10 Talent Management mistakes

By 12. März 2018 No Comments

How effective is your talent management strategy? Do you even have one?

Experts predict that greater board and investor scrutiny will continue to raise the stakes for business leaders who are expected to not only set the right tone at the top but also make sure top talent throughout the organization is pulling in the same direction—aligned both in cultural fit and performance goals.

In his article “10 Talent Management Mistakes CEOs Can’t Afford to Make in 2018” (online issue of Chief Executive, February 14, 2018), Stephen Miles and his talent development team at The Miles Group (TMG) warn that many companies who are on the brink of talent failure, if not already in the middle of it, don’t even realize what mistakes got them there.

Here are 10 tips for avoiding some of the most common pitfalls:

1. Embrace your corporate culture and realize risks — What does your corporate culture officially (and unofficially) convey to shareholders, the media, and consumers? Identify risks that could damage organizational and shareholder value and work as a team to address issues before they get out of control.

2. Commit to continuous improvement — Leadership development is not a one-time activity. Don’t wait until something needs to be fixed. Find your best coachable talent, and give people the consistent support they need to improve, excel, and take on bigger leadership roles.

3. Don’t let a few strong leaders pull everyone else’s weight — It’s called the “drafting effect.” It happens when strong leaders lift the performance of a team to the extent that you don’t realize a group’s weaknesses until you need someone to step in and replace your star. Pay attention to how a leader might be pulling the weight, and support the rest of the team with the development they will need to succeed if their leader leaves.

4. Invest in your highest performers — Companies that consistently struggle to fill key roles need to reevaluate their leadership development practices. Simply having a talent management process in place isn’t enough. Plan ahead and groom top performers to be ready when there is an opening instead of scrambling to find the right person to fill it.

5. Build competitive muscle — Reward executives who are willing to take risks and grab market share. In this market, going after the competition may be the only way to grow.

6. Broaden diversity — Companies need a full spectrum of diversity to drive growth. Leaders who engage and encourage diverse teams to express themselves benefit from the strengths and perspectives of different genders, ethnicities, cognitive approaches, personality types, and leadership styles.

7. Make sure team members can commit when they disagree — It’s okay to disagree. However, once a team makes a decision, every member must present a united front. Leaders need to assess each team member’s ability to express an opinion and commit to a course of action even when they don’t agree.

8. Maintain organizational fitness — It’s easy to let things slide and “put on a few extra pounds” when times are good, says TMG Managing Director Mathew Bedwell. “Then, when hard times hit, executives embark on ‘change initiatives’ and start changing things that are actually working, compounding the problem.” To break away from this cycle of gaining a few pounds and frantically working them off, companies must maintain organizational fitness and build it into the corporate DNA.

9. Engage every layer of your “top 100” — Connect leaders at every level—from the CEO’s 8-11 direct reports to the next level of 20-30 direct reports and the rest of the top 100—to leverage their roles for fostering companywide alignment, communicating a shared vision, cascading messages, and driving strategies forward.

10. Give top talent opportunities to shine — Although most talent management strategies focus on helping direct reports make significant career moves, it’s also important to provide opportunities for the “micro moves” that allow leaders to grow into their roles, such as presenting to the board of directors, facilitating a key company meeting, or leading a big project or initiative.

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See similar articles about how to develop HR managers.