The concept of managing talent does not appear to be an unknown activity for most managers. What is clearly not so obvious is the primacy of the talent management responsibility that managers have as a key responsibility.
About.com defines the responsibility this way: “Talent management refers to the anticipation of required human capital by an organization and setting a plan to meet those needs.”
This definition is fine enough from an organizations HR perspective. After all, the organization and their human resource staff view this as:
- Improve business value and make it possible for companies and organizations to reach their goals.
- Recruit, retain, develop, add incentive management and motivate people perform
- Develop strategic employee planning for current and future needs.
This view point is more of a top down strategy, one that views the strength and competitiveness of its people as a driving force. Yes, of course, but the real differentiator is the manager themselves. The manager is at the heart of their business unit’s productivity and that means managing people productivity.
To the extent that either the organization or its business unit managers over-emphasize this organization/hr thinking, they will not win the talent wars and performance will suffer. Talent development is a core competency of outstanding managers, make no mistake. Managers work with the organization/hr strategy and involve themselves above and beyond the broad development strategies.
Organizations today would reach new heights in building high-performance organizations if a great deal of their focus was on being “talent management” oriented as a prime activity of every manager’s role and responsibility. I mean a high priority. From the time a new employee enters the manager’s business unit to the time they leave or retire, the manager commits to their skills, abilities, development and performance.
Over many years of executive management engagement, I have observed top flight organizations where the competitions take on their performance is ‘they are just better than we are.’ Does your organization want to be known as “just plain better” than the competition? The strategy is to train and develop every manager of people in the responsibility of developing the potential, skill and knowledge…talent management…of every employee in their care, every day, in every way.
This intense commitment to developing every ounce of what a given employee is capable of is a personal commitment. By that I mean a manager’s personal and professional interest in their people and the personal/professional relationship that requires. When a manager starts to believe in the vision of their critical value as a coach, mentor and potential “unlocker”, great and exciting things begin. Much is at stake in the competitive business world and talent ridden organizations will likely rise to the top.
Talent management does give managers a significant role and responsibility in the recruitment process and in the ongoing development of and retention of superior employees. In some organizations, only top potential employees are included in the talent management system. In other companies, every employee is included in the process.
For more information on this thought, see http://humanresources.about.com/od/successionplanning/g/talent-management.htm
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