Tap Untapped Talent You Have Already Hired
If there is one consistent theme that springs from Six Sigma, Lean Initiatives or any other organized effort to make a company more productive or innovative, it boils down to gathering the people who work for the company in various conference rooms and asking them “what’s working, what’s not working?”
The incredible results these meeting generate usually astound management and make the initiative look like a miracle worker.
Why, then, don’t companies simply do this all the time internally? Why don’t organizations fully utilize the energy and knowledge of the people they hire?
This is not an idle question, because hundreds of thousands of dollars are at stake every time a consultant is brought in to “fix the problem.”
We got started on this rant of a blog post when we received a recent white paper from i4cp. Its topic was obscure: “Enabling Sustained Growth through Talent Transparency”
But its conclusion was crystally clear: Every enterprise has the talent it needs to grow and thrive within its ranks, and greater success hinges on finding that talent and unlocking its potential to contribute at a high level.
Are you measuring talent pools properly? Is self-reporting a prevalent form of analytics? Who gets noticed and rewarded in such a system?
Here is what i4cp reports as critical success factors in 2014:
- Build deeper and broader pools of highly targeted talent.
Only 27% of top companies have competent successors ready to fill executive-level roles and even fewer (18%) are prepared with successor candidates for mission-critical roles that extend beyond the executive level.
We say: Your best bet for finding new “bench strength” is to look internally at your available talent, and put development programs in place to bring them up to the standard you seek. Most will jump at the chance the moment you ask them!
- Improve leadership development skills with a focus on better interactions and communications.
Thirty-four percent of top companies indicate they are effective at developing leaders, and they are getting worse at it.
We say: This is not hard to fix, if the organization is ready to invest in properly developing talent. If you don’t look for available talent, you will not find it: Most employees are not self-promoters who actively seek more opportunity. These self-promoters may actually not be the best candidates for a spot on the “bench” of succession.
- Fully understand what supports the organization’s strategy and culture and then reward it.
Thirty-four percent of top companies are effective at measuring and rewarding results and only 25% are effective at doing the same with behaviors. The behaviors of executives and middle managers have a very high correlation to market performance.
We say: This smacks of a need to invest in employee engagement. Such engagement includes middle management leaders who need to be engaged in the “organization’s strategy and culture” so each of those leaders can foster the aligned, passionate action they each need to create a highly productive team.
Any manager you employ can lead better if you provide the support they need through access to senior management, mentoring, coaching and assessment-based training.
Get started with your own team. Ask them if they want the chance to lead, and what keeps them from pursuing that opportunity. Gather that input and start figuring out how to remove the hurdles your organization puts in the way of their development.