How Your Talent Management Programs Can Build Ownership

This is a guest post by Sean Conrad. Sean writes about talent management best practices and helps mid-market companies improve the way they manage their workforces. He’s a senior product analyst at Halogen Software.

Though you may not think of them in this way, when they’re well designed and executed, your organization’s talent management programs can be important tools to help you build a top performing workforce that drives business results and supports corporate objectives. By talent management, I mean all the HR/management processes used for recruitment, performance management, development, succession planning and compensation. Most mid-market companies have formal programs in place for these processes, but often don’t think of them as strategic tools for driving employee ownership and accountability. Here’s a look at a few ways they can do that.

– By making everyone accountable for contributing to organizational goals.

When you make goal alignment and achievement a central part of your employee performance management process, you help to drive employee accountability and engagement. To do that though, you need to use the process to communicate organizational goals, then task every manager and employee to create individual goals that contribute to the achievement of organizational goals in some way. It helps if they specifically identify which organizational goal an individual goal is supporting. Then, you need to use your performance management process and tools to track and communicate progress on both individual and organizational goals, up and down the reporting chain. The linking is important for giving employees a clear context for their work, which contributes to engagement and ownership; the progress tracking and communication is vital for driving accountability.

– By making your culture and values explicit and tangible.

If, as part of your performance appraisal process, you assess and develop employees’ demonstration of core competencies, you help to make your corporate culture and values explicit, tangible and measurable. As part of your efforts to drive ownership, you might want to include competencies like: dependability, work ethic, results oriented, or accountability. And rather than use generic definitions from an off-the-shelf competency library for these, craft your own definitions that capture how you want these competencies demonstrated in your organization. By regularly rating every employee’s demonstration of these competencies and assigning development plans when performance gaps are identified, you help engrain them in your workforce.

– By recognizing and rewarding ownership.

When you intentionally recognize and reward actions and behaviors in your employees as well as the results they achieve, you invite more of the same. Your talent management programs can help by supporting formalized recognition and reward programs, be it regular feedback/praise/thank yous for desired behaviors or results, or more formal compensation schemes like performance-based increases, bonuses, stock options or profit sharing.

– By fostering career development and progression.

Employee development, career development planning and succession planning programs can also help drive ownership. By supporting your employees’ development and career progression, you demonstrate a commitment to their success. And that invites a reciprocal commitment to the organization. Employees who feel they have a future with their organization are more likely to stay and are more committed to their organization’s success.

Taken together, all these talent management best practices can help your organization foster the employee ownership and accountability you want and need to truly excel in your industry.

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