Talent Development And Performance Management

Guest Written by IAM Fellow Dr Peter Gisbey.

As Hirsch and Campbell (2013) indicate, the design and implementation of talent management systems are partly influenced by the definition of talent management in any particular organisation. So how might we define talent management generally? Well, firstly, the literature tends to indicate that a general definition of talent management is problematic, since every organisation defines “talent” in different ways and there is no universal over-arching definition (for example, Christensen Hughes & Rog, 2008; Lewis & Heckman, 2006). However, I will take my cue from Penc (1997), that talent “…must be visible, stimulated and nurtured” (p. 446). 

This suggests that talent management in any business concerns ongoing attention being given to fostering talent at all levels within the same organisation; it is not there necessarily just for the elite few, being done primarily with an eye to succession planning in general (although talent management may in certain situations, be consciously understood in terms of ensuring that succession planning goes smoothly). 

Alternatively, talent development may then be seen in an organisational context, as future focused planning, selection and implementation of development strategies for the entire talent pool (Garavan, Carbery & Roch, 2012). 

…and talent development is a crucial aspect of business strategy. 

As Alexia Hendrickson wrote earlier this month in “About Manchester”, “…there comes a point when growth plateaus and you chug along at the same level”. Development of talent within an organisation, with a clear and measurable focus on enhancing customer happiness and the “triple bottom line” is something that all mission-driven, “cutting-edge”, businesses will do on a strategic level to drive growth. 

Personnel measurement and performance appraisals are not without risks…

In pursuing talent development goals, one might be tempted to simply augment the rubrics used for the relevant performance management documents. However, in “Business Computing World” last month, Yuri Warczynski rightly cautions against this: “Determining wages and employees’ future based on quantifiable measurements is counterproductive in environments that are no monotonous and easily modelled, but what is the way out?”. 

….but world-class performance management systems and strategic talent development go hand in hand! 

The “way out” in my humble yet considered opinion is for organisations to foster the intrinsic motivations of their staff, through seamlessly integrating performance management and professional learning and development, so that all talent is recognised and channelled at all levels. Moreover, data used should be both qualitative and quantitative, thereby informing and being informed by the spectrum of hard and soft skills residing in, and being desired, by the organisation in question.

Above all, strategic talent development should be enjoyable!

Dr. Peter Gisbey is a post-doctoral scholar-practitioner operating in the global education industry. He has thirteen years of administrative management experience.

References:

Christensen Hughes, J., & Rog, E. (2008). Talent management: A strategy for improving employee recruitment, retention and engagement within hospitality organizations. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 20(7), 743-757.

Garavan, T. N., Carbery, R., & Rock, A. (2012). Mapping talent development: definition, scope and architecture. European Journal of Training and Development, 36(1), 5-24.

Hendrickson, A. (2017). How to grow your business to the next level. Retrieved Sunday 3rd December 2017: http://aboutmanchester.co.uk/grow-business-next-level/

Lewis, R. E., & Heckman, R. J. (2006). Talent management: A critical review. Human resource management review, 16(2), 139-154.

Penc, J. (1997), Leksykon biznesu: slownik angliesko-polski ponad 2300 termino’w, Agencja Wydanwnicza “Placet”, Warsaw, p. 446.

Warcynzski, Y. (2017). Stop Killing Your Employees’ Motivation And Try This. Retrieved Sunday 3rd December 2017: http://www.businesscomputingworld.co.uk/stop-killing-your-employees-motivation-and-try-this/

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