Talent Strategy: Discussing and Amending as Necessary

IMAGE CREDIT:  
Image credit
iStock

Talent Strategy: Discussing and Amending as Necessary

Subheading text
Approaches to discussing and amending the talent strategy and the benefits of organization-wide communication regarding the talent strategy

    • Author
    • Author name
      Deloitte Consulting LLP
    • August 13, 2020
    ads }

    Post text

    Stacia Garr

    Vice President, Talent & Workforce Research Leader

    Bersin, Deloitte Consulting LLP

    Overview

    Our research finds that, while most organizations have integrated talent management processes, many still lack a clear talent strategy. This is cause for concern, as a talent strategy provides a focus for talent management efforts, and keeps them aligned with the organization’s business strategy and objectives.

    In this article, we shift from discussing how to communicate the talent strategy to examining the mechanisms that can be used to maintain and increase alignment over time.

    Maintaining Alignment

    Question: How often do we have to return to discussing the talent strategy?

    Answer: Very frequently! At a minimum, HR leaders should discuss the strategy on a quarterly basis, but many effective strategies are discussed every single day.

    Like so many things, it is not enough to set a talent strategy and to then leave it. Given that the talent strategy is the articulation of HR’s high-priority items, it should be kept front and center in ongoing communications.

    Structured Leadership Check-Ins

    One way to keep the talent strategy top of mind is to create processes and infrastructures that provide opportunities to discuss the talent strategy and make amendments as necessary. The following are four approaches to doing this.

    KEY POINT

    Four approaches to keeping the talent strategy top of mind include establishing talent advisory councils, setting talent strategy as a recurring item on the executive committee’s quarterly business reviews, including a reference to the talent strategy in every HR presentation, and reviewing or updating the talent strategy on an annual basis.

    • Talent advisory councils (TACs). As stated previously in this report, a TAC’s objectives are to drive talent decisions, align talent strategy, and create talent champions. These councils are comprised of respected, influential, and open-minded senior leaders, and are typically led by a business leader, not HR (though HR has one to two seats on the council, usually the CHRO and the most senior talent management leader). Membership on the TAC should be seen as prestigious and important, not just a place to develop leaders. These councils typically meet either monthly or quarterly.  
    • Talent strategy as a recurring item on the executive committee’s quarterly business review. Even organizations that include a TAC often also have the CHRO present an update on the talent strategy at the executive committee’s quarterly business reviews. This provides high-level visibility for the strategy, and enables the CHRO to solicit feedback and provide relevant updates.  
    • Talent strategy as a recurring item in every HR presentation. While it may seem redundant, including a slide on the talent strategy in every HR presentation can help to reinforce both the strategy itself, and how a given program or initiative aligns with it. (See “Organization-wide Communications” for more information.)  
    • Calendar-based talent strategy updates. Many of the organizations we interviewed set the talent strategy for a three- to five-year timeframe. Every year, they review the progress on the short-term elements of the talent strategy and make adjustments for the coming year. Every two to three years, these organizations take a holistic look at the overall talent strategy and make updates as necessary.  

    Organization-wide Communications

    While senior leaders need to understand the current state of the talent strategy, it also should be broadly communicated and reinforced throughout the organization. Our research suggests that organizations should ensure leaders at all levels understand the talent strategy and its implications for them in their daily jobs. Specifically, our analysis found that organizations with middle managers who were highly effective at communicating the talent strategy (as compared with those companies with middle managers who are ineffective in that regard) are:

    • Nearly four times more likely to be highly effective at coaching and developing people
    • Three times more likely to be highly effective at identifying and developing leaders
    • Nearly twice as likely to be highly effective at anticipating change and responding appropriately  

    KEY POINT

    Our analysis found that organizations had stronger talent and business outcomes when middle managers are highly effective at communicating the talent strategy (as compared with organizations with middle managers who were ineffective at doing so).

    We have identified several approaches to communicating the talent strategy broadly:

    • Senior leader communications. Some HR leaders focus on helping senior leaders communicate the talent strategy—and the organization’s overall commitment to talent—broadly. They accomplish this through activities such as:
      • Helping senior leaders to write emails / blogs
      • Creating meeting slides for senior leaders to insert into presentations
      • Supporting senior leaders at companywide meetings / question-and-answer sessions
      • Doing anything else that can help leaders to talk about the talent strategy  
    • HR communications. Some HR organizations include information about the talent strategy in almost all of their communications (e.g., presentations, articles, blogs, emails, internal HR websites). The intention is to convey broadly the organization’s priorities when it comes to talent.  
    • Organization-wide talent strategy resources. Some organizations make available those resources related to the talent strategy on the company’s internal portal. These resources could include:
      • The talent strategy itself
      • Research that supports the overall direction of the talent strategy  

    While there certainly may be other approaches, these suggestions can help HR leaders to maintain momentum and support for the talent strategy on an ongoing basis.

    KEY POINT

    Three approaches to communicating the talent strategy broadly are senior leader communications, HR communications, and organization-wide talent strategy resources.

    Reflection

    Once a talent strategy is created and communicated, there may be a temptation to view the project as finished. However, a talent strategy is not a “set it and forget it” type of endeavor. It should evolve along with the business, and the best way to help make that happen is by continually discussing and adjusting it to fit the company’s context.

    Our hope is that this article, in combination with the others on this topic, gives you a fundamental understanding of what a talent strategy is, and how to go about designing, aligning, communicating, and maintaining it.

    Key Takeaways

    • At a minimum, HR leaders should discuss the strategy on a quarterly basis, but many effective strategies are discussed every single day.
    • Four approaches to keeping the talent strategy top of mind include establishing talent advisory councils, setting talent strategy as a recurring item on the executive committee’s quarterly business reviews, including a reference to the talent strategy in every HR presentation, and reviewing or updating the talent strategy on an annual basis.
    • While senior leaders need to understand the current state of the talent strategy, it also should be broadly communicated and reinforced throughout the organization.
    • Many of the organizations we interviewed set the talent strategy for a three- to five-year timeframe.
    • Our analysis found that, when middle managers are highly effective at communicating the talent strategy, organizations have stronger talent and business outcomes (as compared with organizations with middle managers who are ineffective at doing so).
    • Three approaches to communicating the talent strategy broadly are senior leader communications, HR communications, and organization-wide talent strategy resources.

    Community forecast feedback

    View the community's ratings after you leave your own below.

    Average year

    All readers

    --

    Average year

    Qr readers

    --

    Average vote

    All readers

    --

    Average vote

    Qr readers

    --

    Average vote

    All readers

    --

    Average vote

    Qr readers

    --

    Average vote

    All readers

    --
    --
    --

    Average vote

    Quantumrun readers

    --
    --
    --

    Average vote

    Company readers

    --
    --
    --