Talent-Lifecycle

Every organization defines and maps out their talent lifecycle differently. Stages will vary, processes will be different and connections between each phase will be unique to the company’s priorities. That being said, there is (or should be) one standard in every organization’s talent lifecycle – the center.

Here at ClearCompany, we have always had a strong focus on uniting the traditionally disjointed stages of the talent lifecycle. I recently did a Google image search of the talent lifecycle to see how organizations are currently visualizing their own programs. We’ve all seen them, those flow charts that define the stages and map out the entirety of the talent lifecycle. What I noticed was the center was consistently missing from each of these visuals. There was either a generic title of the image or there was nothing. Simply put, nothing substantial united the stages that map out each organization’s most valuable asset – their talent.

Do you know what unifies your talent lifecycle? Don’t leave your talented workforce in the dark. Find the missing piece now:

Here is what could be missing from the center of your talent lifecycle…

Values

A critical component of any effective business strategy is the organizational values. Successful leaders identify, communicate and develop clear values and beliefs that permeate through every function of the organization. These shared values offer direction so all members of the organization understand their contribution. Values impact every person at every stage of the organization. If they aren’t defined and shared, a disjointed and contentious culture will quickly form.

The best explanation of the importance of organizational values that I’ve come across came from CEO of OpenX, Tim Cadogen (@TimCadogan):

“Values are one of those things that can sound soft and squishy, especially in the context of a company. The reality - I have found - is actually quite the opposite. They form the most solid bedrock of any group or organization and really matter to the individuals.”

The most foundational reason to place values at the core of your talent lifecycle is employees are meant to demonstrate those values in their behaviors, contributions and workplace interactions. Values will also help employees determine priorities and decision-making processes. If none exist, or those that do are loosely defined and rarely followed, employees are left with little direction as to how to uphold your organization’s goals or priorities. The effects of overlooking this critical point in your company’s development might not be seen right away. However, lacking transparency on values can attribute to...

  • Continuously missed deadlines
  • Lack of respect for leadership
  • Lower motivation and productivity levels
  • Bad customer/client experience
  • Misunderstandings in processes

This list isn’t exhaustive, which is even more frightening than the above effects. Consider organizational values as the compass that gives your company and its talent acquisition direction. Without values, your company culture will be fuzzy and undefined, which means your hiring efforts and employee management strategy will lack foundation.

Starting from Scratch?

It’s never too late to establish your company’s core values. Do remember that the process is far more complicated than picking a few adjectives you hope your company will emulate. In fact, if you think listing the words that describe your dream workforce and culture will magically solve all those bad habits your current team has formed, you will be sorely surprised. That is a completely different set of problems that will require more performance management based solutions. Take a look at this bundle of free, downloadable resources to transform your talent process for those issues. To develop your list of core values, bring together a team of key executives and team leaders. Discuss:

  • How big projects are approached - Do you bring together teams to collaborate or are you process-driven with kanban boards and other agile practices? Is it common to see managers dive into data or create user surveys?
  • How your company handles transactions - Your company is probably customer/client-focused, but dive deeper. Do you uphold your promise to customers through agile solutions to their problems or do researchers proactively build updates? Do you encourage feature suggestions, inviting clients to be partners?
  • How your workforce works - Is it about speed and short deadlines or is your team methodical and accurate? Do you practice versatility so you can adjust your strategy based on the task at hand?
  • How motivation is powered - Is there always music in the background or are you more likely to hear conversation and innovative talk or do you live for the community, balancing internal affairs with external philanthropy?

All of these point to specific priorities your company holds beyond the cliché buzzwords you see on inspirational posters. Feel free to move beyond these questions to explore what makes you unique above all. Your values should be what sets you apart from all others, so dig deep into your organization.

TAKE NOTE! Your job isn’t over once these values are established and put on the website. Be sure you’re upholding those promises in every relationship, from vendors to clients and employee to investor. It shouldn’t be a tough order if you have been honest in the development stage, but take a look at this article about upholding your brand promise for more tips!

Goals

Gallup found that less than half of the employees in one survey felt strongly connected to their company’s mission. Meanwhile, Korn Ferry found that 70% of executives noticed a long-term financial benefit to companies who have a commitment to being purpose driven. Of course employees who know the overall goal of the organization and are more engaged and motivated. How can anyone feel connected to an outcome if there is neither a defined goal or clearly established understanding of how their individual efforts contribute to that goal? It’s impossible. Because organizational goals are grounded in the identified values, placing the two at the center of the talent lifecycle can help motivate and re-engage an entire workforce.

70% of executives noticed a long-term financial benefit for companies who have a commitment to being purpose driven. Want to build an org like that? Read these tips from @aglavoie:

As employees move from stage to stage of the talent lifecycle, their contribution to and perspective of the organization goals will change; that is the variable, never the goals. Established and communicated goals will the be the constant, or the magnetic North to keep the entire organization moving in the same direction, regardless of their current position.

How Is It done?

Alignment will be the greatest ally in creating a true north that keeps your employees from wandering off track. Goal alignment is yet another responsibility to your workforce that requires consistency in attention. This guide to aligning employee and company goals has insight into how to kick off and maintain a process that works for you. Some key takeaways you will find in your reading:

  • Alignment starts with assessing and understanding employee weaknesses and strengths.
  • Be sure to integrate the individual’s professional aspirations to their specific career trajectory.
  • Provide and solicit feedback from leaders and employees.

The guide also touches on why most goal-setting strategies are doomed for failure and how you can ensure yours will withstand the test of time.

It’s one thing to define the organizational values and goals, it’s quite another to implement the infusion of them in every stage of the talent lifecycle. Even with all the advice in the world, there is still a good possibility lines will be dropped and process will fail. The only way to ensure the infusion is achieved is through the partnership of strong leadership and solid technology. Yes, I said technology.

Traditionally, each of the stages in the talent lifecycle have been very segmented with different leaders, different data sets and different technologies with no one and nothing at the hub of it all. Just like my talent lifecycle Google image search, there is nothing connecting all of these stages. Imagine a talent management platform that breaks down these silos, and places organizational goals and the company vision at the center of it all. Poor integration and disjointed processes have prevented this conglomeration, until now.

ClearCompany’s Talent Management Platform doesn’t just provide an integrated suite of technologies aimed at creating a seamless flow of the complete talent lifecycle; the goal alignment tools ensure that the organizational vision and goals are the focus of every stage, process and action. Plus, the system puts all these elements in the hands of each person in your company. That means your employees are able to track and manage their progress right alongside their leaders. Transparency has never been so easy.

So what, if anything, is at the center of your talent lifecycle? If you were to review your goals and vision for the organization, could you look around and see them in action? Your talent and culture will flourish with a renewed focus, but you need the right leadership and tools to make it happen.

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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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