5 key steps to managing and retaining your top talent

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By: Alison Valente - L&D Consultant – HR & Legal Specialist

In this article I will show how to effectively map talent development to business needs through robust training plans and strategies that can help you tackle performance issues and challenges.

This will also enable you to demonstrate return on investment to both the individual and senior stakeholders in the business.

The best way to look at it is in the form of a talent management 5-step process:

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Step 1: Attracting the best talent

In order to attract the best talent, you must have a clear idea of the talent you want to attract and how this fits in with your business objectives and future ambitions. It is important at this first step to align both the business needs and individuals development to your overall business plan.

Step 2: Identify your “rough diamonds”

The second step is identifying where there is a lack of skills in the organisation and who your star performers are - an important part of managing your talent going forward and into the long term. 

Step 3: Develop the individual

Now that you’ve identified your potential talent, you can begin to plan and execute development programmes that develop the individual with business goals in mind, to maximise on return.

Step 4: Engage your trained performers

Once your star performers have developed and learnt new skills, it’s now time to deploy and embed them into roles that you have identified as needed in your organisation.

For example, you may have identified a shop-floor operative who you know wants to rise in the ranks, and you have now developed them to do so. You know there is a Team Leader role desperately needed and believe this individual will perform successfully in the role. Your task is now to nurture them in their new role, and ensure they meet the business growth objectives. 

Step 5: Retain your top talent

The final step is one that most organisations undervalue and get wrong: retention. 

Now that you have individuals in new roles, or have improved performance of existing individuals, you now need to provide a positive and motivating environment in which they can thrive and you can capitalise on the potential and productivity of individuals.

Embedding an effective talent management process as part of your development or training plan will help to build a pipeline of talent in your organisation and help to embed skills positively into the existing workforce that will inevitably provide higher productivity and improved performance.

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Key benefits of developing talent and investing in training

How can businesses evidence the benefits of developing leadership talent and investing in training?

By monitoring against workforce and business performance, you’ll be able to tell if your investment in training and development is paying off, and be able to demonstrate the value to the organisation and its impact on the business. 

If you see improvements in areas such as Retention, Productivity, Recruitment, Discipline and Grievances, you can be satisfied that your investment in training has made a difference to productivity and reduced risk to your operations.

For many businesses, training and development is not considered a core function, but it is a crucial part of business development. Planning well, executing accordingly and demonstrating the value and output of training to the organisation will achieve several outcomes to ensure training remains a key objective:

  • Authority: It will increase the power you have within your business
  • Standing: It will increase the respect you and your function receive within the business
  • Processes: It will provide clarity on how the training is agreed and approved
  • Outcome focussed: It will provide clearer results aligned to business goals

What’s next?

EEF has a wide range of programmes designed to help you successfully lead and manage your team or to develop skills in your workforce, here are some recommended key development programmes:

Author

L&D Consultant – HR & Legal Specialist

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