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Talent Management Strategies

Proven Ways to Attract, Retain and Engage Your Workforce

Talent management has as its ultimate goal creating a work environment that finds, retains and engages the best talent affordable. The key to success for any organization is the ability to attract and retain skilled and talented people. Talent management is the process of attracting, selecting, caring, training, developing and keeping a workforce to accomplish the goals of the organization.

In my years as a talent management consultant, I have identified eight basic strategies essential to creating a talent management company. While each one, like the sails of a ship, can harness the power of the wind, all eight are needed. A sail not properly set or missing hinders the progress of the ship and causes frustration among the crew members.


Number 1–A Clear Sense of Direction and Purpose. Everyone wants to be paid for what they do, but good employees want to be part of an organization that stands for something and gives them personal fulfillment and meaning. When an organization has a clear sense of direction and purpose, people are willing to give more. Many organizations are now allowing their employees to donate time to non-profit organizations, or spend their off-work hours building houses for Habitat for Humanity.

Number 2–Caring Management. Interpersonal skills are an essential element of the high-retention culture. People want to feel management cares and is concerned for them as individuals. Yet, poor “soft skills” are one of the biggest factors that drive people away.

Number 3–Flexible Benefits and Schedules Adapted to the Needs of the Individual. In today’s workplace, flexibility rules. One-size-fits-all approaches to benefits have long since lost their effectiveness. Workers will migrate to a company whose benefit packages and schedules help them meet the demands of their lives, whether they are single parents, adults who care for aging parents, older workers, younger workers, part-time workers, or telecommuters.

Number 4–Open Communication. People have a large appetite for information, and they want it instantly. High retention workplaces place high priority on delivering the right information to the right people at the right time using the right methodology. Companies that leave employees in the dark risk damaging morale and motivation—not to mention compromising their ability to make a quick course change in the marketplace.

Number 5–A Charged Work Environment. People want to enjoy their work. They shun boring, bureaucratic, lifeless work environments. That is why high performance workplaces do not bother with the traditional ways of doing things. They find new ways to make work mentally engaging and physically energizing. They also ask for, listen to, and implement the ideas and suggestions of those who work for them.

Talent Management StrategyNumber 6–Performance Management. It is becoming increasingly more difficult to find competent, motivated workers who have good attitudes and work ethics. Because of this, knowing how to manage performance is important. Performance management includes a new set of skills, tools, techniques, and processes to align an individual and his or her behavior with the goals of the business enterprise.

Number 7–Reward and Recognition. All humans need to feel appreciated. Reward and recognition programs help meet that need. A workplace that rewards and recognizes people builds higher productivity and loyalty, and can create consequences for desired behavior that leads to organizational success.

Number 8–Training and Development. Many workers just want a paycheck, but the best workers want opportunity. They want to develop their skills and potential and enhance their ability to contribute and succeed. Training and development gives people greater control and ownership over their jobs, making them capable of taking care of customers and creating better management-employee relationships.

Additional information on talent management:

Greg Smith is the founder of Chart Your Course International, a talent management company.  He is a talent management consultant and a talent management speaker located in Atlanta, Georgia.