What Talent Management means to BMMI by Sarah Al Sairafi
Talent Management Mission Statement:
Inspire uniquely talented individuals to create and become the future
Talent management is BMMI’s way of committing to attract, develop and retain, the right people. It goes beyond finding people with the right skills and looks for individuals who can positively impact our culture, too. When we talk about attraction, it’s about how we market ourselves to compete with other good companies for talent out there. We need to know what kind of people we’re looking for in order to identify how best to attract them. When it comes to development and retention, it’s about managing succession and related development critical to engagement and retention. This includes helping the business prepare for the eventuality of losing someone within a leadership or critical role by having others who are ready to take these roles on. If you decide to leave today, is there someone in your team or across the group with the right set of skills and behaviours needed to step into your shoes tomorrow? I need to make sure the answer to that is always yes.
Still, some of you may wonder how this differs from our Human Resources department. Well, HR take care of the important administrative functions such as onboarding, pay, leave, complaints, tickets, training, etc. They are tactical and deal with the day-to-day management of all of us. Talent management is more strategic, with a longer term approach that focuses on improving the top talent in preparation for the next generation of leaders.
So what, or who, is talent, right!? The truth is, we all have something great to offer, and we are all talented in one way or another. The Oxford English dictionary defines talent as “possessing natural aptitude or skill”. When people work at something they enjoy and feel passionate about, they naturally demonstrate talent. Here at BMMI, we measure talent by an individual’s degree of performance (skill) and potential (aptitude). Performance refers to our current output and the ways we demonstrate our Winning Hearts values. Potential refers to our learning agility, curiosity and ambition. It’s also more than just delivering the status quo, but rather going beyond that to generate value and make a difference with your results and the people around you. We can’t “win the hearts of and minds” of our customers by doing the bare minimum. It’s about going over and beyond with enthusiasm and charisma! It is therefore my belief, and the cornerstone of talent management, that anyone can be considered “talented” if they strive to be. If you are not currently in the talent pool today, the right work and determination can get you there tomorrow. The opposite holds true for people who have already been identified as part of our talent pool; if your performance and potential start to drop, you can be removed from the pool. What I’m trying to get at here is that our talent pool is fluid. It is inclusive, rather than exclusive, and everyone can be a part of it if they choose to be.
So you’ve been identified as talent…now what? Before we get to what we do with people identified as talent, let’s discuss what we do with employees who don’t quite make it the top of our high performers and potentials list (yet). The aim is to get everyone to live up to their talent potential, and so development is required. Depending on where you fall under potential and performance, different development and training initiatives are identified by L&D alongside the corresponding manager to improve the employee’s performance. As I mentioned, everyone can be talent and therefore everyone is going to be given equal opportunity to be. L&D will handle the progress of these individuals. During an annual review, L&D, Talent and all managers will meet to re-evaluate their teams and see if anyone has made a significant shift in output and behaviour and will therefore be in the talent pool.
I look after those currently identified as talent. A development plan is agreed alongside the manager and individual to sustain the current performance and potential, as well as work to develop any gaps that are seen as critical to be considered for succession. Since the right vacancy needs to come along in order to promote top talent, my job is to make sure you continue to be engaged with what you are doing, and provide you with continuous challenges to make sure you continue to grow learn. I’ve included a simplified version of our performance and potential grid; where do you see yourselves? Are the performance and potential levels you’re displaying above and beyond what is required? If not, at least you know you need to work a little harder to get there. Or come and speak to me! I can help with how to become a better performer.
I alone can’t make talent management work. There is a huge dependency on managers to know their employees; what makes them tick? What engages them? What are their strengths and weaknesses? After all, if I care more about someone’s development than their own manager, then surely that individual will feel disengaged. There is also the responsibility our group of talent uphold. They need to be interested in their own output and development so that we can take an interest in them. Talent management is more than just a talent pool, a development plan or a leadership programme... it’s a culture of hard work, understanding, appreciation and fairness.