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This article was originally written Sept 12, 2017. It has been updated to reflect the more recent conversation around talent management.

Talent Management is a critical component to the performance of your organization. Finding and retaining talent is one thing, but what are you doing to ensure that talent is growing, adapting, and improving over time? The problem many HR departments face is that talent management encompasses so much that it can be difficult to know where to start or how to keep the process structured and organized. In this article, we scour research, consult experts, and break Talent Management into distinct areas to make it easier.

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How Can I Improve my Talent Management Strategies?

  1. Invest in company culture immediately.
  2. Revisit the benefits package.
  3. Take stock of your management team and satisfaction levels of employees.
  4. Highlight or create growth opportunities in your organization.
  5. Focus on getting employees the tools and equipment they need to do their work.
  6. Show employees they are valued through feedback, rewards and recognition.
  7. Encourage peer-to-peer feedback.
  8. Encourage friendships among your team.

Employee engagement is a challenging aspect of talent management for most organizations. Gallup reveals that only about 13% of the current worldwide workforce is fully engaged in their work. Traditional talent management is not as effective as it could be—especially as modern workplace dynamics are undergoing a rapid rate of change. So, where does talent management need to improve in order to stay relevant, up-to-date, and engaging? These are key areas of importance:

  • Company culture
  • Benefits
  • Satisfaction
  • Employee growth
  • Tools for Success
  • Employee appreciation
  • Peer to peer feedback and recognition
Only 21% of employees feel strongly valued at work. @ClearCompany turns your #TalentManagement woes around with our 8 sure-fire lessons:

What is often the root cause of miscommunication and different expectations for relieving an employee’s headache in the workplace? There is some confusion around the difference between talent management and performance management. For clarification, here is a definition from talent management strategist, Dr. John Sullivan (@DrJohnSullivan):

“Talent Management Defined: Talent management is the integrated process of ensuring that an organization has a continuous supply of highly productive individuals in the right job, at the right time. Rather than a one-time event, talent management is a continuous process that plans talent needs, builds an image to attract the very best, ensures that new hires are immediately productive, helps to retain the very best, and facilitates the continuous movement of talent to where it can have the most impact within the organization.”

Here are the 8 ways your organization can improve your talent management strategies:

1. Invest in Company Culture Immediately

64% of employees do not feel they have a strong company culture.

Study after study establishes a strong connection between financial performance and company culture strength. Many organizations, however, don’t realize just how impactful this connection can be. Understanding the business value of investing in strengthening the company culture will usually lead to a reassessment of investments. Some companies are even appointing Chief Culture Officers to design, implement, and evaluate culture strategies. To start, you must first outline what your company culture needs to look like. What do employees value? What do you want to put emphasis on? After working together with your employees to develop a plan of action, take time to ensure everyone is on the same page.

Just as all managers need to understand how they can improve culture and what they need to focus on, employees need to understand what you are doing to improve their work environment.

The Most Common Type of Company Culture: Acquiescence

2. Revisit the Benefits Package

72% of talent professionals agree that workplace flexibility -- the option for employees to work when and where they’d like -- is extremely important in shaping the future of recruiting and talent.

Pumping up a benefits package doesn’t always mean having to spend a lot of money. Offering workplace flexibility—or even suppressing a culture of time cards and clock watching in favor of self-management—can help increase employee’s sense of ownership over their day. Companies that embrace work flexibility have a huge competitive edge; and it’s happening. There has been a 78% increase in job posts mentioning “workplace flexibility” since 2016.

10 Must-Read Employee Experience Articles for HR Pros

3. Take Stock of Your Management Team and Satisfaction Levels of Employees

49% of employees are not satisfied with their direct supervisor.

Conflicting opinions between supervisors and employees is not uncommon, but a full half of your workforce shouldn’t feel that way. Organizations need to carefully plan how to move talent up the ladder to prevent moving people into leadership roles without proper training and performance management to support and facilitate effectiveness. Every organization should have a formal management training program.

It’s important for leaders to care about how their employees are treated. Listen to what your people have to say, provide them with the feedback they need to improve, and most importantly, show them that you recognize their hard work. A small amount of feedback can go a long way.

4. Highlight or Create Growth Opportunities in Your Organization

66% of employees see no chance for growth opportunities.

This is a turnover danger zone. A lack of growth opportunities often tops the list of reasons employees choose to leave an organization. The good news is that there is often only a perceived lack of growth due to poor communication. Leaders need to have regular career planning meetings—perhaps as a part of performance reviews—to ensure their workforce knows about internal growth opportunities.

Talent Success Toolkit Lesson 8: Engagement

Create a learning environment inside your workplace to give employees a way to better themselves. Beyond moving up in the company, this helps ensure that your employees are always using best practices and strategies. Easy ways to develop a culture of learning includes webinars, online courses, an employee book club, and conference stipends.

5. Focus on Providing the Tools and Equipment Employees Need

Over 25% of employees do not have the tools to be successful in their jobs.

Facilitating employees’ needs is the core responsibility of leaders. The issue isn’t usually that management won’t or can’t provide these tools, but rather that they don’t have a process for employees to identify and communicate their professional needs. A culture that encourages feedback will help your entire workforce realize what their performance roadblocks are, together.

However, it starts even sooner than that. As early as training and onboarding, you need to be ensuring that your employees have a clear understanding of the tools they have to enable them to do their job. Are they missing something? Make sure they feel comfortable to contact you if they need or want a better software system, a new process, or even a computer that runs faster. Employees need the tools they use to be sharp.

6. Show Employees They Are Valued

Only 21% of employees feel highly valued at work.

The solution is simple; make recognition part of everyday dialogue. Yes, every day. Far too many leaders let a job well done go unnoticed on a daily basis. This has been known to negatively impact productivity, engagement, and motivation –a few things that are connected to financial performance.

A simple way to do this is through a performance management system. In order to accomplish this, you first have to learn to pay attention to your employees. As a manager or leader, you can get tangled up in your own tasks. So, make communicating with your employees a process, even if it starts out as a scheduled, automated email asking how their day/week went.

ClearCompany & ADP Launch an Advanced Talent Platform for Mid-Sized Companies

13% of the current worldwide #workforce is fully engaged. Follow these 8 tips from @ClearCompany to supercharge your #TalentManagement:

7. Encourage Peer-to-Peer Feedback

44% of employees give peer-to-peer recognition when they have an easy tool to do so.

Employees want to lift one another up, you just have to give them a way to do it. 89% of HR leaders surveyed agree that ongoing peer feedback and check-ins have a positive impact on their organizations.

Our best advice: Start out small. Once a week, ask your team to email one of their peers about something they did well that week. Then, over time, you can transition to in-person recognition and even a small team meeting. There are tons of possibilities when it comes to allowing your employees to appreciate one another, you just have to find what works best for you and your team.

8. Encourage friendships among your team.

Peers and camaraderie are the #1 reason employees apply discretionary effort at work - not financial compensation.

Peer-to-peer assessment tools are far more important in talent and performance management than we have ever realized. Not only do these assessments give employees the chance to celebrate one another, but they also create a more realistic picture of the overall performance of every employee.

Why? Because who better to judge performance than those who are with you 40+ hours every week? A manager can’t see everything or be everywhere at once. Having things such as peer-to-peer assessments make it easier for you to get an inside look while also providing your employees with some much-needed praise or criticism.

Talent Success Realized

“I am convinced that nothing we do is more important than hiring and developing people. At the end of the day, you bet on people, not on strategies.”
– Lawrence Bossidy, GE


No matter the current state of talent management at your organization, regularly revisiting and evaluating your processes will benefit your organization in the long term. ClearCompany has the performance management solution to help you get your strategy in order, and with our commitment to innovation, you’ll always be on the cutting edge of talent management. For more information on how ClearCompany can help your organization, contact our experts today.

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Andre Lavoie
Andre Lavoie
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Andre is the CEO and co-founder of ClearCompany. Prior to ClearCompany, Andre was Global Managing Director at Thomson Reuters, where he ran a 1Bn global business across 90 countries. Prior to Thomson Reuters, Andre was responsible for product development and operations at CCBN, a company he helped grow from a small start-up to number 36 on the INC 500.

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