Releasing the power of talent
“Why on earth would you put a 2.0L engine in a Vauxhall Corsa?!” I had nothing against Corsa’s (other than not being a teenager) but my 18 year old nephew’s insistence on replacing the 1.2 litre engine with this ‘Super Engine’ was confusing. But he worked day and night for weeks on that car and the day came when he took me for a test drive. And it was frightening. The G-force inducing acceleration and sheer power had transformed that car. It was more than a Corsa now, it was a super monster, speed machine!
The talent within a business are the high performing and skilled employees that drive a business forward. They display a level of engagement and proactivity to their performance that achieves tangible results for the organisation.
The common mindset is that a business is ‘fortunate or lucky’ to have them and there is a sense of dread as to when they might decide to move on. But this narrow viewpoint on talent and the development of them within a company is potentially crippling. What about the ‘forgotten middle’? The neither high performing or under performing individuals? What if businesses were able to identify and implement the tweaks and changes required in the forgotten middle, to unearth a whole new layer of talent?
Proactive Process of Finding Talent
The talent in any organisation are the ‘change agents’ who play a transformational role in organisation’s development. A fundamental aspect of business growth is for people to push things forward. Process, technology and business structure will oil the engine but it will be people within an organisation increase the engine capacity.
A problem that businesses often face is when high performing employees decide to move on. Without the driving force of this ‘talent’, the organisation face a talent vacuum. This drags it into survival mode instead of being able to achieve its growth targets. A stronger and more forward thinking leadership could be aiming to unearth talent on a consistent basis. Of course, finding established and high performing employees is difficult for companies when the tools don’t exist to make it easy and cost efficient to do so.
Recruitment is a costly process and yet so often companies search for talent without fully considering the potential they have within their own walls. Instead of having a reactive mentality to talent recruitment, the positive impact of being proactive within the business could be enormous.
Culture of opportunity
One of the main reasons an employee moves on is ‘dead end effect’. They feel they are stuck, that they can only go so far within their current role and that the organisation is not committing to opening doors of opportunity for what they would like to do in the future. People need challenge to awaken within them
One of the most important elements of convincing talent to stay is to create a culture of opportunity and possible development as they work in their current role. Are they encouraged to identify roles of progressions into differing roles within the organisation? Are they helped to recognise and work on skills that would aid the pursuit of future roles? Is there a employee centric partnership in place that nudges people into ambition and aspiration within the business?
Importance of good management
To create this culture of opportunity, to be proactive in unearthing the talent within everyone, good management is essential. The leaders and managers need more than to just keeping things ticking over. A commitment to place an importance on developing employees and giving opportunity to be challenged, grown in skills and encouraged to take on new roles.
The impact of this ‘new engine’ is powerful. Not only does it save on the cost of recruitment, organisations avoid the risk of taking on someone who is unknown to the company and its culture. This significantly reduces the time required for induction or ‘learning the ropes’ and, by promoting internally, you reduce the risk of losing good ambitious staff who might be feeling stuck in their role.
When faced with these deep reaching questions and issues, the too frequently heard and too swiftly reached response is “we can’t afford to go in that direction”. However, the bigger question is surely to ask, “Can your business afford not to?”