How companies can make their human resources development future-proof and retain high-potential employees

Do you want to know exactly which paths your employees are taking? Dismiss that idea! Your ace in the hole is agility. People change. They discover new interests and talents. Restrictive structures and inflexible job profiles hamper further development and stifle potential. In other words, successful talent management is not about setting or planning careers, but about top management enabling its employees to learn and develop. The keyword is “co-creation” rather than “waterfall model”.


Co-creation focuses not only on a transparent exchange between managers but also on dialogue between equals. For example, companies that offer exciting further development options such as cross-functional and cross-national changes open up interesting challenges that can help talent gain invaluable experience. In this way, a systematic talent management can be built up successively in which personnel development concepts gradually take shape.


Room for talent and transparency

Anyone who is currently looking for talent knows how important it is to render their personnel development modern and attractive. In this context, it is important to keep one’s eyes open internally and to maintain an exchange between management, the HR department, and employees so as to identify, promote, and retain talent at an early stage. Only then can companies increase work performance and job satisfaction, and counteract fluctuation. While the opportunities for staff should be flexible, it also helps to provide a systematic process and diagnostic methods. I refer to this as the talent pipeline, but it could also be conceived of as a cycle.


At the beginning (and again and again in the course) of agile and systematic personnel planning, the question should be where highly qualified staff will be needed in future. Keeping your eyes open within the company allows you to identify and attract talent from inside and outside the company in the long term. The next step involves preparation and development: what do your employees need to develop their full potential? Later, these talents can be successively deployed and supported in those positions where their strengths are well suited to the work requirements. This matching of strengths and requirements should be checked again and again through evaluation and further development. Such a comparison of actual and target is necessary to constantly readjust the talent management process.


Planning individually and specifically

Companies differ in terms of content, working methods and culture. It is then all the more important that the talent pipeline matches the company’s qualities. The talent management process, thus, starts with the definition of an individual strategy that specifies workforce structure, staffing needs, and key positions. To facilitate such processes, there are tools such as McKinsey’s 9-Box-Grid, which helps to define talent in terms of potential and performance. Equipped with such an overview, you can design programmes to further develop the selected employees and make them visible.

To ensure a successful implementation, you should involve all stakeholders in this process: managers, the works council, communications and operational HR. Top management in particular should endorse the strategy and actively promote its implementation.


You can read how such a strategy can be implemented in my next blog post on this topic. You don’t want to wait? Please, get in touch: mp Executive Coaching & Organisational Development –

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