- How do you identify a talented employee from amongst the many employees of your organization?
Identification of Talent is a multi-pronged approach in our organization. The biggest advantage we have is our organization’s size at this point in time as also the fact that we are nimble and agile in our approaches to Talent Identification.
While traditional methods such as Performance Appraisals provide information on Hi-Performers , we also have a robust process for Hi-Potentials identification involving a meticulous and graded approach. Apart from these, we rely on diverse platforms / sources of informal inputs about talented employees flowing in through the year, be it over coffee table conversations, business review meetings, 1:1 conversations with employees leading to specific observations or employee contribution in areas other than her scope of work that gives us pointers to scout for talent.
In addition, we incorporate unconventional methods for talent identification
- Leaders’ inputs on talent that they have informally gathered/ observed during varied interactions
- During our Innovation Month, we watch out for individuals who display originality, passion and commitment and raise the bar of one’s own potential
- Employees’ walking the extra mile to stretch and participate in organization wide initiatives that have a business impact
- Employee Updates and achievements that we receive through our internal Social media platforms
- Performance Feedback shared with HR
A few or all of the above helps us identify the right talent.
- Like EWS for attrition, what can be some of the early signals shown by an employee that can define his success in a role?
Most employees who show exceptional talent have a few things in common. These signals can be caught early. A few that I have observed are summarized for you:
- I have seen that employees who are proactive, solution-centric and seek opportunities for development much ahead of their time, have done well.
- Successful employees are Learning agile, learning and unlearning continuously. They are agnostic to learning sources or approaches and invest time for Learning. Such employees open their minds to learn from anywhere and keep their eyes and ears open for information. They connect dots to create rich experiences and thereby hasten their learning curve.
- Employees who display an innate passion about what , how and how well they deliver and strive for excellence in the smallest thing they do see success in their roles
- Understanding the role, questioning status-quo of expectations are the other differentiating factors to enable success in a role
- An employee who seeks mentors early on and takes Career accountability is bound to succeed in any role she is in.
These are a few early signals I have observed that have been corroborated by the employees’ success across organizations.
- What measures do you deploy to retain your top talent (hi-potential) employees?
The most important aspect of retention whether it is a Hi-potential employee or otherwise is the Connect between the employee and the organization. Once this fundamental is understood, the rest is easy to crack. In alignment to this, we have multiple initiatives that help connect with our Hi-Potentials. We ensure our talent is kept aligned and updated about our organization, growth and vision. Our program Ascend is a carefully crafted holistic program that targets at building both Intellectual and emotional connect. Our CEO, Irfan Khan spends time creating insights for our Hi-Potentials continually that is an enriching experience for our Hi-Potentials. The Learning we provide or the projects they choose to work on that has an Organization wide impact is a Pull factor for our Hi-Potentials to stay with us. Being mentored by both internal and external mentors is another enriching experience we provide. Connects with Leadership, Recognition and the ongoing connect with Key stakeholders are reasons for our Hi-Potentials to stay and stay long with us. We have a 100% YTD retention rate in FY17.
- What are some of the challenges HR faces while implementing talent management & development framework in an organization? How can those be handled?
A few key challenges HR and organizations face and not restricted to are:
- Buy in from Leadership, participants and managers of participants
- Getting the organization to understand the Program Framework and comply with the process.
- Non- Alignment of the program to the Organization/ Business vision
- Inability to influence key people
- Lack of internal branding and communication
- Time commitment to the program by all stake holders
- Availability of the right inputs backed by sufficient data and On -Time responses for Talent decisions
- Availability of the right Talent Management champion who understands the holistic picture of the talent Management need with an ability to make paradigm shifts in approach to Talent Management if required
- HR playing the role of coordinators/ program administrators rather than being influencers/ key stake holders or partners in the Talent Management process
If the above challenges are carefully thought through and handled, any Talent Management Program can be successful
To overcome these challenges or others, a few pointers would be to ensure Business Need alignment to the Talent Management program. Keeping the program simple and uncomplicated is another key. Securing time for talent discussions with Leaders, and ensuring their commitment will drive results. Most importantly, communication about Talent Management programs should be with less jargon. Keeping the participants engaged throughout any talent program also leads to Program impact and success. Branding of the program and marketing the success stories will help gather momentum and impact.
- What are the unique/differentiating competencies required in a successful Talent Management professional?
While there may be several, these are a few I believe that are the most required competencies for a Talent Management Professional
- The ability to act as a “ Program Custodian”
- Ability to influence multiple stake holders,
- Ability to question fundamentals of managing talent
- Excellent Communication
- Being Self -aware with an Egoless mind that encounters challenges keeping the bigger picture of the organization in mind
- Change management that can discern what will work and what will not and managing inflection points along the journey
- Resilience and maturity to receive and share feedback for program betterment
Continuously striving to “Learn and Unlearn” and building Thought Leadership in oneself is also a key differentiator for a Talent Management Professional.
About Meenalochani Kumar
Meenalochani Kumar has over 18 years of experience and has worked with organizations like Cummins India Limited, Mindtree Ltd, Development Dimensions International, MindTree Consulting Ltd, Edutech, HR Cornucopia, Lister Technologies, HCL Technologies Ltd & Eximsoft Technologies. Meenalochani holds a PGCBM, Business Management from XLRI Jamshedpur.