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Unlock Your Team's Hidden Super Powers: Unleash Success with Strengths-Based Talent Management

Talent management is a critical aspect of any organisation's current and future success, as it helps to attract, retain, and develop top talent. While many organisations focus on traditional talent management strategies, they may be missing a key ingredient: natural talents. Furthermore, their approach may only focus on the present situation, or be directed at individuals who may be in positions that make them more visible. Understanding and utilising employees' natural talents, and then developing them into true Strengths, can have a profound positive impact on engagement, job satisfaction, and overall performance; indeed, Gallup research shows that individuals who focus on their strengths are up to 6x more engaged in their work resulting in striking benefits such as being up to 8x more productive and 3x more likely to report having an excellent quality of life. In this blog, we'll explore the importance of incorporating natural talents into talent management programmes and how it can lead to a more engaged and successful workforce.

What is talent management?

Talent management refers to the systematic and strategic approach to attracting, developing, retaining, and utilising a talented workforce within an organisation. It involves identifying, nurturing and leveraging the skills, abilities, and strengths of employees to achieve business objectives and drive organisational success. Key components of talent management include:

a) Succession planning

b) Performance management

c) Employee engagement

d) Diversity and inclusion initiatives

What are the benefits of talent management?

There are numerous benefits of talent management for an organisation, including improved employee loyalty and elevated performance (and therefore business results). When organisations invest in developing their employees' skills and abilities, they create a more motivated and workforce who are better equipped to perform.

However, implementing an effective talent management programme can also present challenges. Maintaining a focus on high performance while balancing the needs of individual employees can be difficult, and it requires a dedicated effort from both managers and employees. Additionally, these challenges can be keenly felt in organisations that don’t have a dedicated Learning and Development support function. Likewise, a poorly thought-out strategy that fails to detect hidden talent can also be counterproductive, especially if it results in some employees feeling marginalised e.g programmes that only focus on managers. Despite these challenges, the potential rewards of a well-executed talent management program make it a critical element of a business’s current and future success.

What are natural talents and why is understanding them important?

We all have instinctive patterns of thought, feeling and behaviour. These are formed over the course of our lives, as we learn what works for us and what doesn’t. This combination is unique for everyone. Gallup have identified 34 themes of talent that lead to success in different ways and which shape the way we see the world – how we behave, the choices we make, how we work, and why we are naturally better at some things than others. When we invest in these talents (through coaching, training, application and reflection) they become powerful Strengths. Understanding these Strengths is important – once people understand what has led us to their successes in the past they can proactively leverage their inherent talents and abilities to achieve great things at work. Too often training initiatives focus on weaknesses instead of leveraging what people are naturally good at! Looking at Strengths is a much more refreshing, motivating and engaging approach to developing talent. Once identified, Strengths can be leveraged in any manner of ways, from aiding effective learning, achieving challenging goals and establishing constructive habits. By identifying and utilising employees' natural talents, organisations can create a workforce who feel empowered to be authentic high performers – they feel better, they do more, they do better, and they enjoy the journey.

Best practices for talent Management and natural Strengths

In order to effectively incorporate natural talents into talent management, organisations should follow best practices such as:

a. Create a culture that values and encourages the development of natural talents. This starts at the top and involves identifying your own talents through platforms like the CliftonStrengths Finder and receiving coaching on how you can develop these themes into Strengths and leverage them to help your organisation.

b. Cascade Strengths through your teams and provide support and resources for employee development, including opportunities for skill-building and professional growth.

c. Explore team strengths; How do you complement one another? Where are the pockets of excellence in your team/organisation? Are you all working in your strengths zone for maximum return? Which tasks sit best with which people/teams? Strengths exploration can answer all of these questions for you.

d. Ensure your strategies reach every part of the organisation. All too often, potential talent is left undiscovered in some employees due to a narrow focus or an old-fashioned approach to surfacing talent and ideas.

e. Regularly assess and adjust talent management strategies to ensure that they are effectively utilising employees' Strengths.

f. Engrain the language of Strengths and encourage open communication and feedback - it is important to build a network of organisational support by giving the same framework for success to all your employees. Learning that is isolated in a classroom will only stay there – but where managers and leaders ‘walk the talk’ for all to see, the results are incredible.

In conclusion, talent management and a focus on Strengths are crucial for organisational success. By attracting, developing, and retaining top talent, organisations can set themselves up for current and future success. Identifying and leveraging individuals' natural talents supercharges the talent management process. A comprehensive talent management strategy should include initiatives such as performance management, succession planning, employee engagement, and diversity and inclusion initiatives, all while developing and leveraging employees' unique Strengths. It is our recommendation that organisations prioritise talent management and take a personalised Strengths-based approach. As Gallup-certified Strengths coaches and experienced L&D practitioners, we can help you develop an effective strategy tailored to your organisation. The benefits of a motivated and high-performing workforce are clear. And now is the time to take action: prioritise and invest in your talent management strategy – your future business success is dependent on it.

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