Are you getting caught up in the brouhaha of talent management?
You can hardly be blamed for that. After all, as a manager or leader worth the name you should be looking to your people to improve performance!
But are you finding it an exhausting treadmill that you cannot get off?
Talent management is another new addition to the management lexicon, and you need to be very careful that you don't get caught up in all the hype, hysteria and hubris that sometimes come with new concepts. You don't want to be like a fan of the latest pop-sensation - screaming so loud that you cannot even hear the music.
Here's a little tool you can use to help you ensure that you do not fall into that trap.
You may recall previously I described the ultimate of talent management as giving your people more respect. I wrote that you could improve performance "if instead of trying to set goals for your people, you gave them enough respect to get on with what they are paid to do!" Well, that is just another apple pie, motherhood statement unless you have a clear definition of respect.
Respect is more than just another touchy-feely soft-skill requirement. Respect for your people means recognising that they are also making a life-investment in whatever they are doing. It means acknowledging that they are investing their lives in their work and for that reason never want to do a bad job.
The following Mnemonic may help you ensure that you give your people the respect they warrant.
• R - Remove barriers to good work
• E - Empathise: put yourself in their shoes
• S - Support them in whatever way you can whenever they need it
• P - Praise them (sincerely) at every opportunity
• E - Educate them in the true etymological sense of the word - leading out
• C - Communicate: Tell them everything that is going on
• T - Tend to them: give them the time and nurturing that they need
Feel free to substitute your own terms and create your own aide-memoire that works for you. If you do you will ensure you build employee engagement, because your people are engaged. And with engaged people you guarantee performance improvement.
Also remember that you cannot engage talent because you cannot separate talent from the person. You can only engage the person who provides the talent. So focus on the person and beware the inherent dangers of talent management that could lead you to:-
- Focus too much on the talent and forget about the person.
- Create perceptions of talented and untalented people and so develop a two tier organisational structure.
This will help you ensure you don't fall into that trap and win the so-called "war for talent."