Winning the talent war – driving your business forward

5 November 2021 / Insight posted in Business Doctor insights

Your people should be your biggest asset. But too often, businesses are held back or weakened by recruitment, retention and reward practices that aren’t strategically focussed. With so many competing priorities, how do you turn your talent into a reliable source of growth?

Get an accurate picture
The first and most important step is to truly understand your current people practices and the impact they’re having on business goals. This isn’t just about process improvement. It’s also about finding out what your people think and want. To be of real value the assessment needs to be thorough and objective. It should identify things that are already working well, but also things that need attention.

Think strategically
Understanding how all aspects of your talent practices fit together and influence business performance is vital. If you don’t already, start thinking about your entire people experience. But also look at it from the perspective of what the business needs. What’s the overall talent strategy – from attraction, through development, to exit and beyond – that will deliver the required business performance.

Prioritise effort and resource
You can’t fix and improve everything. So you’ll need to ruthlessly prioritise in order to make meaningful change. By this point you should have identified a range of issues and opportunities. Linking these back to business goals should help to clarify what’s most important and what’s realistic in the timescales you’re working to. But when splitting out priorities be sure to keep sight of the overall people strategy.

Have an action plan
Because of all the moving parts, you need a clear and realistic plan. But not just about how you’re going to implement change. You also need to plan how you will communicate and bring your people along with you. Don’t forget that everything you do needs to be in keeping with the people experience you are trying to create.

Think about your future talent now
Don’t just think about this year and the next. Look way ahead into the future. What are your talent needs going to be? How can you ensure you’re prepared for that? It might mean investing now in training and development so that you can truly grow your own. Or you may decide to focus on becoming the employer of choice within your market so you can attract the very best experienced hires.

Don’t leave the big stuff to chance
Driving your business forward with motivated and focused talent doesn’t happen by accident. Before being tempted by isolated fixes for your people problems, think about your business goals and the people strategy that can deliver them.

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