TalentedApps

We put the Talent in Applications

  • Authors

  • Blog Stats

    • 595,705 hits
  • Topics

  • Archives

  • Fistful of Talent Top Talent Management blogs
    Alltop, all the top stories

Posts Tagged ‘Talent Management’

Compensation budgeting to retain your best talent…

Posted by Anadi Upadhyaya on June 24, 2012

Compensation budget is an organization’s financial commitment towards compensation awards for its workforce. It’s a lifeline for compensation management process.  A performance linked compensation budget for your managers to work upon will help you to retain your best as top talent always have more options and  you may always run into a risk of losing talented workforce to your competitors.

If your compensation allocation objective is to attract, retain and motivate best talent than performance linked budgeting is the key.  Adoption of merit linked budget over the fixed budget will provide that required extra room for distributing compensation to your best talent, to achieve your organizational goals.

Be it a fixed number or a number based on some prorated value (such as on base salary), a manager with more talented people should have more budget in his disposal to allocate workforce appropriately. Use of organization or division wide performance linked budgeting guidelines will ensure consistency as allowing discretion beyond a point may result in derailment from original purpose. To enforce consistency, variation beyond an accepted threshold should not be permitted.

Choosing performance linked budgeting over the fixed budgeting gives an extra boost to your pay for performance system.

Posted in Compensation | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Strategic HR

Posted by Sri Subramanian (@whosissri) on September 8, 2011

The CHRO and CFO oversee the two main assets of a company. They have enormous opportunity to add value to the CEO. Yet, they sometimes fall short of expectations.

Their strategic  function is not about setting solid guidelines on depreciation of capital assets, or putting together employee handbooks. Those may be required activities, and if not done right, may cause enormous harm. However, they are not leadership activities.

A good CEO can chart the strategic plan for the company. He can even channel the money, but it is much harder to channel the talent and get everyone aboard. This is where the CHRO can help. However, this involves changing the tone of the HR communications from mandates and legalese to influencing and enabling.

The strategic function of recruiting is not to enforce pay boundaries; it is to get the right people to fill the right jobs. The strategic function of performance reviews is not to get 100% participation; it is to foster career growth. The strategic function of succession management is not to make sure all critical jobs have successors; it is to help find the right successors, wherever they are. The strategic function of benefits is not to pass top heavy tests; but to provide benefits that are best provided via group enrollment. The strategic function of time cards is not to keep record of attendance; but to compute gross margin per product, so we know which products to continue to build.

HR’s strategic function is to breathe, speak, and live this, and to be able to see everything from the lens of the business. The rest is to HR what accounting is to finance. It may sometimes be essential, but it is not strategic.

I have been super lucky to work with HR counterparts who get this. They keep me from the legalese and the HR policies.  They share information with me. They suggest ways I can avoid obstacles. And they focus on helping me get the job done. This is business execution.

Posted in finance, hr transformation, leadership, strategic hr, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Confessions of a performance review convert: no pain, no gain?…no longer!

Posted by Louise Barnfield on August 27, 2009

opportunity

I’ve noticed that performance review meetings with my manager have evolved over the past couple of years, and my performance document looks very different too. It has become a living, breathing document over the course of the entire year, and, as a result it is more complete and more relevant, both as a history and as a roadmap.

In the past, I admit I was prone to similar mistakes that Meg called out in an earlier post on performance reviews. Thanks Meg, I learned a lot from that post!

Happily, over time, she and others have encouraged me to improve my own self-evaluation process, and this in turn has provided better input for my manager, enabling him to make more comprehensive and constructive comments himself. I spend more time on the process than I used to, because it matters to me more – and it matters to me more, because it’s very evident that it matters to our management team.

Meg has strongly encouraged us to have more frequent reviews with our manager, to summarize progress on our goals, and adjust as necessary. On second thoughts, for ‘strongly encouraged’ read ‘mercilessly nagged’!! 🙂

When I perceive the importance that’s placed on this process, then I’m willing to invest more in it myself.

This has meant, for this past year in particular, that I’ve updated my performance document at quarterly intervals, which made the final summary far more manageable and more meaningful, as I could see my own progress over the entire year. Since I didn’t have to conjure up 52 weeks’ worth of information when faced with the end-of-year deadline, it also meant I spent that time more productively reflecting on the year’s events and on where I want to go in the future.

In support of this frequent update process, a recent BusinessWeek article, The Trouble with Performance Reviews, states: “…reviews occur too infrequently to provide meaningful feedback.” Luckily for me, many of the negatives raised in the article no longer apply to my performance reviews: we do “make criteria more explicit and objective and have more people involved in the ratings process, so that one person’s perceptions and biases don’t matter so much”; we do “focus more on facts and evidence and less on benchmarking and unexamined conventional wisdom.”

The annual task that I used to dread is no longer drudgery, it’s my opportunity.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s still not a breeze. I spent a long time thinking and working on this year’s self-evaluation, but it was a more satisfying process because I was able to focus my attention differently, and now that I see the positive outcome I certainly don’t feel the pain as I used to. So: less pain, more gain – gotta love that!

For those of you who lack the benefit of your own Meg kicking you up the proverbial backside, I encourage you to do yourselves a favor: proactively keep frequent notes and write your own quarterly review – schedule it in your calendar and don’t (as I’ve been known to do) let it slide into obscurity in deference to seemingly(!) higher priorities.

However, for those subjected to the same regular nagging that I am, be grateful that your managers encourage you to review your goals and keep them current. My management team recognizes the benefit of ensuring that team members are continually aligned to valid smart organizational goals, for the good of me as an individual as well as for the good of the team and the business.

I’ve already updated my 2010 performance document twice in the past 2 months! Quite a change for the person who (like our Ken) was previously dragged, kicking and screaming, through the once dreaded annual process.

Which are you, a diehard or a convert?

Photo by Little Jeanne

Posted in goals, management, performance, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | 7 Comments »

Don’t spin your wheels! Taking baby steps on the rocky road of talent management

Posted by Louise Barnfield on March 2, 2009

I was on my bike this morning…I mean literally and recreationally, not figuratively and professionally. I’m hoping I won’t hear the words “On yer bike!” in the office any time soon.

I’m no @lancearmstrong or @vendorprisey, both of whose blogs and tweets I avidly follow, but I’m training for my first big event since my last 100-mile ride. Three years on, and very little bike-time in between, it’s pretty much like starting from scratch, which might have been rather depressing if I’d thought about it too much.

I was unexpectedly on my own this morning, and was oh-so-tempted to skip the big hill that I’d planned to climb with a friend before she bailed on me. The complete circuit starts with a steep (my kind of steep, not Thomas Otter’s!!) climb up to a college campus that sits on the crest of the hill. At the top, there’s a 3/4 descent down the far side, then other climb back up before returning down the hill to the start point. All-in-all, the whole thing is pretty daunting for a first timer, which is how I was feeling this morning.

However, I knew it had to be done sometime, and if I avoided it today, I’d only have to face the whole thing for the first time next week. So, I figured procrastination was no escape. Still, I admit I wimped out of the complete circuit, and just did the initial climb up to the top before retracing my steps. Actually, I prefer to think of it as intelligent partitioning! It was more manageable than I feared, I know I can do more next time, and I felt good…in fact, I still feel good!

Isn’t this the same logical approach that we should take to larger scale challenges? If any task seems too daunting, don’t bite off more than you can chew, but don’t let it put you off starting! Start with something that’s more easily accomplished, but still satisfying. If you choose your starting point carefully, there are invariably gains to be made that will stand you in good stead for the next bite of the apple.

Often, we’re told that effective employee development and performance measurement begins with a full-blown competency library. Many HR professionals are daunted by the challenge of creating an entire competency model for their organization, which they perceive as mandatory for an efficient, comprehensive talent management strategy. Isn’t it easier to avoid the issue altogether, rather than face a project that requires too much time and resources before you are able to prove any ROI? Not so! There are ways to scale down the problem, to jump start your program so that the organization is benefiting from the initial achievement while you continue to implement future stages.

Successful organizations have started by defining and implementing a few core competencies for their workforce, before identifying more specific requirements for individual divisions or roles. Their next step might be to profile only those jobs that are critical to the organization…which are not necessarily the C-level or executive positions. A retail business might, for example, perceive the most critical role as their counter staff who are in direct and daily contact with customers, and can therefore most impact the business, either positively or negatively.

This kind of approach is particularly important during the current economic downturn, when organizations are looking to cutback any extraneous work, and get the most bang-for-their-buck from what’s left.

So, there I was on the bike, knowing that I had to tackle the college hill at some stage during my ride. I could have parked at the bottom of the hill and immediately started riding…uphill. Not smart! I can be dumb, but not that dumb! I preferred to start easy – to get a few easy, flat miles under my belt. By the time I reached the college entrance, not only were my legs warmed up but I’d enjoyed a very pleasant ride with superb views across a reservoir and surrounding hills. I was feeling gooood – inspired, enthusiastic, and approaching a hill that didn’t look anywhere near as daunting as it would have done half-an-hour earlier.

Starting easy with competency modeling can also be a no-brainer. Think of what you already have as a starting point – employees aren’t just a blank sheet of paper. Even if you don’t have a fully-fledged competency library, your employees have competencies and skills they’ve already achieved. So, use their history to build your future.

Talent review meetings, as a starting point, provide the incentive for managers to pull together this kind of information for an identifiable reason and recognizable benefits. Past performance reviews identify the abilities that each employee already has. That information should automatically feed into their employee profile, at the same time rewarding them for what they’ve already achieved. In turn, those profiles can feed into the talent review. Not two, but three birds with one stone!

…perhaps even four birds, since this approach could also make your performance reviews more palatable to your workforce, when they realize they have the makings of a decent employee profile with no added effort.

A truly integrated talent management solution enables you to insert, update, access information from multiple procedures. Of course, full TM integration goes way beyond the bounds of just performance and profile management, but this is one obvious starting point that more businesses should take advantage of when looking to kick start the TM process.

I’m not ready for my 72-mile ride around Lake Tahoe quite yet, but it was a pleasant way to start!
Onwards and upwards, I say!

Posted in competency, hr, profiles, talent review, Uncategorized | Tagged: | 3 Comments »

Hallelujah! Learning takes an upturn in a downturn

Posted by Louise Barnfield on February 25, 2009

At last, they’ve seen the light!

Too often talent management, and in particular learning and development, has taken a backseat during financial downturns. Too many companies have shortsightedly used cutbacks in those areas as a quick economic fix, only to deal with the consequences later, when overtaken by more farsighted competitors who were ready to respond as soon as the economy picked up.

However, there’s evidence of a different approach this time.

From TM Magazine comes a press release from Chief Learning Officer announcing their annual 2009 Business Intelligence Industry Report, which indicates increased support from C-level execs, 83 per cent of whom “said they believe the learning organization will play a significant role in the response to the economic situation“.

Let’s hope the survey results are current enough to reflect this positive attitude accurately.

Posted in hr, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

Integrated Talent Management, good strategy or fad?

Posted by Meg Bear on July 16, 2008

As you can imagine being a Talent vendor gives us an opportunity to talk to a lot of different customers, partners, analysts, etc.  This is probably one of the reasons I love what I do.  I really can think of nothing better then geeking out with a customer about innovative things they are doing to bring real value to their companies.  I realize that there might be some therapy for this condition, but for now I’m content knowing that I am a real geek and just happen to be fortunate enough to get paid for it.

I’ve been reading Jim’s retrospective on the talent coverage he has done since 2002 and finding interest in his view of the suite and how it has evolved in the past 5-ish years.  Was also talking with Bill Kutik about his HR Technology conference and how the shoot-out this year is about talent suites. To be honest, all of this talk about “best of suite” and “integrated talent management”  has not been sitting well with me lately.  I’ve been struggling to figure out what my beef is, since I do believe in the value that can be realized with a suite.  So why do I feel so negative about all the talk of integrated suites?

I expect that this topic will take me a few posts to figure out, but I decided that getting additional opinions might provide some help, so I decided to blog about it in half-baked form and see what discussion happens.

So what’s the deal?  Isn’t it true that companies can get more value from an integrated talent solution then they can from a silo’d solution (for example in Recruiting or Compensation or Performance Management).  Of course they can.  

But is the real discussion the integration or the vision?  That’s my issue.  I want to talk vision and we all seem to jump into solution. Solution is great, but please tell me that you are clear on what problems you want to solve.  All to often, I find people are wanting a talent management solution because they think that it’s the thing to do.  When I attempt to get more information, I find that they are struggling on some very tactical issues and a vision or a strategy is not even on their radar.  

Let me be clear, I am a big believer in solving tactical issues but I am a bigger believer in having a strategy so that as you solve tactical issues you can avoid having to re-solve them to achieve your strategy.

Here are some things that I would like to see more HR leaders talking about

  1. How do I provide value to the business to achieve their objectives?  Do I have the data and systems I need to do that?
  2. How do I provide a framework for our business to grow and adapt to changes in market conditions? demographics? regulatory requirements? etc?
  3. How do I grow the skills and capabilities of my own HR department to better provide for our business?
  4. How do I build a business case to show the business the value in the programs that I want to offer?
  5. How do I provide value to the C-suite with the products and services we provide?
Instead, I am seeing people mired in definitions of competency libraries or complaining about how hard it is to get reliable analytics.  Sure, an integrated talent solution will help you, but will it help you enough?  I’d argue that technology can only help you if you have a plan to use it effectively.

So, am I just channeling Sisyphus here on a pointless mission, or should I keep hoping for the day that we can have an adult conversation here? 
 

Please sound off in comments, what do you think we should be talking about instead of (or in addition to) a suite?  Or should I just get happy about all the suite discussions, figuring that the value can come later and at least people are headed in the right direction?  Thoughts?

Posted in hr transformation, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | 6 Comments »

Building Applications That Help Grow Strong Leaders

Posted by Ken Klaus on April 29, 2008

Last week I had the opportunity to attend The Business of Talent conference in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Kudos to the team at Bersin & Associates for putting together a great conference.) One theme consistently discussed throughout the conference was the need to make leadership development a core part of your talent management strategy. Leadership development goes beyond just training and is equal in importance to recruiting, succession planning and performance management. Most talent management solutions provide applications that help companies to recruit, train, measure, and compensate their workforce. But few have incorporated leadership development as a core business process within the talent management suite; which is interesting since leadership development is generally considered a mission critical part of most business strategies. So the question is how can our talent management solutions help us achieve this critical objective?

First I think it’s important to understand that no software application by itself will ever find the leaders in your organization, let alone develop them (unless of course you have access to Deep Thought or Professor Farnsworth). This is a task for your managers, directors, and senior executives. I also subscribe to the idea that leadership is not tied to a specific role in the company, like manager, vice president or CEO. I think every employee is a potential leader and in my opinion the hallmark of a truly great company is having more leaders than managers, or better yet, just leaders and no managers! With that said, there are some tools your talent management applications ought to provide to assist your organization in identifying and growing your leadership pipeline.

  • First is a configurable profile management application. Profiles tell us everything we need to know about the person and the position. They help us assess whether we have the right people in the right job. Person profiles should include things like risk of loss, impact of loss, personal, professional and developmental goals as well as the skills (competencies) the employee has today. Job profiles include the key competencies, certifications, licenses, education requirements, etc. needed to succeed in the position. A good talent management solution will help you match each employee with the right position.
  • Second are integrated performance, learning and compensation management applications. Having performance management without learning management is like constructing a house with a yardstick and no hammer; why measure if you can’t build. Likewise, having a learning management application without performance management means you can train your employees but can’t measure their growth or level of accomplishment. Compensation helps you recognize and reward good performance; without it you have a stick (performance management) but no carrot and good employees won’t hang around for very long under those conditions.
  • Finally, the talent management suite should include robust analytic tools that aggregate and integrate your data across applications. These tools should help you calibrate performance and potential across the organization; identify risk of loss candidates; craft talent pools and succession plans; and create customized development objectives tied to the key business drivers for your organization.

Most companies believe the best leaders are grown rather than recruited. Individuals who grow up in the organization have already embraced the company’s culture and core values. They understand the business, the market place and most importantly the customer. All they really need is experience and an opportunity to lead. Mark Sanborn writes in You Don’t Need A Title To Be A Leader, “It doesn’t matter what your position is, or how long you’ve worked at your job, whether you help to run your family, a PTA committee, or a Fortune 1000 company. Anyone at any level can learn to be a leader and help to shape or influence the world around them.” Our job as talent management specialists is to provide every employee with the opportunity to become the leaders who will help our organizations succeed and our companies thrive.

Posted in leadership, succession planning, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | 7 Comments »

Cloning and the Art of Succession Planning

Posted by Ken Klaus on April 7, 2008

I caught an episode from season 2 of Futurama last week titled A Clone of My Own, thanks to a recent acquisition (by me, not Oracle), of a DVR player. In this episode Professor Farnsworth, the owner of an interplanetary delivery service and inventor extraordinaire, is celebrating his 150th birthday. During his party the professor laments, “There’s no one to carry on after I’m gone, no one to take care of my work and my research and my fabulous fortune. I’ve got to name a successor. There’s no time to lose. I’m off to my lab to build a successor-naming machine!” A potentially lucrative opportunity, for what pioneering software company worth its salt wouldn’t jump at the chance to acquire such an invention? Alas, after much time and effort the professor completes his machine only to discover that none of his employees are up to the job. So he does what any mad software vendor, er um, I mean scientific genius would do, he clones himself, resulting in much mayhem and hilarity.

Thankfully cloning isn’t an option for us average Joes. Unfortunately most of us don’t have access to a successor-naming machine either; but this does not mean we’re helpless when it comes to succession planning. We can start by identifying each of the key positions in the organization that drive our business and consider how the business would be impacted if someone working in one of these positions were to leave. Next, we can identify the high performers in each of these essential roles and create a profile of the attributes that make them successful. A good profile will include hard skills for job competencies, degrees, and certifications as well as soft skills like enthusiasm, creativity, flexibility, and perseverance. Once we have a strong profile definition we’re ready to find the high potential candidates who already fit the profile as well as those who are a close match and create individual development plans that will help each employee reach the next level.

Succession planning is a critical component for any talent management strategy and requires proactive rather than reactive timing; because looking for a successor after a person leaves puts the business at undue risk. Identifying critical positions in your organization, defining key profiles for these roles, locating high potential employees, and investing in development requires planning and commitment. And even if science could solve the problem of succession for us, I’m guessing it still wouldn’t work out the way we hoped; because as any fan of the sci-fi genre knows something always goes wrong – think Jurassic Park! But growing high potential employees into key roles is a safe and proven methodology for keeping your business strong and your employees happy.

Posted in engagement, goals | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Helping happy cows stay happy

Posted by Ken Klaus on March 14, 2008

happycowpaper800_bob.jpg

I can’t vouch for the science behind the Happy Cow theory but their commercials do make me smile. Over the past couple of weeks there have been some great discussions around the benefits of employee mobility. Amy, Meg and Mark have waxed eloquent on the advantages of allowing an employee to move up via promotion or move on by finding a new role in the organization. Sometimes though, the employee is already in the right job and keeping them engaged and successful (read happy) means helping them grow where they are, to cultivate new skills within their current position.

Over the past year I’ve been struggling with the question of whether I’m still in the right role or even on the right career path. I’ve been working in the software industry for more than ten years now, but this wasn’t actually part of the plan. Life is funny that way. Most of us have a pretty good idea of what we want to do after we finish college, but then we hop on the job train and ten years and a whole lot of miles later we find ourselves in a career we didn’t even consider as undergraduates. That said I really do like the work I’m doing. I just feel like there’s something missing – that I still haven’t reached my full potential. So is it time for me to move on?

As I nearly always do when these sorts of questions creep into my thoughts, I asked my good friend and informal mentor to lunch. (I am so bad in this regard that an invitation to lunch now carries the implied message: “I’m having a career crisis!”) Anyway, we have lunch and, as usual, my friend patiently listens as I explain all of the reasons why I need to quit my job and find my true path in life. When I finished, I was confident she fully understood my problem and was now going to reach into her bag – the one labeled All the Answers – and give me the one that would solve my career crisis. But instead of an answer, she asked me a question: “Rather than quitting your job, have you thought about how you could grow your current role to include what you feel is missing”?

It was a really great question and one that I hadn’t considered. Rather than give up all the things I loved about my job, why not find ways to grow the job into something even more interesting and fulfilling. Too often employees find themselves in great, if imperfect, careers and so go hunting for something new. However, the truth is for most of us the perfect job simply doesn’t exist. But there are a great many jobs that are nearly perfect; so maybe the trick is to find an almost perfect job and see how we can improve it. Strong, effective managers will consistently cultivate a culture of mobility and encourage their employees to develop new skill sets to grow beyond their current roles; but there are times when the job itself needs to be grown to ensure the goals and aspirations of the employee can be fully realized.

Posted in engagement | Tagged: , | 5 Comments »