All things considered, human resources are a company’s greatest and most critical asset. So, how you choose to leverage your employee’s talents and capabilities substantially determines your overall business success.
Well, that might sound simple at first. But, if the recent trends are anything to go by, many companies are seemingly facing challenges when it comes to managing their employees’ talents.
Why is that so?
Okay, let’s first lay down the facts. People are incredibly diverse. And because of that, you should expect different talents from the employees you recruit into your organization. Some might be great with communication and collaboration, while others tend to lean towards precision, empathy, self-motivation, you name it. You’ll get to discover each individual’s skills with time.
Now, the good thing about this is that you can strategically capitalize on the rich talent pool to progressively boost the company’s overall productivity. But, here’s the problem- it cannot be achieved overnight. Increased talent diversity only complicates things for you.
Thankfully, however, there’s a systematic process you can follow. Otherwise, by failing to manage each individual’s talents, you’ll even find it difficult to motivate your employees and keep them focused.
Come to think of it, that right there would be a perfect recipe for poor sales numbers. It was revealed that 68% of consumers have dropped a brand because of poor employee attitude.
So, let’s face. Close to 70% of your company’s image to consumers isn’t entirely based on your marketing ingenuity or product quality. It usually comes down to how your employees behave as well as how they conduct themselves around customers. And this largely depends on your talent strategy, among other variables.
That said, employee talent handling is an extensively dynamic process. At the top, of course, is talent sourcing and recruitment. It’s then followed by talent management, under which talent activation comes into play.
Well, they say that talent activation is the secret to taking maximum advantage of your employees’ skills. That without it, you don’t stand much of a chance when it comes to generating great ROI from your workforce potential.
Quite interesting, I must admit. But, what exactly is talent activation?
What Is Talent Activation?
To understand what talent activation is all about, let’s first take a stroll down memory lane.
Previously, companies across all industries relied on traditional training approaches to develop their human resources. They hired employees and proceeded to train them on specific areas that companies thought were critical for optimizing human resource value and output.
The process itself was pretty straightforward. After recruiting employees, businesses typically held performance reviews every year to assess each individual’s productivity. And based on the findings, human resource managers identified specific areas that their employees would be trained to acquire new skills.
Fair enough. That might seem like a decent plan for many people. But, here’s the thing- research has proven over and over again that boosting employee value and output requires a different approach. Instead of focusing entirely on teaching new skills, companies should be able to identify and leverage their employees’ pre-existing talents.
Don’t get me wrong though. We are not trashing employee training. Far from it actually, since we acknowledge that training programs have their place. There’s no doubt about it. However, the point is, training doesn’t necessarily help you to capitalize on your employee’s talents.
Fundamentally, training is all about instilling new skills plus expanding your employees’ abilities. And to be honest, that’s one thing your workforce needs from time to time. But, not at the cost of their pre-existing talents.
Now that’s precisely where talent activation comes in. While training seeks to broaden skills, talent activation principally focuses on developing an individual’s skills and competencies.
In essence, talent activation is all about identifying your employee’s pre-existing talents and then subsequently developing them over the long haul. The goal here is to ultimately turn each individual’s skills into real performance for your company. Or, in short, capitalizing on your employee’s talents to drive business growth and productivity.
What does this mean for your company?
Well, for starters, it’s time you did away with traditional processes like annual employee performance reviews and employee ranking. According to a study conducted by Adobe, the bulk of employees today finds performance reviews stressful, time-consuming, and redundant.
So, instead of investing your company resources in employee evaluation, you should instead prioritize continuous talent development plus feedback processes.
And how will the company benefit from that?
Benefits of Talent Activation
By identifying your employees’ pre-established abilities and competencies then leveraging them accordingly, you’ll increasingly enhance your company’s overall productivity as well as human resource ROI.
And while you’re at it, the employees will certainly take notice of your efforts to recognize their strengths. Consequently, they’ll feel appreciated and valued as well, hence boosting their personal plus workplace satisfaction.
As a matter of fact, various studies have established that making employees feel treasured and appreciated increases your general human resource retention rate. They are bound to fully commit to the business for the long haul.
4 Critical Elements of Talent Activation
The process of talent activation entails these four critical elements:
1) Personality Assessment
Considering every person is unique in their own way, you can only identify an employee’s talents after comprehensively assessing their personality. That means analyzing not only how they feel and think, but also how their brain functions.
But, make no mistake about it. Your employees should understand what personality assessments are all about before you proceed. Otherwise, you risk getting inaccurate results if your workers perceive the whole exercise as just another performance review.
All in all, they should be able to freely communicate, raise concerns, and make inquiries.
2) Competency Models
Competency models essentially provide a summary of the range of skills required for specific job positions in your organization. And since companies operate differently, you should have your own custom competency models, based on the organization’s structure as well as its workplace environment.
The goal here is to help you identify the best positions to place each individual according to their personal strengths and talents. If you mostly work with office workers, it is important to evaluate the possibility to hire remote team members as well. Studies have shown that remote workers are even better at team collaboration so you don’t have to neglect that trend of work.
3) Long-term Learning
Learning is a continuous process, especially when you need to keep up with the ever-changing business trends.
So, of course, the self-development journey should not end with talent activation. On the contrary, talent activation should essentially provide a foundation for progressive skill development through long-term learning.
4) Leadership Development
Talent activation isn’t about employees alone. Rather, it’s an all-inclusive process that should involve the management team. The responsibilities of the management teams, in this regard, include not only working with one particular employee but helping that employee become an engaged member of your team via improved collaboration. And through leadership development courses, they’ll progressively learn how to guide their employees’ talents.
Based on these pointers alone, I believe we can now agree that the secret to capitalizing on your employees is combining progressive training with strategic talent activation.