Career gold for you in your employer’s talent management process

Career GoldA truly effective competency modeling process doesn’t just serve the needs and purposes of the company or HR department; integrated with a performance management process, it can also include a focus on measurable outcomes and definable behaviors to help you, as an employee, by providing you the information you need to understand:

  1. What is expected of you in your current role – i.e., your performance objectives and scope of accountability
  2. The knowledge and skills you need to strengthen or develop in order to ensure a bright career path – in other words, your potential to grow and succeed within a particular field or company.

Too often, employees tend to view performance evaluations as a one-way street; instead, you should view this process as an opportunity to not only increase your output in your current role, but to also build the skillset you need to access those very positions you have set your eyes on for the future.

Become your organization’s “wish list”

Competency models are one of the best tools an organization can give its workforce. We already know that companies invest many resources in developing and implementing talent management programs, typically with the primary objective to optimize their workforce’s performance. In addition to serving this purpose, competency models also support management’s complex task of communicating clear job expectations to employees – an area where too many unfortunately fail. This leads to employees’ low opinion of the usefulness of performance evaluations.

Fortunately, by developing a competency model for your job, management can include “wish lists” of expectations – at every job level and for every role in the organization.  A model allows you to understand what needs to be done to boost your performance in your current role, while providing you with valuable information regarding the skills you need to acquire for career mobility and progression.

Think of a competency model as a checklist of requirements on an application form. A professionally designed model is clear and concise, and always accompanied by a competency dictionary defining the different skills and behaviors, as they apply to the company. It’s easy to see, with such a carefully defined roadmap, how a model can benefit you, as an employee – whether you are looking to hone your skills or acquire new ones.

Take the reins of your performance

To employees, performance reviews often seem like yet another utopian corporate process, but when the right competency models are in place, your career, your future and your skills – all of the elements that define you professionally – are placed at the center of the process, affording you the opportunity to:

  • Assess your own strengths and potential for growth within a field and/or company
  • Increase your self-awareness and natural capabilities
  • Improve your success rate
  • Draw up the map to your ideal career mobility journey

As an added benefit, properly designed competency models allow you to take the reins of your performance by giving you the ability to track and document your own accomplishment, giving insight into how well you have acquired and demonstrated those “wish list” behavioral indicators your employer seeks.

Learn more – “How Can A Job Competency Model Benefit You Personally?”

Visit our website for more details about how competency models and other talent management tools can help you forge a path toward an exciting and successful career.

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Modernize and Reduce the Cost of your Workforce Planning Strategies

Your HR team is tasked with many responsibilities: recruiting, performance management, coaching and training, compensation, succession, etc. But how do these functions tie in to your business goals? In other words: Is your HR department compliance driven, i.e., focused on independently dispensing services such as payroll and benefits, or is it integrated to your high-level business strategy?

According to HR expert Karen O’Leonard, business-integrated organizations have ‘40% lower turnover and more than twice the revenue per employee, as compared with compliance-driven organizations’. Additionally, these companies generate higher employee engagement, higher promotion rates, and superior capabilities in workforce planning, including succession.

The grass isn’t always greener: The benefits of looking inward

In a recent post, we mentioned how recruiting and talent management processes can no longer focus on a company’s immediate staffing needs. The typical idea of posting a job to find a qualified applicant to fill an open position is a passive and ineffective way to build a high-performing workforce. Plus, let’s face it: the recruiting process can quickly become very costly, as it has been shown to generate higher turnover rates.

As a result, more and more employers have been tweaking their workforce planning strategy to focus on developing leaders in house, instead of finding promising free agents on the marketplace. In fact, according to a study on leadership development, companies are now investing 14% more resources in developing leaders than they have in years, with a focus on training high-potential leaders, i.e., those individuals who are critical to a business meeting its goals now and in the future.

Show me – and the world – the money

It’s no secret that most organizations dream of compensating employees strictly based on performance. While this is difficult to implement as most workers seek a secure and steady salary, a business-integrated talent management process can help you allocate your payroll budget wisely by rewarding high performers. In other words, you still hold the power in driving performance… if you know how to show employees ‘what’s in it for them’.

One way to achieve the level of performance you seek is to ensure that your evaluation tools are not only intended for your HR staff to assess employees’ contribution to your organizational success, but also to identify the results these employees need to generate to get what they want: more money and better career mobility. By being transparent in your remuneration and performance evaluation process, you engage employees and set the roadmap to performance.

Case in point

Digital news publication, Quartz, just recently published an article about a social media startup, Buffer, which publishes the salaries of every one of its employees for the public to see. While this strategy is intended to make operations as transparent as possible, it also serves to explain how management calculates an employee’s worth. By creating a transparent formula, Buffer is working to promote long-term engagement with its workforce. And it is difficult to argue that such a transparent map to performance – and higher wages – isn’t likely to convince motivated employees to ‘get to work’.

The journey to self-reliance

Admittedly, changing your HR processes takes time and some level of investment. Yet, the payoff can be quite high – not only in monetary terms with considerable decreases in turnover costs, but also with respect to employee engagement, satisfaction and performance.

As you may know, at the very heart of an effective talent management and leadership development program are competencies and the first step to improving any workforce planning process first entails understanding the skills required for success in each role, and having the ability to accurately assess the strengths, weaknesses and intent of current employees. It’s by bridging that gap between where you are today and where you want to be tomorrow – rather than by filling an immediate void that may not be needed tomorrow – that you achieve success over the long term.

So instead of spending money on non-critical immediate hires, why not invest in training your HR team to better analyze and strategize for future needs?

For further assistance and tips on improving the output of your HR function, please contact us or browse our website for more insights.

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Keeping your Employees Engaged Lies in Their Future, Not Yours

Group of businesspeople having a meeting.According to a Bloomberg article, globally, 161.7 million workers are expected to depart from companies in 2014; that’s a 13% increase from 2012! At this rate, companies who do not take action today may be setting themselves up for extensive HR-related costs down the very short road ahead. For large companies, these costs can even translate to millions of dollars wasted on trying to offset a turnover ratio that could have been minimized with relatively simple practices.

Needless to say, this phenomenon leaves little doubt to the fact that one of the top issues facing organizations, leaders and managers in the New Year is employee retention.

Fulfillment in the workplace

When we hear of employee retention strategies, many first think of ‘engagement’. But what does this mean? How can you ensure you’re truly engaging your employees, and, most importantly, how do you keep that engagement level up week after week, month after month, year after year?

Surely, having engaged employees supports organizational success, at the very least through minimal turnover costs, but keeping employees engaged is no easy task. Essentially, engaged employees are fulfilled employees – i.e., employees who have everything they need to do their job effectively, under good conditions, and who take pride in what they accomplish and in the organization for which they work.

A great indicator of an effectively engaged workforce consists in employees who are not only present in the workplace day after day, but who are also invested in generating positive results for the company – rather than just performing a task in exchange for wages. This is often why small businesses attract spectacular talent, despite a lower salary range. These employees thrive on the challenge ahead, on the contribution they can make to this growing organization. They will often devote many more hours to the job, taking pleasure in knowing that their work will be noticed, rewarded and praised. In other words, they are given the opportunity to make a difference.

Finding ‘success” in succession planning

If you’re a larger size company, granting that level of freedom to all employees may prove to be a challenge, if not impossible. Instead, take a look at the reasons why your employees have chosen to be part of your organization. For many, the opportunity for career advancement is a driving force behind choosing a job within a large organization. If that’s the case, an effective engagement tool could very well be your succession planning system.

Every well-executed succession plan has goals – goals pertaining to change, productivity and costs, for example. These objectives have a far greater chance of coming to fruition with a workforce that is driven by career advancement and professional development. So why not invest in training an entry-level candidate with this passion and drive, instead of hiring a rightly skilled candidate who isn’t all that convinced about what the future holds? When looking at it from this perspective, the secret may lie in defining the right competencies for your organizational goals, instead of focusing strictly on job-specific (or technical) competencies.

The not-so-secret recipe to engagement and retention

There are many factors involved in engaging and retaining driven and talented employees, but begin by considering the following:

  • Do your practices ensure that your employees feel like they are “part of the team”? This means allowing employees the constant opportunity for a voice in the goings on within their department. Keeping them “in the loop,” so to speak.
  • Are your career advancement opportunities and higher-level job expectations clearly defined? Do your employees know what is expected of them to be afforded the chance to grow within your organization, or is it all guess work?
  • Are your employees being valued and recognized for their contribution – not just through a rewards system, but also with simple “thank you’s”?

To keep turnover costs low and retain your best talent, start thinking of your workforce in the same manner you would a personal relationship: Nurture, consider, listen and communicate. And most importantly, don’t ignore their desire to build a future of their own… with you.

To learn more about retention or succession planning strategies, contact us or browse our website for more information.


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Implement Change through Competency Models

Looking back over this past year, it is clear that the topic of change is on everyone’s mind: Where is a given industry heading? Who has to change within the organization to allow it to succeed? And, of course, what elements will indefinitely change and how?

Numerous pundits have published their vision of tomorrow, particularly as the end draws to a close, but is predicting change really the key to success, or are organizations missing the general idea?

Workforce planning: The very definition of success

True organizational success depends on having the right employees with the right competencies at the right time. And this is where the real challenge lies, as being able to assess future needs before change has taken place is a much more crucial step toward success than identifying said change. It’s a simple matter of pro-activity.

Workforce planning is a coordination process, which seeks to identify gaps between the workforce of today and the human capital need for tomorrow. It is one of the most important HR issues being discussed today, as it carries multiple impacts on where a business can improve when done effectively, including:

  • Eliminating surprises
  • Smoothing out business cycles
  • Identifying problems early
  • Preventing problems before they happen

Proper workforce planning provides organizations with a strategic basis for making the right human resource decisions by anticipating needs as a result of change, rather than change itself.

Enabling a culture of change

It is important for organizations to act as enablers of change and organizational improvement in order to remain competitive, regardless of changes in their respective industries. This can be achieved by altering your leaders’ mindset and emphasizing unique abilities, such as:

  • The ability to take initiative
  • Demonstrating of a sense of urgency
  • Persisting in the face of resistance
  • Refusal to accept the status quo

When it comes to planning and implementing change-based competencies, there is great emphasis placed on understanding the difference between what constitutes a forward-thinking competency and general leadership competencies. The difference is often identified in job competency models. Once the distinction is clear, then a true change-focused culture can be implemented to prepare the company for the future.

The future is now

In reality, organizations cannot operate by simply anticipating change. They need to understand that actions must be taken today to be ready to act once change has arrived.

Whether your organization requires assistance in any or all aspects of change within your workforce, we can help. Please visit our website and take the first step into the New Year!

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