Are You Nurturing The Talent In Your Business?

Image credit: Flickr Commons, National Library of Wales Erdd National Eisteddfod 1965

The talent in your business is one of your greatest assets, with the cost of your salary bill often the largest monthly outgoing. We put a lot of value on talent in this sense, so why is it that businesses often take their people for granted? We pay to have our facilities kept well, serviced and polished – our people need looking after and nurturing too. Not least because the cost of replacing them is often too high to contemplate.

So how can we ensure our people feel happy and fulfilled in their work?

Here are a few ideas:

Think creatively about ways to offer a career progression path. There may be no budget to buy in a specialist, or to offer employees promotion opportunities, but perhaps there are ways to create sideways development opportunities for your key people? Consider pay scales that acknowledge emerging skills without necessarily adding management responsibility.

Use the fact that your organisation is small to its advantage. Develop bespoke packages for high value employees. If you’re unsure whether a new training programme will add value, ask those who will use it, involve them in testing it, and talk to the training providers before you make the decision to buy. Some alternatives may emerge from your team which will be more useful and motivating.

Create time for your talent to reflect on their learning. How many times have you gone on a training course, only to carry on working in exactly the same way after? Often this is because you haven’t digested the training enough, it was too generic or you didn’t really have time to reflect on it after. Make sure there is a strategic reason behind each specific intervention and enough energy is focused on translating it into actual results.

Encourage everyone to regularly ask the question “What value is this adding?” Focus on what the main challenges are for your business in the current environment and find creative ways to address them. In most workplaces, business as usual (the ‘we did it this way last year’ phenomenon) is no longer sufficient to achieve effectiveness.

Organisational social systems can be both functional and dysfunctional. Businesses seeking to shift their human capital towards new opportunities can face additional challenges in terms of the new and old ideas of ‘talent’ conflicting. Take care not to privilege old definitions of talent, where there may be a strong business case for working differently.

If you’d like an outside perspective on your talent management strategies, we’d be happy to discuss these issues and how they can be improved. Contact us on 01386 751740 or email [email protected]