What would happen if one of your top executives walked into the office tomorrow and turned in her resignation? Would you be able to quickly replace her with an equally knowledgeable and experienced employee? Or would your company be thrown into a tailspin, frantically trying to write a compelling and accurate job description, interviewing dozens of candidates and then spending months (or even years) getting that new employee up to speed?
Situations like this are the reason companies should implement formal talent-nurturing programs. Besides the benefits of simply investing in your workforce to create higher performing teams, a talent nurturing or executive development program helps to ensure that there is always a qualified pool of talent within the company to pull from when someone, especially a C-level executive, decides to leave. Check out the following tips for how to develop a strategic talent-nurturing program for your company.
Identify and Define Key Development Goals
It’s important to identify and define the key skills that need to be developed in each of your employees in order to meet your strategic business objectives. Defining the necessary skills to perform each job can help clarify job roles and streamline training processes. When employees know what their roles are, what they are working towards and can see a clear path towards upward mobility, they feel more valued and are more likely to stay with the company. It’s also essential to align these goals across all departments in the company to help reduce redundancy and foster an environment of collaboration.
Build a Robust Variety of Talent
Once you know what skills are needed to meet your strategic goals, then it’s important to stock your talent pool with a wide variety of talent and diversity. Having the right mix of employees with different skill sets as well as different backgrounds can open your company up to all new possibilities and can also help to attract top talent. Adding more diversity to your workplace in areas like gender, ethnicity, age, disability and more can help drive innovation by bringing in new points of view and different life experiences.
Develop Employees from Day One
In order to create a strong executive onboarding program, it’s necessary to begin training employees from their first day on the job. Start by providing a clear description of the competencies they will need to develop in order to move up in the company and then offer the right training and mentorship programs needed to help grow these skills. Next, have regular check-ins with employees across all levels of the department to see how their development is progressing, provide feedback on their performance, and discuss other areas where the employee would like to expand their knowledge and skills. Investing in training and development will help demonstrate to employees their ongoing value to the organization, and help employees feel a sense of ownership over their roles in the company and the projects they work on, while also building up a strong, agile workforce and a powerful internal pool of talent.
Leverage an Executive Recruiting Firm
Using the services of a recruiting firm can help improve your recruitment process by assisting your company with finding highly-qualified candidates. Executive recruiting firms have a broad network of connections and access to dynamic technologies that allow them to connect with top talent across the country and match that talent to the companies where their skill sets will be put to best use. Recruiters can be helpful during the first few months of placement, as well, by checking in with new employees and helping address issues that a new employee may not be comfortable speaking directly to the company about.
Working with a recruiter and building a program to engage and develop high-potential employees will help your company build a robust internal pool of talent so there is always a qualified candidate available to fill unexpected openings.