Most business leaders would agree that effective talent management plays a critical role in the achievement of a company’s overall business strategy and objectives. What does “effective talent management” look like? And does the size of a company or budget matter when it comes to the ability to execute upon it and create competitive advantage?
Let’s look at some examples:
1. Ingage Partners, LLC
An example of a small company developing and engaging their talent in creative, but purpose-centric, ways is Ingage Partners, LLC – a Cincinnati, Ohio-based company with fewer than 50 employees. As a certified B Corporation, Ingage forms partnerships with charitable organizations, giving employees the opportunity to donate both time and financial resources to make an impact.
For example, each employee at Ingage is offered paid volunteer time off each month to build into their community by sharing their talents and skills, and each consultant has the opportunity to generate enough profit through their day-to-day activities to contribute $1,000 – $5,000 annually to charitable partners.
Per Ingage Partners’ talent engagement manager Lisa Kaminski, the organization structure is kept purposely flat, so the president (Michael Kroeger) and CEO (Kelly Dolan) can personally interact with and coach all employees. Each new hire is also assigned an “Ingage Buddy” to focus on their individual needs and help them assimilate into the company.
Regular communication meetings are held at the company, including a monthly “Ingage Day,” where each employee provides a two-minute update on themselves and leaders share business news and updates. The leadership at Ingage views these activities as opportunities to constantly re-recruit their employees by keeping them engaged with the culture through open and transparent communication.
2. DENVER WATER
At Denver Water, a mid-sized, public agency with over 1,100 employees, a recent employee satisfaction survey revealed that employees were extremely interested in understanding more about their future career development opportunities within the company. As a result, the company has focused on providing shadowing opportunities in areas of the organization where employees’ interests lie, and also by offering mock interviews for internal opportunities that enable employees to practice their interviewing skills and get feedback on how they can improve.
Another key issue for the company is workforce planning. As some key executives have begun to announce retirement plans, Mary Faulkner, head of talent at Denver Water, is busy putting plans and processes in place to ensure a smooth transition. This includes creating transition plans for departing executives and checking that succession plans are set for key positions within the organization.
3. PRUDENTIAL FINANCIAL
While large companies may have significantly more resources than their smaller counterparts, they often face challenges on a bigger scale. Companies like Prudential Financial combat this by focusing on a number of talent management programs and processes in order to ensure a pipeline of diverse, talented employees who are well positioned to move into leadership roles now — or in the future.
According to Kurt Metzger, vice president of talent management at Prudential Financial, several programs have been developed to help strengthen the pool of individuals with the broad business perspectives and key leadership capabilities needed to advance in the organization.
These programs include:
- A customized business simulation, designed with input from the company’s senior leaders, in which teams of participants compete in running a “company-like” enterprise over a period of time.
- Working with an executive coach before, during and after the session to focus on developmental areas expected to have the greatest impact on participants as leaders.
- Interaction with the company’s most senior executives, who engage in dialogue and debriefs with participants.
- Real-time feedback from coaches and peers.
Since the launch of these programs at Prudential, more than 400 leaders have attended at least one program, and senior leaders –including the CEO/chairman, CFO, and company presidents — have been engaged as faculty in more than 100 sessions, demonstrating leadership accountability for development.
Results are also proving that the company’s investments are paying off. Since the program’s inception, many graduates have returned to lead sessions; 25 percent of participants have received a promotion within a year of attending; and 18 percent received an “exceptional” performance rating (compared to 6 percent for the general employee population).
As you can see, talent advisors in companies of all sizes can positively impact business results through effective talent management. Success is not determined as much by resources and scope as it is by hard work, creativity, support of executive leadership, and understanding of the unique aspects of a company’s culture.
Throughout the month of June, our talent advisors will be dishing out their best advice on effectively managing your talent and helping them thrive. New to Talent Advisor? Sign up here to get new articles delivered to your email inbox.