For talent building to occur, changes need to be made from the top, with managing directors concentrating on providing managers and team leaders with the opportunity to change employee roles to maximise talent. However it is the role of managers and team leaders to communicate with employees, as well as assess certain talents through offering stimulating opportunities and various assignments for changes to take place.
In this article, I concentrate on what line managers should be doing on a constant basis to ensure they are talent builders within the company they work for.
For a company to succeed, all areas of competition and the industry it operates in should always be monitored to see what might happen in the future. Being a business at the top of its game right now isn’t good enough anymore. Line managers must look at what the company might need with regards to talent to ensure they stay top of the marketplace 12-24 months down the line.
This means that managers have to assess the talent pool to see how certain employee capabilities can be used or moulded to benefit the company in the future.
Assess and Reassess
Great managers know their team inside out. They know their strengths and weaknesses and what each person brings to the team. If they don’t then they aren’t managing properly. A team leader should be able to rhyme off high performers without the bat of an eyelid when asked and should be able to realise which employee has the greatest potential.
With this in mind, it is important for managers to have an idea of the plans for each team member. They should ask themselves if they are willing to promote an individual and expand their responsibilities or if they should be in the role at all. Sometimes it’s realised that although and employee is not excelling in one area in the company, it doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t suited to another role where they could perform strongly. Once the answers to these questions are established, a manager can start to inspire and build talent suitably.
Interact with the Team
It’s imperative for line managers to professionally and personally get to know their team to try and get to know their aspirations and professional goals. Offsite team building days and seminars are often the best way to recognise core values and talents, as well as get to know employees out of the working environment. Every staff member should address at least one developmental issue for continued growth, where goals and actions must be noted.
Once developmental objectives have been established, managers can then ensure that team members go through an experience where they have to use certain skills and thought processes that they don’t usually. This will push team members and give them a personal insight into other areas of the business that they might prefer and excel in.
Stay in Touch with Previous Employees
As previously mentioned in another article of mine, regrettably talent is often lost due to ‘moving up the corporate ladder’ or even personal issues. Managers must try to stay connected to top talent that has moved on, through the likes of LinkedIn or other avenues. They should connect with previous employees a few times a year to see how they are, ask if they might want to come back or identify other talent that might be interested in working for the company.
Employ Talent from Elsewhere
Whilst talent should be built on with existing employees, external talent should also be considered. Managers should take it upon themselves to talk to external recruiters to get a better understanding of top talent standards within their industry.
Head hunting should also be considered, even if there are no current openings, with individuals being called in a bid to establish a relationship with them and to get to know their current employment status. Individuals who bring a fresh perspective are always seen as a positive addition to the mix of talent already employed within an organisation.
Never Stop Learning
One of the most important points for managers is to always stay abreast of talent management practices. They should read and learn from great talent developers on how to develop the best team possible and be open to executing new innovations that fit the business needs. Inspiring leaders are always acting on teaching moments for their staff, asking what they learnt from carrying out a task and finding out what could potentially be done differently next time.
The contents of this article are necessarily expressed in broad terms and limited to general information rather than detailed analyses or legal advice. Specialist professional advice should always be obtained to address legal and other issues arising in specific contexts.