The reality of a Talent Management Implementation

Updated: May 7, 2019


We were approached by an organisation who had attempted unsuccessfully to implement a Talent Management Strategy - endeavouring to improve business performance through several ad-hoc talent programmes. They also wanted to address some organisational issues at the same time.


On meeting the Leadership Team and their managers, we quickly understood that the definition of talent management in the company was ambiguous and meant different things to the managers, plus the incentive to initiate the strategy was also different in the two groups of managers, as follows:

  • The aims and goals of talent management to the Leadership Team focused on improving company performance, creating a more competitive organisation and enhancing the delivery of the business strategies and lastly to improve employee retention. They got the relationship link between the business strategy and a talent management strategy, lastly, they understood why the organisation needed to invest and provide focus to Talent Management.

  • The next level down of Managers were concerned with employee benefits providing rewards for willing skilled employees, of more involvement in the decision-making process and a stronger career path for employees. They also felt talent management was not integrated within the activities of the of the human resources department.

The contrast in belief and understanding why the organisation wanted to create a Talent Strategy was our start point and further discussions and collection of data revealed some interesting insights. Not least a problematic organisation culture, with managers with different values on the nature of talent management being operated in the company.

The business had spent time developing its strategy at the Leadership Team level but had failed to communicate this throughout the business in a very effective way. So, this was our start point – we supported the Leadership Team in running various communication cascade workshops, working with managers to design these sessions for the different categories of staff so the messages were clear, robust and consistent. We also heightened the awareness and understanding of the strategy through planned ongoing communications.


Feedback from managers and employees was great as they now understood the direction of the business and the CEO's passion to create a great place to work. We could now start working with the business on the development of the Talent Management Strategy.


The HR Manager was not a part of the original Leadership Team and we worked with the CEO to address the organisation structure and the role of HR within the business.


Teamwork was an essential element to make this a success and the cross section teams of managers created the talent strategy framework which was approved by the board.


Throughout this process we had immense engagement with the business because we addressed the fundamental issues early on in the project - creating a common understanding and belief in what the business wanted to achieve and focusing on teamwork and communication.

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