Using Talent Management to Climb the Corporate Ladder

May 7, 2018 Rachel Koeling

Business people climbing stairs

Over the past century, people have used the “corporate ladder” metaphor countless times to explain the modern workplace and ensuing life cycle. The first rung on the ladder is an internship, next comes the first paying (preferably salaried) position, and the top rung means a position in the c-suite. 

But the fact that a full one-third of employees quit before six months pass complicates this overused ladder metaphor. HR wants workers who will not only stay longer than six months — but will be onboarded, and potentially groomed for a higher rung position. So how should HR manage talent for the long-term?

Where to invest

A Boston Consulting Group study indicated talent management is linked to higher revenue — companies that offer high-level talent management processes report growing revenue 2.2 times faster than companies who offered little to no talent management. 

Three big corporations — Eli Lilly, Dow Chemical, and Bank of America — have integrated a succession management process into their business. According to this Harvard Business Review article, succession management should be dedicated to workers’ developmental activities, “not a rigid list of high-potential employees and the slots they might fill.” These three companies have incorporated succession management into their leadership development programs — they get both “attention to the skills required for senior management positions, along with an educational system that can help managers develop those skills.”

Other top companies have taken their onboarding and talent management a step further than the basic program, by incorporating predictive analytics that can scale around future needs and ensure proper talent cultivation and recruiting.  For example, Hitachi Data Systems was equipped with a Salesforce platform (with the help of Appirio), allowing their recruiters to use predictive analytics to determine what skills sets are needed within the organization, which informs their recruiting efforts. 

But that’s not all: workers and managers can access their own analytics to determine skills weaknesses, giving them the opportunity to build out and improve on those skills sets. While those same analytics, with the help of the Chatter tool, lets workers know who their newly-onboarded colleagues are — offering them the chance to warmly welcome their new coworkers. 

The takeaway from these various talent management programs should be to foster a Worker Experience where your employees can easily find education, develop, and grow.

Retain workers through culture

Retention and indoctrination work hand-in-hand. Your work culture should connect and engage workers — and if it doesn’t, then HR will likely to be hiring for that position again in the near future. So how do companies encourage their workers to feel welcome enough to climb up to the next rung and the rung after that?

  • Welcome them with open arms, and make their onboarding process easy and hassle-free. Using platforms like Workday Onboarding will iron out the frustrating kinks that used to snag the new workers of yesteryear.
  • Stay open and transparent. Allow workers to see your door open, and respond swiftly to worker questions, issues, and suggestions — that includes replying to emails and messages in a timely manner. Doing so gives your workers the feeling of being valued for their skills and experience.
  • Begin culture indoctrination before your new worker’s first day. This means your onboarding process should introduce potential new hires to some of the technology that workers use daily, like Google Calendar and Hangouts.
  • Connect them with colleagues and mentors. According to the soon-to-be released State of the Virtuous Cycle report featuring our own focused research, only 32 percent of workers are connected to a peer group or buddy system when they begin at a new workplace. 
  • Recognize contributions to both the work culture and bottom line. Recognition does wonders for re-engaging workers and making them happy, and as much as 12 percent of happy workers are more productive than their peers.

It’s time to smarten up about the high potential of each new employee in your organization. They have a full workload, so nurture your workers and the Worker Experience. Ensure they’re connected to the proper talent management tools that build on their skills sets and drive their agility and engagement. 

Want to learn more about encouraging workers to be more agile? Read “Advancing an Agile Workplace” or visit the Appirio hub for video, blog, white paper, and ebook resources. 

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