addressing how you effectively measure their success.
These are the thoughts and takeaways from a Talent Think Tank (TTT) held on Thursday 23rd February 2017 hosted at Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group Plc by Lisa Booth (Talent Programme Manager) titled ‘Global Development Programmes & Managing Their Success’
The following summary has been prepared to reflect a segment of the discussion held amongst senior HR and Talent professionals from leading national and international businesses. Specific company details, experiences and examples have been omitted from this summary as all discussions are held under ‘Chatham House Rules’.
Key objectives for the Think Tank:
- Senior leadership development: designing appropriate development programmes and measuring their success
- Aspiring managers: identification and training; identifying what makes an “effective manager”
- Performance management: ensuring both personalisation and consistency.
What does success look like?
Firstly, how does your organisation define success and what’s an appropriate way of measuring it? Without this how can you celebrate a job well done? Success is commonly measured in financial returns but what other measures are out there? Common measures to consider:
- Performance measures: personal, team, divisions, organisation
- Process measures: timeframes
- Leadership effectiveness
- More and faster promotions
- Personal and business performance
NB: It’s important to remember that for some industries it’s easier to access measures of ‘success’. A common frustration and reality for many companies is that systems are not in place long enough to build a bank of useful data due to constant business change. The challenge is pushing for a degree of longevity with any new initiative to be able to effectively determine whether it’s working.
So where to start? Understanding your organisation’s culture and values is critical, then ensuring you utilise this to ascertain what the business wants to see more or less of.
How do you decide which talent qualifies for the programme?
There are many factors as to why someone may be considered for your programme and not always for the reasons you might think. Ultimately the aim is to keep them in the business for as long as possible, whilst ensuring maximum output from that individual. So which factors should we be basing our qualification criteria on?
- Career development
- Personal development
- Personal financial improvement
NB: Remember, EVERYONE is talent!
Bridging the gap between HR and recruitment
The link between Recruitment, HR and Training & Development is fundamentally important and we should be treating each other as a strategic partner. Recruitment should be supporting on attracting talent who seek personal and career development as much as salary needs to help create a workforce who buy-in to the programmes, resulting in a greater potential to stay.
Aspiring managers: identification & training (Identifying what makes an effective manager)
There are different styles of aspiring managers: superstars with current knowledge and skills as well as high potentials with capacity to learn. See below some key questions regarding aspiring managers:
- How are people identified?
- What are the benefits of setting out business behaviours?
- HiPOs are constantly sought, however it’s important not to forget the necessity of balancing them with other employee profiles to limit the impact of business gaps. It is all very well building for the future but what about the here and now?
What happens if the programme doesn’t work? Is there a positive way back for an individual if this path isn’t working for them (and you!), or is it purely sink or swim?
Performance management and measurement
What is the most important measurement within your business context? Talent Management metrics or Talent Acquisition metrics (time vs. cost to hire)? Often businesses will gravitate to the latter metrics as defining what a ‘quality’ hire looks like can often be largely subjective and more difficult to accurately report on. Nevertheless, we absolutely shouldn’t be shying away from the measure of ‘quality’ and therefore need to work hard to educate our business around the concept of ‘value’ and what is means in our unique organisational context.
- The importance of understanding your culture and values from a starting point
- Is cultural change needed to make a programme work in the first instance?
- Identifying internal allies to support the success of the programmes
- Understanding the challenges of measuring success, ROI
- Putting systems and processes into understandable language
- What impact can your interim workforce add / would an interim be included on the programmes?
- How do we monitor and share the data?
- The importance of bridging the gap between Recruitment and HR
- Benefit of building data over a longer length of time
- Looking outside your organisation at successful stories.