We all want employees that are dedicated, hardworking and reliable. But the task of ensuring individual effort contributes to strategic objectives cannot rely solely on leaders. Organisations have come to realise that although business strategies are mostly developed by those at the top, to be successful they require the input and support of all employees.
Great managers also understand that if the only thing an employee can see is the grind, they lose motivation and engagement. In fact the likely origin of the phrase 'nose to the grindstone' refers to the punishing nature of continuous hard labour.
Working hard, but towards what?
Talent management needs to promote productivity, but it must also give employees the resources to understand and 'own' how their role contributes to strategic outcomes. When you do, you will create a more purposeful and engaged workforce.
Embedding strategy makes sense, because employees can't support or deliver on strategic goals unless they understand them. Leadership consultant and Forbes blogger Scott Edinger describes the 'three Cs' of strategy implementation: clarity of message, communication and cascading to ensure it reaches all parts of the business. Clear and regular communication at all stages of employment is an excellent starting point. For example, making sure all new hires learn about your company strategy during induction and throughout the onboarding process.
Connect understanding to action
Embedding an understanding of strategy is not enough to ensure your people can deliver. Your organisation also needs to give individuals the tools to apply that understanding within their own team and daily tasks. Motivated employees see how their role contributes to the company's overall plan to get results now and into the future, and believe they are capable of making it happen.
High performing businesses invest in training that helps employees do their jobs better. That is, they have learning and development plans that reflect the company's strategic objectives in meaningful ways, to target the most relevant knowledge and skills using methods that tangibly improve an employee’s ability to perform. Employees that deliver on strategy have adequate opportunities to access tailored and progressive learning and development. When employees feel they are being supported to grow with the business, they may embrace business goals more readily.
In addition, structuring your talent management strategies to ensure your workforce remains properly skilled is effective because: Training supports strategy and job satisfaction When employees feel they are being supported to grow with the business, they may embrace business goals more readily.
Development keeps everyone working at their best
As people become established in a role, an organisation's talent management strategies come to the fore. Often the focus is on leaders, nurturing high performers, succession planning, and managing underperformers. Learning management solutions ensure you don't forget the people in the middle.
Every role has strategic value – you need to facilitate development pathways for each individual that ensures they possess and maintain the competencies required to deliver.
Learning fosters innovation and better ideas
Enable staff to engage with strategic ideas as well as developing themselves by fostering a culture that values connection, information sharing and innovation. Offer formal and informal opportunities for people to interact, exchange ideas and share their expertise. Some will benefit from the chance to talk with executives or colleagues, some will prefer structured training and feedback channels, while others want casual and self-directed ways to learn and contribute. Consider how you can harness a growing interest in online learning, mobile devices, gamification and social media.
Delivering on strategic objectives requires a team composed of people that work purposefully, no matter how small the task. You can help people doing so by making learning and development more accessible, and encouraging your staff to actively develop themselves as they develop the business.
Contact your local Aston Carter consultant today to find the right business professionals to support your business strategy.