May 19

Be Committed to Talent Management


By Chuck Coker

Talent management is an organization’s commitment to recruit, retain, and develop the most talented and superior employees available in the job market. It comprises all of the work processes and systems related to retaining and developing a superior workforce.

The key differentiators of talent management and human capital are the focus on the manager’s role, as opposed to reliance on Human Resources, for the life cycle of an employee within an organization. This approach adds a significant aspect to your role in the recruitment process, and in the ongoing development of and retention of your employees.

If you want your department to maximize its potential, the concepts of talent management must be applied on a continual basis. Think of talent management as a business strategy that must be fully integrated for your employees and their related processes in the organization.

As a department leader, you know that attracting and retaining talented employees is important. However, you must also initiate and develop the concept to your team so that it also becomes the job of every member of your department. An effective talent management strategy involves the sharing of information, so competencies grow and develop in a nurturing environment.

There may also be talented employees with positive career potential across the organization. By making these concepts a priority, various departments may be able to identify available talent when opportunities arise.

If you are in a larger organization, you may have a Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS) that track the career paths of employees and manage available opportunities for talented employees. Sometimes these approaches are through corporate investments in education and training, while other tactics include group and individual instruction with their personal and professional skills. No one model works for every organization and your development of departmental capacity will be dependent on your team.

How to make these concepts work for employees

To build departmental capacity, you must take a step beyond simply managing tasks; you must lead your people. To do this, a critical concept to remember is that your employees are your greatest capital asset. They are not there just to complete a task they are there to grow and develop.

Nothing grows and develops without good soil and fertilizer, and you, as the marketing and talent manager, must identify where (and what) they need to flourish. In order for your people to prosper, your approach must include development from a corporate, departmental, and individual perspective.

Each employee must see and be able to define his/her role from a corporate perspective. They must be able to identify how they fit into the corporate structure and culture, as well as how the role positively impacts the organization. Helping them identify how each piece of their work impacts the overall well-being of the company, both internally and externally, will add depth and dimension to position and its value.

For example, during your weekly or monthly meetings make sure you identify how each project, and those working on those projects, impact the company’s bottom line (externally) or morale (internally.) As you explain, it presents an opportunity to talk about the new competencies being developed, and how their personal capacity is being expanded.

Each employee must also see how his/her role impacts productivity. Most marketing departments use timelines or Gantt charts to ensure projects remain on schedule. Project flow charts are especially helpful in communicating each member’s role, and the value they provide to other team members. When this is not clear, the employee will focus purely on his/her task, and not relate to other team members. As such, their high individualistic tendencies are accelerated rather than moderated.

Additionally, with this approach, employees have a highly visible illustration of how they are learning and growing their capacities by interacting with other specialties. This allows for excellent opportunities for cross-training and new competency development.

Finally, each employee must see how they will personally benefit. Today’s competencies will not guarantee tomorrow’s success. Our industry undergoes constant change, and new marketing competencies regularly arrive on the scene. If your employee’s capacity is not growing, your chance for future departmental success will be minimalized.

You must also keep in mind that the primary complaint of employees worldwide was a lack of growth and development opportunities. If employees do not see the individual attention they deem appropriate, do not see themselves as integral team members, or can’t see how they fit into the bigger picture, you don’t have to wonder they are looking for other opportunities.

About the author 

Chuck Coker

For more than 30 years, Chuck has focused his career on people's development. He has implemented proprietary Personal Formation, Human Capital, Talent Management, and incentive-based programs across a broad scope of Fortune Companies, regional organizations, and educational institutions.


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