Talent Mobility – Need and Objective to Talent Retention

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Wherever I come across this word called Talent Mobility, the straight thoughts start pouring around Talent Succession Planning primarily being inherited for the benefit of business continuity and Talent Retention. While the above is being conducted by organizations, the organizations are actually unable to have the right intent towards achieving right efficiency and outcome as far as Talent Mobility is concerned. During the last few meetings with CHROs, I have been able to table the intent & need behind creating a robust Talent Management philosophy ensuring successful integration with the business plan. There is a clear synopsis around the readiness of organizations to undertake Talent Mobility in order to rightly impact larger business goals.

I would like to highlight some of the best practices which have helped organizations to sustain Talent Mobility effectively achieving its right intent.

  • Proactive Alignment With Talent Succession Planning with required Skills and Competencies & the available Talent Pool. Most organisations face a challenge struggling with existing Talent Pool rather than devising a broad canvas of what is required for the business. The Talent Mobility could successfully be executed only if there is a clear vision of what is supposed to be achieved and then mapping the existing Talent Pool. This needs to be undertaken in order to achieve the desired success.
  • Budget Allocation And Management Buy-In become an important component in executing Talent Mobility as a project desired to achieve the required outcome and supported by a requisite business case. This would mean getting required investment figures and ensuring the estimation of the right timeframes and then defining the desired outcome. As leaders, we were discussing the challenges to pursue the above in light of on-going business pressure and getting out of adhoc movement which leads to the damaging effects on the Talent Management project. This certainly could have a successful output in case a dedicated budget allocation happens. This also could be achieved by allocating stretched assignments for some people and would need to be regularly reviewed by the management.
  • Monitoring And Control -This sounds relatively simple but would have a far-reaching effect on the focus that the project requires. To elaborate a bit, the control means to channelize all the talent movement through the common route which helps in focussing the energy in identifying, developing and moving the talent through the single channel rather than having alternate channels of movement. This helps in streamlining and developing clarity of the program intent developing sufficient controls for the desired output.
  • Talent Fungibility Index Measurement -It’s always helpful that basis the business philosophy and the mapped skills and roles within the organization, the existing Talent Fungibility Index is calculated which helps us to define the pool of talent which is available to support this. The readiness of the pool could be gauged through the identified skills with the existing talent and mapping the same with the Talent Pipeline could be easily mapped to existing roles and projects 
  • Digital And Technology Support -Technology plays a very important role in identifying the maneuverability of the project by exercising the right platforms for us to develop communication and control channels. The development of digital platforms helps in developing data for future use and also helps in getting across the required stakeholders very easily. Stakeholder management using digital platforms becomes and easy tool. As an example, assessment by multiple stakeholders could be easily managed using the same.
  • Talent Need To Be Future Ready- As we review the next 5 year strategic plans, we need to ensure that the Talent is ready to manage the business challenges being offered by organisations in the future. This is important in designing the skill development for the times to come which would lead to the talent movement in the future. 
  • How To Get Rid Of Chain Reaction Phenomenon -We fully understand that the projects related to Talent Movement are not so successful in organizations as the movement is restricted by supervisors who need to back-fill the positions and bear the patch of discontinuity in their work. I have heard a lot of managers giving a tough push-back during the time of movement. Understanding this is a short term approach, we need to ensure the definition of Critical Positions which are identified as the target positions where the Talent would move and provide requisite virtual pipeline internally or externally to ensure the right support in this area by the stakeholders.
  • Understanding That The Talent Movement Is Linked To Organisation Transformation It’s very important for the top management and hierarchy of other people leaders to understand that Talent Mobility is a transformation project which helps an organisation to develop and grow and also get future-ready for the challenges to come. This should be the mantra and philosophy which helps Talent Movement as a right culture which can then encompass the barriers associated with people’s mindset.
  • Effective Communication Always Helps This sounds simple always but is the most complex sphere which would help people to understand the objective and accordingly helps in developing a consistent support mechanism. Organisations constantly struggle with the ripple effects the Mobility Projects to offer. This risk could be mitigated by effective and consistent communications. Talent Champions who are made to understand the philosophy better help in cascading the information without causing any distortion. Some organizations have also utilized Digital Platforms to make communication consistent and clear.
  • Need Close Linkage With Other Talent Management Projects for a consistent and effective approach, this couldn’t be run as a separate project but would have to be linked closely with Hi-potential development projects and Talent Market Mapping projects. In some of the very competitive industries that I am aware of, the movement associated with multiple projects like Development Centre, New Age Young Leader Program, All Rounder Effective Leaders Club, etc. helps in synchronized execution of this project very effectively. Certainly, we do not want stakeholders to be confused. Do we?

Basis on my experience and discussion with some of the senior leaders, I have deliberated on the some of the above and we could certainly develop the Talent Mobility not as an adhoc Talent movement to fulfill gaps neither a tool to arrest talent attrition and certainly not an employee engagement tool. Talent Mobility should certainly be closely associated with the business plan and the organisation strategic plan to execute long term goals. For the better understanding of stakeholders and organizations at large, it should be well supported by consistent thought, strategy, and communication.

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Vikas Khokha has over 19 years experience in Human Resources, Sales & Marketing with exposure to multiple industries like Office Automation, Telecommunications & Healthcare. He is Ex. Director – Human Resources at Zimmer Biomet India and earlier he has worked with Bharti Airtel as Head-Human Resources. He has led large transformation projects like the merger of internal units within the organization, branching out of Business Units, amalgamation of the Key Business Units to the centralised workforce including policies and practices. Vikas was awarded ‘HR Excellence Award’ in 2015 for the HR best practices in Healthcare Industry in India.

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