Let’s start this article with a big, bold statement of our position. We believe that if you want your business to thrive, then you need the individuals in your team to prosper and grow. The people who make up your workforce are the lifeblood of your company. They bring their singular talents to the process of your business. In short, without their unique blend of experience, skills, specialisms and personalities, your business would grind to a halt because all the process planning and careful management in the world will not help without your team.
Accepting the above (which I am sure every progressive, developing business will do), it stands to reason that you not only need to ensure you keep those great employees, but you also want them to develop and grow. The relationship between their exceptional contribution to your current success is clear. If you develop them and give them the opportunity to grow, then they will almost automatically facilitate the growth of your company.
But are you actually allowing talent management to happen?
Almost all businesses recognise the above and want to manage their teams to develop their talents further. So, they will look to a talent management process. This seems the obvious route, and, in principle, at least, we totally agree. However, let’s just pause and take a step back to look at how we normally go about talent management. Indulge me for a moment while I take you down a thought process.
Look back at that first paragraph. The one that you almost certainly approved of, or you probably wouldn’t have read this far. I want to take a moment to consider some of the words in those handful sentences that you were happy to agree with:
That is a significant number of words out of what is a fairly short paragraph. What you instantly notice, though, is that they relate in some way to individuality. They are ‘human’ words, and they are expressing something that we all recognise. We all know that individuality is one of the most useful things we bring to the workplace. We are not machines. A machine will simply continue to repeat a process, but a talented, skilled individual will refine, develop and create new and more rewarding methods. No wonder then that a business wants to develop that talent.
So, they look to a talent management system. A process that usually starts with a series of categories in which to pigeonhole the team members.
That process of pigeonholing is where we have a problem with the way talent is traditionally managed. Essentially the basic method of managing those wonderful, creative, skilled, versatile, unique individuals who are bringing their own specialisms to your business is to force them into neat little boxes. At best, that is a counterintuitive approach that disregards individuality, and at worst, it is a deeply flawed methodology leading to the opposite result from your initial goal.
The results of promoting diversity, equality of opportunity, and inclusion, as some extensive global research shows, is a more adaptable and creative workforce. Engaged and enthused workforces are not only more productive, they are happier and more likely to stay with an employer. A supportive workplace that actively looks to develop the whole person, assess their needs without bias, and then promote a positive, high-performance attitude will show improved productivity and better retention. Oh, and let’s not forget that your team will feel included, respected as well as recognising that their growth is valued as much as their contribution to the ongoing success.
So why use methods that are based in categorising people rather than recognising how diverse they are? It makes no sense.
We do things differently
Instead of enforcing uncomfortable ‘one size fits all’ roles, we work with the behaviours and personalities that are the core of the person. We unleash their ability to develop and grow in their own way because that is how we all grow best.
There is something inherently wrong with the traditional methods of managing talent. As far as we are concerned, the only thing boxes are good for is packing up the old methods and attitudes so we can throw them out.
If we can help you with your talent management, get in touch