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Prakash Santhanam, the head of talent development and engagement at DAL Group, shares the need for organisations to take a more proactive approach in managing talent – and the best ways to do so.
Talent is the magic word that can make or break a business. Without having the right talent, an organisation is bound to suffer – regardless of having adopted the most sophisticated systems and world-class processes.
A vital task for all talent professionals, therefore, is to manage and utilise the talent’s unique strengths in the organisation.
So what creative methods can you adopt to understand employees’ opinions about their jobs and working environments, as well as their satisfaction regarding financial and non-monetary benefits?
In my organisation, we practise the “IFON” concept, which stands for “Inside first, outside next”, during the hiring process.
We also train influential employees to be organisational “value ambassadors”.
It’s important to note we can’t afford to focus only on operational tasks. It’s time to add a human touch as well as strategic thinking within our daily responsibilities.
In other words, be the proactive change agent rather than the reactive firefighter, and assess your organisation’s talent health.
This means, firstly, identifying key talent.
When doing so, I suggest considering past performance, longevity in the role and organisation, significance of the position, and most importantly, contribution to the business. A combination of this works well in identifying key talent.
Along with identification, talent professionals have the responsibility to actively engage and retain such talent.
Be the proactive change agent rather than the reactive firefighter, and assess your organisation’s talent health.
Keeping in mind all of the above talent attraction and retention considerations, I have summed up three key points to ensure your talent is in the best of “health” and is able to contribute optimally to the company.
Communication and atmosphere
There is no doubt that a communication breakdown at any stage can jeopardise employee morale and productivity.
Talent professionals play an essential role in communicating across the organisation – both top-down and bottom-up.
Providing accurate information at the right time and through the right channels creates a sense of belonging to the organisation. Some of the common communication tools are digital notice boards, company e-newsletters, suggestion schemes, focus groups, team-building and employee retreats.
Learning and growth
Promote mandatory completion of a certain number of learning hours each year, inclusive of non-classroom learning solutions.
Also it is important to incorporate various suitable learning and development (L&D) interventions to cater to and customise for both talent and business needs.
One L&D tool that I find to be effective for employees across the business is the skill set inventory, which includes a list of all of the hard skills and soft skills required for each position, with ratings assigned from both self and manager from one (lowest) to 10 (highest).
The average of combined individual skills and team skills can then be used to generate an individual development plan for the year.
Recognising long-standing employees by asking them to act as talent retention ambassadors can be an excellent strategy for many organisations.
Hold a regular knowledge-sharing session to gather key information from this experienced talent. Additionally, longevity awards, bonus disbursements, and monthly and quarterly incentives improve employee retention.