“Talent management” entered the common organizational lexicon about 2001. It’s a human resource concept that includes everything done “to recruit, retain, develop, reward, and make people perform” so that an organization can reach its business goals. Talent management focuses on an employee’s potential and how that can be developed to ensure a return on investment for the employer.
The term may sound impersonal, but organizations spend significant dollars on recruiting and training new employees. If an employee underperforms or leaves after a short time, that investment is lost. Likewise, if an organization can’t find the level of talent needed, their business will suffer. Talent, therefore, is crucial.
Talent management can be viewed from two separate lenses. First is the organizational lens mentioned above. The other side, though, is your personal talent management plan and what you can do to maximize not only your talent, but your value to your company. How can you go about this?
•First of all, know what your organization values. How an organization evaluates its employees says quite a lot about their values. Make certain — early on — that you fully understand the annual performance review process. Don’t wait until you have been there a year and then be surprised by what is covered in the review. Instead, focus on, and work toward, the requisite performance categories. If you see you are weak in one area that will be evaluated, begin immediately to develop the expertise needed.
•If your organization has a strategic plan, become familiar with what is in it. Also, if possible, look at the corresponding annual business plan. Where do your talents fit? Can you find a way to make them fit better?
•Don’t let your skills become outdated. Stay current with relevant business developments. Learn to use the newest software. Take advantage of any possible training such as leadership development and media training.
•One talent deficit frequently mentioned by human resource departments is a lack of leadership skills in mid and upper management. In addition to finding some good training, volunteer for team assignments. Observe how those in management positions lead and decide what works and what doesn’t. Develop your own leadership style and a readiness for transition to the next level.
•If possible, find an organizational champion. This may or may not be your immediate supervisor. Volunteer for assignments and become known as an excellent team player. Keep an optimistic, can-do attitude. Become invaluable to both your manager and your team.
•Be sure you are known outside of your small work circle. Again, try to be part of cross-unit teams. Participate in organizational events. Attend relevant business conferences whenever possible. The more positive exposure you have, the better your talents can be observed.
Your organization has a vested interest in you and your talent. Meet them more than halfway. Most importantly, keep in mind that no one can do a better job of managing your talent than you can.