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The 5 Steps to Updating your Talent Strategy

Talent is the hallmark of HR so it’s imperative that you invest time to update your talent strategy. There are all kinds of campaigns, programmes and initiatives that have been designed and combined in order to attract, retain and grow talent. So how do you keep things on track and deliver results? By investing time to create and continually revisit the ultimate talent strategy.

Here are the five steps to take to update your talent strategy and set you on track for success.

1. Explore the landscape

Confirming the purpose of your talent and workforce strategy. This may seem simple, but it requires some deep thinking. The purpose will be fundamentally different for each organisation, depending on the environment, strategy, business model and the possible scenarios that the organisation faces. For example, the overall purpose may be responsiveness to changing client needs, being able to quickly scale parts of the business up or down. For another organisation, the purpose might be lowest cost of delivery or retention of unique knowledge. Whatever it is, the clarity of purpose needs to be central to the rest of the talent and workforce plan.

Key questions to answer are:

  1. What’s the purpose of your talent strategy?
  2. What do your stakeholders want and need?
  3. What are the future scenarios to prepare for?
  4. Who needs to be involved in shaping the strategy?

2. Map the territory

So, you’ve looked at the landscape, now it’s time for a deeper dive – time to map the territory – what’s really going on and what are all the systems and processes that are interacting?

Key questions to answer are:

  • What is your short-term supply and demand?
  • How many of your people have the skills they need for the future?
  • What is your anticipated long-term supply and demand?
  • How well do you align individual and organisational wants/needs?
  • How well do you support people to work at their personal best?
  • What is the purpose and value of your processes?

3. Prioritise minimising risk and maximising opportunity

By this point, you will no doubt have identified lots of things that you could do… a bit like packing for a journey, there might be lots of things you would like to take with you, but you can’t take everything, you have to prioritise.

This is the same – you need to identify the big things to focus on…again, linking back to what your stakeholders want and need.

Key questions to answer are:

· What are the biggest risks that you need to manage?

· What are the biggest opportunities that you can harness?

· What does your talent strategy need to deliver?

4. Develop a roadmap

Here, the key questions to answer are:

· What problem are you solving?

· What’s your current state and your vision?

· What steps can you take to move towards your vision?

· Who do you need to involve, how can you bring them with you?

Developing the roadmap really is crucial to the success of refreshing your approach to talent. At this stage in the process, using the Who, What and How further questions below will help you scope out a roadmap that is best geared for success and takes in the needs of your stakeholders:

WHAT is the core problem/opportunity and how can we quantify the current state?

WHO is affected by this and what’s the benefit to them in changing things?

WHAT would be suitable goals, objectives and results for our new approach?

WHAT is going on? What different factors are influencing this problem – which do we need to address?

WHAT are the restrictions that we need to be aware of in developing our solutions?

WHAT would some suitable milestones be along the way?

HOW will we test out and get buy in to our solutions?

WHAT will our first step be?

5. Take action, review impact

And finally, once you have taken those first steps towards a new Talent Strategy, don’t forget to pause and reflect on how to improve the impact:

  1. What have you tried and what has the impact been?
  2. How has your landscape or mapchanged?
  3. What do you need to do next?
  4. How will this increase value capture/creation?

Written by Dr Maggi Evans, psychologist, author, talent strategist and coach

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