You probably have no shortage of ambitions in terms of talent management. However, for many HR managers, structurally anchoring talent management in the organisation is a challenge. How to obtain the commitment of the line and senior management?
We give you seven tips inspired by Stephen Covey’s “7 Habits of Effective People”:
1. Be proactive
Don’t wait to receive requests for help but take the initiative yourself. Proactively engage in discussion with your internal stakeholders: how could you help them to make their teams work better or increase revenue? Let them discover how information about people’s talents can help them achieve their goals.
2. Start by keeping in mind the final objective
Focus on what you want to achieve. In a complex strategy like “talent management“, there is a strong temptation to establish large projects – even if it makes sense, you probably won’t be able to achieve them in the short term. Keep the overall picture in mind and select several concrete and feasible objectives. For example: In two months’ time, we will know exactly which skills are the guarantee of success in this sales function and we will select in relation to these skills. Or: In three months, we will know which site managers can take the plunge and become company managers.
3. “First things first
Following the previous advice: don’t try to change the world at once. Start small. Look internally for the stakeholders whose favours you can most easily win. Take a first step, show the added value and share it with the rest of the organization. For example, start by sharpening your selection for a specific job, agreeing a unique profile with the line and testing how well the candidates meet that profile. Develop this method when the line itself receives the added value and the benefits are visible to everyone.
4. Think in win-win terms
Look for ways of working that provide a benefit to all concerned. For example, if you are looking for an evaluation tool to give more influence to superiors and recruiters in selection interviews, make sure that the evaluation report is understandable and applicable in practice for all concerned. And that candidates also obtain a recognizable image.
5. Try to understand others first before you want to be understood
Put yourself in the shoes of others in order to receive support for what you want to achieve. Listen to what they think is important. For example, a director is mainly concerned with the continuity of the organization and expects a simple business case: why is it going to make us more money now? A line manager often has an overloaded schedule and will think: “More work? Please, no! Please, no! “Translate your projects into benefits for all relevant stakeholders. Persuade your manager with a clear business case. Let the line manager discover how you will make his life easier.
6. Seek synergy
Your internal stakeholders may react enthusiastically to your proposals. Or not at all. But if you initially do not get a reaction to your request, it does not mean that you should store your project for a year at the back of the closet. Combine the above tips to come up with an alternative solution. Look at where the real ‘evil’ in the company is. Listen openly to what your stakeholders think is important, think in win-win terms and formulate alternative proposals highlighting the expected benefit.
7. Continue to develop your own HR team
Covey ends his list of seven characteristics with what he calls ‘blade sharpening’. By sometimes taking the time to optimize our own efficiency, we manage to do more at the same time. HR is used to looking primarily at the rest of the organization when it comes to talent development. Also keep in mind the talents and development opportunities in your own team. Developing HR as a strategic partner requires other skills from your employees: consulting skills, persuasive power and commercial awareness, to name a few. Invest in the talents of your team, so that you can do more together in your organization.