May 16, 2022

5 signs your company has a human skills deficit

The Great Resignation drove a record 4.5 million Americans to leave their jobs in November. A further 71% of CEOs see skills shortages as their biggest threat in 2022, according to Fortune. The magazine goes on to state that the lack of digital knowledge will cost businesses trillions of dollars. Whether you’re feeling it yet or not, developing talent within a company is a priority for every business.

Do you have a talent deficit?

Developing talent within a company starts with evaluating your current state. The easiest way to start is to look for clues about the health of your talent development strategy. So, if you’re witnessing any of the following, you might have to rethink how your employees learn for the long term. 

1. External hiring takes precedence

Without a strong learning and development strategy, your employees can’t grow and mature through your business. You’ll find yourself forced to hire externally which only adds to cost and makes it difficult to build a consistent culture.

2. Current skills analysis doesn’t match the business strategy

Even if you have training programs for developing talent within a company, your employee development might not be meeting your business needs. Moreover, your business might need new skills that you haven’t even focused on yet.

3. Employee survey results are low

Developing talent within a company doesn’t just make business sense. In fact, more than 82% of people leave their jobs due to a lack of development opportunities, according to this PRNewswire article. Employees also have lower morale without proper career growth. 

4. Your managers are in the weeds

If employees’ skills aren’t where they should be, your managers and leaders will get lost in unnecessary details. Delegation is a two-way process where you also need the right skills. Clearly, this starts with how to develop talent in the workplace.

5. Competitors are leaving you behind

If you don’t develop talent in the workplace, you risk losing any competitive edge you might have. Moreover, your top talent will get pulled away by your competitors. They’ll be sure to offer clear career paths because they’re focused on developing talent within a company.

What are examples of a talent development program?

Gone are the days of hours spent sitting in classroom-based training programs for developing talent within a company. Instead, learning and development for adults works best through experiential learning. This can be either tailored to the individual such as coaching or mentoring.

Alternatively, professional development can also incorporate collaborative programs. These promote co-learning where employees network and support each other. This approach also ties up well with the scrum or agile methodology where little and often works best. After all, developing talent within a company is best aligned to the overall company’s way of doing things.

Other examples for developing talent within a company that also improve employee engagement could include:

  • Individual growth plans looking 1 to 3 years ahead
  • Buddy and partnership co-sharing groups
  • Exchange and apprenticeship programs
  • Virtual reality and digital gaming on-the-job practice
  • Special projects across multiple disciplines

See the Lingo Live blueprint that is a step-by-step framework for building a leadership development program for your organization

What are the four steps in developing talent?

Step 1 – Building organizational talent starts with your business goals and strategy.

More than ever, it’s critical that developing talent within a company is integrated with the business and its stakeholders. Otherwise, you just won’t have the right talent pipeline to be competitive.

Step 2 – Compile a matrix that compares current skillsets with current and future business requirements.

Of course, this assumes you have a set of defined competencies and soft skills otherwise, you’ll have to define those to suit your business needs.  

Step 3 – Developing talent within a company means building a plan that aims to close the gaps.

So, for example, you might need more digital skills that need technical training. On the other hand, you might require more strategic and collaborative sales competencies. In that case, professional development should involve some form of coaching and buddying system.

Step 4 – Finally, monitor and continuously tweak your plan according to employee feedback and 360 surveys.

When it comes to interpersonal skills, these are harder to measure. Nevertheless, you’ll see a shift in morale and behaviors amongst employees by developing talent within a company.

How to develop talent in an organization to create effective teams

Continuous learning is key when developing talent within a company. Otherwise, all your great initiatives risk having no impact. Moreover, experiential learning works best in small chunks.

Nevertheless, a company that develops talent wisely does so by leveraging its cultural values. So, encourage employees to embrace positive behaviors and feed their love of learning. That way, you’ll create high-performing teams with a growth mindset. After all, they’ll want to keep learning to serve the greater vision and the greater good of the business.

How do leaders develop talent? 

Developing talent management within a company isn’t just about implementing various initiatives. You also need to partner with your leaders because they play an important role in promoting continuous learning. They’re also key agents in creating a culture of growth and curiosity.

Top leaders know that professional development is most effective when tailored to the individual’s needs. This means that they adapt to each person and build on core strengths. They don’t try to force them into something they’re not.

Although, as this white paper on Leadership Identity Development demonstrates, coaching your leaders can drive sustained change. The idea is that coaches support leadership identity development. Essentially, this type of leadership development is for leaders to understand the impact of their behaviors on the teams around them.  

Coaching your leaders makes them more self-aware and gives them solid leadership identities. They’ll then be more skilled at promoting the cultural behaviors your business aspires to. Through this effort, your leaders become vital partners for developing talent within a company.

Final recommendations for developing talent within a company

You clearly need to change your process for developing talent within a company if your recruitment costs are high. Instead, review your business goals and skill gaps to put together a tailored development program. You’ll then see a positive shift in retention and positive behaviors.

Simply remember to align your initiatives to your business strategy when developing talent within a company. Make sure you can also define clear career paths tailored to the individual and don’t overdo it with training programs. Instead, create something agile and nimble while leveraging your leaders to encourage continuous learning.

Moreover, get experiential when developing talent within a company to drive a fundamental shift to meet your future goals. As an ancient Chinese proverb wisely says, “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand”.

Looking to develop your next generation of leaders? Contact us at Lingo Live. We can help!



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