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  • Writer's pictureRich Littledale

Our top 5 tips on: talent and performance management

#1 📏 Define ‘success’ - at an individual and team level - and understand the characteristics that drive it 📏


Understanding what talent looks like in your organisation - knowing the difference between a driver of company performance and a drain - is key to ensuring you’re attracting the right people and nurturing the team you’ve already got. Taking some time to clearly articulate this helps align team focus and create a ‘north star’, meaning recruitment, development and performance move towards a common goal.


Start by taking a few minutes to jot down the skills and attributes you prioritise in your business or go a step further and introduce a competency framework.


#2 💷💶💵 Invest in growth and development 💷💶💵


Upskilling your team is a win-win: it adds value to your business while furthering their growth enabling them to progress and advance in their career. It’s been consistently shown that growth and development is critical to retention 1, so neglecting it can have a real impact on loss of talent and the client relationships they hold.


This Harvard Business Review article has some brilliant, tangible tips that are quick to implement for driving this forward in your own business.


#3 🗣️ Focus on quality conversations 🗣️


Talent and performance forms and processes - ratings or appraisals - can be valuable, but only if managers are willing and able to tackle the candid conversations at their heart. Without this neither managers nor employees will value the process - no matter how well designed - and they will avoid it or fail or engage.


Use documents as a helpful guide or thought starter to provide a platform for more meaningful conversation and focus your real efforts on creating a culture where feedback is regularly sought and received. Lastly, make sure your managers feel confident in approaching and executing on these 1:1 sessions 2 rather than producing the perfect appraisal process and paperwork.


#4 👀 Look inside your organisation for your leaders of the future 👀


Filling new or senior roles from within your existing team is hugely beneficial. Not only will it save on recruitment costs (which often equate to three times salary 3), it will – more importantly – create a culture where people see they can progress, increasing retention and engagement whilst retaining invaluable client and product knowledge.


There may be times when you need to bring in external talent, but investing in those already in your business to fill your needs will bring gains both now and in the future.


#5 🚫 Avoid hiring processes based on “gut” 🚫


Established managers often have their own tried and tested interview questions, but these don’t always systematically explore the key skills and competencies an applicant needs to be successful in the role you’re recruiting for. Without a systematic approach you are also more likely to introduce bias and discrimination to your selection process.


Before you begin your recruitment process, take some time to think about your approach to what you assess and how. This may be as simple as agreeing on a set of interview questions rather than ad-libbing or as rigorous as a more formalised approach such as psychometrics, a panel of assessors or simulation exercises 4.


For example, according to LinkedIn’s 2018 Workforce Learning Report, 93% of employees will stay with a company longer if it invests in their careers

  1. Gallup, Re-Engineering Performance Management 2017. When managers provide daily feedback (versus annual feedback), their employees are: - 6.0 times more likely to strongly agree that they receive meaningful feedback - 3.6 times more likely to strongly agree that they are motivated to do outstanding work - 3.0 times more likely to be engaged at work

  2. Recruitment and Employment Federation 2017

  3. Sackett, P. R., Zhang, C., Berry, C. M., & Lievens, F. (2022)

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