Valerie Everitt argues that talent management should be thought of as a team effort, not an individual pursuit
23 April 2009
In the UK, 50 per cent of organisations appear to have some form of talent management system, as recognised by their managers. 35 per cent of managers think their organisations don't have a system and 15 per cent don't know. Why the confusion?
It's probably because it's a potentially contentious term. If talent management is about doing something different or additional for top performers, high potentials or people suitable for critical roles, what does that mean for the rest of the workforce? Are they talentless and not worth developing?
Most managers who want to be considered 'talent' rate qualifications, having the right coach/mentor, training courses, internal networking and taking on larger teams as important for their future career development. The key question, however, is who is responsible for making this happen?
In reality, it's a shared process between the individual, line manager and HR. Performance management systems and appraisals often form the baseline and development opportunities will then depend on size, type, culture and budgets of the organisation.
But in the new work order, with employees feeling insecure and organisations wanting more for less, how will talent management be affected? One way is to turn things around and take the responsibility firmly on the chin. Organisations want talented and skilled people to help them pull through in difficult times. Make yourself that person and show what you can do to solve problems and add real value.
Of course, times are tough and managers feel under enormous pressure to perform well in these extraordinary times. Taking control of your own talent management may seem a step too far in optimism. But have a go, take stock and define your personal brand. Start with a career audit and ask yourself some questions:
What new skills and knowledge have I gained in the last year?
What are my most recent successes and achievements?
What are my key strengths and how have I used them?
What are my goals and objectives for the next year and how am I going to achieve them?
Just remember - you're managing your talent every day and every little helps.