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Focus on Talent for competitive advantage

In the changing world of work, the one constant is the need for an exceptional workforce.  This is regardless of Brexit, uncertain political or economic conditions, shifting industry trends, disruptive technologies or any other complex factors that impact your business.  Despite their varied implications, these trends revolve around one central theme: the need to empower the right people, in the right places in the right ways.  This requires a sustained commitment to, and a strategic investment in, talent.   If an organisation’s most valuable asset continues to be its people, then there needs to be an alignment of talent strategy with business goals to create a people-centred culture.  Everything else fails if you don’t have the right talent in place. 

There are five key components that a talent strategy must leverage to create a people-centred culture. When integrated, each of the following five key components leads to a comprehensive approach to talent management – one that is sure to build a culture with people at its heart.

Firstly, assessing talent, the ability to strategically assess the talent you have and the talent you need, underpins the ability to meet and exceed the goals of your organisation.

Secondly, developing leaders, do you know where your next generation of leaders will come from?  The process of continually identifying, developing, nurturing and retaining leaders should be a core part of any ongoing talent development and succession planning strategy.

Thirdly, implementing and aligning strategy, leading organisations create sustainable competitive advantage by aligning people practices with business strategy.  Having an aligned people strategy is only half of the challenge: strategy implementation requires a robust process to ensure employees understand and execute strategic imperatives and are operationally supported in doing their jobs. 

Fourthly, leading changing effectively, this requires leaders to take a greater responsibility to ensure change is communicated and implemented effectively.  It can be achieved through communicating openly and honestly, keeping employees informed, soliciting feedback from those impacted by change, and committing to meeting expectations.  From the most senior leader down, the message must be consistent.

And lastly, engaging employees, Do your employees view working for you as a job or a career?  Are they aligned with corporate goals and strategies?  Do they take pride in their work and ownership of projects?  In short, are they engaged?  Leaders can drive employee engagement and influence culture through their own behaviour and by reflecting values that employees can identify with. 

While you cannot change what is happening in the external world, you can change your ‘people strategies’ to have exceptional talent equipped to respond to those trends and position your company for growth.