“Strategic and integrated talent management” is usually more hope than reality for most organizations. Companies fall into three major traps in designing and implementing talent management programs:
First, many talent management initiatives fail to engage employees. For example, “off the shelf” competency models, or generic “leadership” competencies are tools leaders and HR tend to care more about than most managers and employees. Leader are seduced by expediency, but most generic competency efforts do not help employees answer the kinds of questions they care most about, such as how do I advance my career here, or, what does success look like in my role and function?
Second, generic competency models do not differentiate your organization or drive its strategic business agenda (how many companies do you think have a communication competency? And for how many companies does that competency really drive change?)
Third, too often talent management processes and practices like selection, succession planning, or performance management (etc.) are siloed and disconnected from each other. These important processes are conceived as well intentioned but disconnected programs designed to solve a narrow issue (e.g. identifying future leaders) and often wind up working at cross-purposes with other talent processes. The net effect is organizations wind up hiring people by one set of standards, promoting them by another and paying them by yet another. This is one reason why HR programs often prove ineffectual at sustaining significant business change.
So how does an organization credibly claim to have a “strategic” HR function when any or all of these elements are features of the ‘people system’?
Ontos Global’s Integrated Talent Management practice helps leaders and organizations design, integrate and optimize their talent system so as to use it as a strategic lever aligning and sustaining change and improving business results.
The core of our approach is a groundbreaking methodology for integrating all talent processes on a common foundation – one that differentiates functional success while aligning to and sustaining the transformation agenda while also engaging employees. Using practical, client-centered tools we develop (or refine) competency standards grounded in functional career paths. These standards are integrated through a comprehensive talent platform (a talent “operating system”) to all talent processes. We can do this for a single function or division, across a division, or for the global enterprise.
Our approach, perfected at companies like Lotus (IBM), Microsoft, ITT, Xylem, and other organizations drives employee engagement and becomes the lynchpin for aligning and sustaining change through talent management processes.
A recent survey of chief HR officers at 188 organizations worldwide found that fewer than one in six CEOs assign a strategic importance to the HR function.
Leaders may not tend to think of the entire people or talent management system as a change lever. Typically it is more like — ‘here’s where we’re going, now let’s get HR on board’.
One reason is leaders realize the people system — the collection of standards, processes, programs, and tools for managing and developing talent — is often underutilized, or worse, is misaligned with the organization’s strategy or fundamental change effort.
Misalignment happens because HR activities are often implemented as well-meaning but discrete and disconnected programs. Each function, like recruiting, training, learning, compensation, etc. may have evolved their own solutions to the legitimate but narrow set of business issues they confront. Which means the organization may be hiring people by one set of standards, promoting them by another and paying them by yet still another!
How do you sustain change when that is happening in your organization?
Even if leaders do see the connection between change and people systems, they lack sufficient tools or methods to leverage the system in any practical way.
And that is where we come in — we design and implement integrated and strategically aligned talent management systems that helps leaders align and sustain change.