Today’s businesses, organisations and markets are constantly changing, developing and evolving. With this comes the fact that it is not possible to simply find someone who has potential and leave them to get on with a job. If you want a high quality performance from a high flying manager who is going to stay committed to your organisation for the long term, then you need a programme of Talent Management and Leadership Development firmly rooted into the very core of your company. Your people and your business need to be able to move constantly with the times.

As an employer, how should you tackle this? Here is a guide to making the most out of your talent.

  • Make talent management and development and issue at Board level. The Board should be able to clearly articulate the strategy of the business and where it is going, and therefore define the types of skills, behaviours and people the business will need in the future.
  • Identify who the potential leaders of the business are in the next 5, 10 and 15 years. Does the business have a mechanism in place to identify the leaders of tomorrow? What are the key criteria that the business is looking for? How will the criteria be measured and assessed?
  • Make sure that your talent is aware of the fact that they are ‘talent’, and continually cross-check their expectations and desires alongside yours. At the age of 27, an aspiring manager may be willing to travel the world. At 37 and with a young family, their priorities have probably changed.
  • Be open and clear with your high potentials about what it is they need to learn. What is it that will add the greatest value to their performance and careers?
  • Don’t assume that management training is the answer to all your talent development needs. Ask yourself what development activities will they benefit most from – coaching, mentoring, project work or a secondment?
  • Provide ‘on and off the job’ opportunities for your talent to flourish. Could they perhaps lead a local community or charity project? Generally people will raise their performance to what is being requested of them. If you never ask someone to step outside their comfort zone you will never find out!
  • Make sure that you are focussing on the individual’s ‘development’, and therefore provide opportunities for self-direction and self-learning as well.

Ultimately the competitive edge of your business and its long term success resides with the abilities of your future key managers and leaders. Surely the nurturing and development of your talent is far too an important business issue to be left to chance?