If one considers talent shows like America’s Got Talent, The X-Factor and The Voice, we all have an inherent and intuitive view and appreciation for what talent is. In these shows talent is usually someone or a group that has a unique capability to offer or display; a capability that is not part of the generic or standard way of doing things. Within a business context a talented employee can thus also be defined as any individual who has the requisite capability and competence to make a significant difference to the current and future performance of the company.
Capability refers to the ability to deal with complexity and competence refers to the right knowledge (what the employee knows about the job), the right skills (what the employee can practically do with that knowledge), the right attitude (how the employee is emotionally positioned towards the brand) and finally the right behaviour (how the employee actually behaves on a day-to-day basis).
So if “talent” is as defined above, then “talent management” describes the process by which an employer plans for how much talent is required, in which jobs, how to recruit these employees, how to bring them onboard and engage them, how to develop them, built their leadership capability, provide them with a significant career and manage their performance. A key component in successful “talent management” is employee development.
But what can Manager’s practically do to cater for the development of their employees?
- How employees are coached can influence how they perceive their future. If the manager is helping the employee improve as an individual by providing opportunities that are in sync with the employee’s talents, both the employee and the company will benefit.
- In addition to having a need to be recognized for good work, most employees have a need to know they are improving and have chances to improve themselves. Great managers pick training that is relevant and will benefit the individual and the business.
Does developing my employees really make a difference and add value?
- The international Employee Engagement Meta-Analysis research results conducted by Gallup showed that companies that catered for the development of their employees showed significant benefits in customer loyalty, profitability, productivity, lower employee turnover, more focus on safety and health, reduced absenteeism and less shrinkage.
I once recall a conversation between a retail Regional Manager and Store Manager in which the Regional Manager was taking the Store Manager to task for his excessive spending on developing employees. The Regional Manager said, “We’re spending all of this money on developing our employees and just as we are finished they resign and leave us.” To which the Store Manager replied, “Sir, can you imagine if we do not train them and they stay?”