Does your organization need to adapt or develop strategies to better motivate, engage and retain valuable global talent?
Globally, there are too many important positions and not enough talented people to fill them. How can companies create an internal supply of identified talent who can move into positions of greater responsibility?
TWIST Consulting/ITAP Europe (in Munich, Germany) has developed a rigorous approach used throughout the ITAP network that involves senior executives in a process to analyze the potential of identified internal talent for the purpose of development. Organizations of all sizes use this process (for higher level talent, with mid-level talent, to assess all those identified as “talent to watch”). In all cases, this process is a collaboration between supervisors, senior management, human resources professionals, and the individuals who have been identified for development.
The Basis for Talent Development is the Competency Model
ITAP uses the client competency model (if it is really up to date, aligned with their present strategy of the company, and has an eye to future talent needs). If there is no up-to-date model, ITAP supplies one which is adapted to the client’s needs via interviews with the Managing Director. For example, ITAP asks:
- What are the strategic challenges for a company?
- How do the leadership competencies need to be adapted to meet the future strategic challenges for the company?
- Is intercultural competence part of your competence model?
Once that is established there are 6 steps in the process.
Step 1: (Prior to the session) Custom Design of Activities Aligned to the Competency Model
ITAP partners with the client to gather data in order to develop scenarios and cases specific to the industry and functions within the client company. A wide variety of activities are custom created so they can evaluate the specific competencies for that organization.
Step 2: (Prior to the session) Identification/Selection of talent
- In most companies there is already a process for identifying future talent (e.g. superiors nominate them; or have executive conversations/panel discussions about candidates each year). In some cases, current/special responsibilities might be a way to identify talent (e.g., project managers, line managers or specialists, those who have expressed a desire to do more global work, etc.).
- In some cases, potential candidates run through a Selection Assessment Center with ITAP.
Step 3: (To start the session) Rater training is required for senior managers who will take the part of “Observers” (evaluators) in the sessions.
The facilitators will explain the approach of the Development Center and the role and attitude the observers need to take on. Possible biases and other pitfalls that might influence the objectivity are discussed. A common understanding of the rating scale is created. This ensures a high level of objectivity and fairness during the session.
Step 4: (Within the session) Participants are assigned activities (individual, duo and team activities) and evaluators (line managers or executives who are “observers”) rate the observed behavior and discuss the results.
These are discussions to identify the gaps between "as is" vs. "need to be" in the participants' capabilities. These discussions are conducted with the support of a "facilitator" who helps the observers justify their evaluation. (These occur after each exercise while the participants are preparing for their next activity.)
- Strength and weak points of each participant (on the basis of the competencies) are identified in the process. (Throughout the activities, each competency is measured at least 2 times independently in different exercises to ensure objectivity).
- At the end of the session – facilitator(s) and observer(s) make consolidated recommendations for
- Potential Placement: What kind of job (family) is optimal for the candidate?
- Development Plan:
- Which of the competencies are strongly developed and should be seen as resources in the future?
- Where is there need for development?
- How could the candidate be supported (professional development, on-the-job opportunities, training, coaching, some combination)?
Step 5: (After the Session) Initial Feedback
- Each participant gets a 1 – 1.5 hour feedback session with a facilitator to give them an overview of the observers' recommendations
- All results are formalized by the facilitator into a written report that is given to HR
- Participants each get a copy of the formal feedback report.
- All results are discussed between the participant, his/her supervisor, and HR in preparation for inclusion in their development plan
Step 6: (After the Session) Talent Development Planning and Implementation
- The company uses the reports as a basis for extended development plans for those who attend
- In most cases, talent and/or global top talents also get a seminar program of about 4 – 10 sessions throughout the year (some of which are virtual) as well as additional self-assessment and development activities
SAMPLE RESULTS BY COMPETENCY
Graph of self, supervisor and workshop quantitative results
(Qualitative results not shown)
Frequently Asked Questions
A. Why use this talent development process?
The benefits include:
- Focused Development: Talent is given the opportunity in a variety of activities to demonstrate their capabilities and to learn about where they (and the company) might benefit from development.
- Cost savings: This is a process that helps companies scrambling for new talent to look inside their organizations and dig deeper to find gems that may be critical to the success of their companies, especially in preparation for future needs.
- Retention and motivation of internal talent: In difficult financial times this process is a gesture that expresses that talent is important to the organization.
- Involvement with and exposure to senior executives: Senior executives get to meet and evaluate individuals they might never see otherwise and get a better sense of what talent lies deeper in the organization. This also provides opportunities for employees to get in front of the senior company leaders and show what they bring to the organization.
B. What are the topics that are assessed?
This depends entirely on the competencies of the client organization.
- ITAP builds a manager and self-assessment form directly from existing competency models.
- ITAP also creates an interview guide based on those competencies.
- Activities can cover financial, strategic, market, customer, employee management, and functional improvement issues. See sample program list:
- Personal Presentation
- Case study (topical interview with senior management)
- Speech to department (delivering the difficult message)
- Role play (with difficult employee)
- Intercultural Questionnaire / Exercise with the Hofstede Culture in the Workplace Questionnaire™
- Specific presentation (Board ROI request)
- Pro-con-discussion (on an industry specific topic)
- Team exercise