By Richard Lynell
What does a holistic talent management team look like?
Well, that answer varies, depending on your organization and its leadership, culture, and environment. But regardless of this, I believe a talent management team should be an independent function of the organization, similar to an internal audit team.
So before we get into the makeup of the talent management team, we need to talk about your organization. I’ve said this in a previous article, but I often think organizations have to be more honest about what kind of environment is wanted and what exists (inclusive, collaborative, separate, self-preservation). What type of leadership style is wanted and what exists? Is all leadership held to the same standards with regard to producing the optimal work environment?
I’m not saying what the environment or leadership style has to be, and it could be different environments and leaders within the same organization. But whatever it is, if you’re not recruiting the right people for the environment, training and developing them to succeed in the environment, building and maintaining the resources needed to support the environment, and if it’s not “lived” throughout the organization in everyone’s practice and roles, then any success achieved is a fraction of what could be.
This is no easy task and could take years to accomplish. Hiring a professional who can survey and report on these areas will be of great help. Even if you cannot afford a professional, using a pre-made survey or even piggybacking on the work of others and developing your own is a start—anything to help you determine if what you got is what you want.
Now, regardless of the type of environment and leadership that is wanted, you still have every reason to create a holistic talent management team. This team is not just for creative or collaborative environments. Even if your organization is order-giving/taking, you still have an opportunity and obligation to work all the angles. Why? Because the end goal is to create an environment where employees are taught and supported and give their best to meet the goals of the organization in an environment they understand how to work in.
What about those leaders who “do their own thing”? Am I advocating “removing” them from their positions if they don’t embrace, create, and support the desired environment? Yes! You can recruit, train, and support employees to gold medal standards, but if the boss wants something different than what the organization wants, you have a problem. More than that, you have a responsibility to let the C-suite know. If executive leadership is serious about these initiatives, then they will, eventually, embrace the fact that their time will come to an end at some point, and they will be a team player or not.
It’s just my opinion, and that’s why they make chocolate and vanilla ice cream. Until next time…
Richard Lynell has been in the training and development profession for the last 35 years. He has worked for both the U.S. military and corporate training, and recently became an independent consultant.