As a core component of leadership and succession planning, talent management must perform periodic talent reviews. Due to the associated time consumption of the activity, talent acquisition and management professionals will typically only take into consideration the top 1% or less of available talent, however, this could be limiting their choices and may not necessarily result in the right person in the right position.
The talent management cycle begins from the moment the candidate is on-boarded, throughout their initial training, their career at the company to the day they leave. Continous development of senior executives and board level individuals allows performance enhancement to occur both as an individual as well as part of the leadership team. Ensuring that executives are capable and excelling in managing their business area alongside ensuring they are balanced in how they manage as an individual leader within a collection of managers is essential to company success.
What is top-down talent management?
When considering your executive employees development, a top-down approach to talent management could prove to be one of the most effective routes. Developing a talent programme which focuses on managing the constant improvement and education of senior executives can support in managing the complete employee lifecycle.
Top-down talent management is typically highly personalised for a very small percentage of the businesses top performers. There are a number of ways to implement a top-down talent management strategy, however, most will begin with a one-to-one interview with the individuals to talk through their core attributes, strengths, weaknesses and personal goals. During this time, talent managers will often discuss previous training and the individual’s personal development needs within the workplace. This is also a key time for executives to bring up a preferred training course or programme that they would like to attend if this aligns with their personal development.
From the information gathered in the interview, the talent management team can then create a list of options to present to each executive which will take them to the desired level within the company and personal development. The process then supports the individuals in selecting their preferred and most appropriate route, with the program commencing after this.
Each top-down talent management will see no two executives follow the same development plan, with some choosing off-site courses and lectures, possibly at prestigious universities and others looking to create a more defined reading schedule to expand their knowledge.
What is bottom-up talent management?
A ‘bottom-up’ talent management system aims to empower the people throughout your business in order to boost communication and collaboration throughout the workforce. Tasks and development are often established via employee feedback, with the wider workforce invited to participate in the goal-setting process.
Once the feedback has been reviewed, projects and goals can be created by the team leaders and managers. This is then communicated back to the senior leadership to ensure alignment and approval.
Allowing employees to create their own goals can improve the alignment of the objectives with their strengths and the areas that they feel they need to improve. Allowing employees to set their own goals can boost confidence, encourage collaborative learning environments and offers the workforce the chance to take a level of responsibility within both the personal development and the development of their department and business. Skills development can bring new capabilities into the company and often allow for the growth of new departments that allow companies to extend their grasp into new offerings for customers.
Bottom-down or top-down – which is best for your business?
Organisational culture is unique, and as such, there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’, even for companies operating in the same industries. Each company will have differing levels of innovation, capabilities, risk tolerance and resources, therefore when considering which talent management system is best for the business, company culture should be reviewed first.