by M. Anthony Sacco of Stratalyne
A lot of organizations spend time and money on the nuts and bolts of talent management but end up with a strategically weak pool of talent. What I mean by “strategically weak” is that these organizations hire and fire based upon historic performance profiles without regard to immediate or, more importantly, planned future needs for talent to support their strategies. In addition, they hire, unintentionally, based upon their bias for characteristics that match their own, rather than set goals for diversity and strategic strengths. This tendency to hire “the same person” over and over is a limiting factor in innovative behavior and long-term success. And, it can be identified in elements of the operational systems used to manage talent.
For instance, often the first thing a supervisor reaches for when preparing to rate performance is the last available job description with its list of job related goals and mandates. But, the standard job description seldom gets updated and so it represents an historic perspective. Don’t get me wrong, the job description (if there is one) is a valid scorecard for the job agreement as long as it has relevance to the job as it is at a point in time and was used by the employer to create the agreement with the employee to describe expected outcomes. But, there are other perspectives to be brought to bear on the value considerations of an employee. History is an indicator but it is important to rate talent based upon how well, it currently provides and, will support the future success of the organization. The learning and growth the employee demonstrates is important in the evaluation. Innovative behavior, adjustment to failures and the ability to respond to change are very important. And specific talent characteristics that fit the strategic future business model are to be part of the talent evaluation as well. So I’m saying, yes basic job performance is not to be ignored for its values like initiative, discipline, attitude, integrity and capabilities but it is not the end of the talent/performance discussion or subsequent analysis required of strategic management.
In addition to the supervisor’s responsibility for basic performance assessment, leadership should be incorporating strategic planning assessment of talent so that decision-making data is gathered about talent that identifies strategic role opportunities and identifies talent gaps to be filled. Talent management takes clear, targeted, completed communication both to human resource management and supervisory personnel with the associated communication of the feedback data to decision-makers and strategists. Then the strategic element of the employment reviews can be given as much attention as the historic performance element. And, feedback can be added to the strategic profiles of organizational talent acquisition for gap and fit analysis.
Strategic Planning of Talent, HR at MIT
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