HR Insights
Deep Dive
May 2, 2023

Is your talent management strategy secretly costing your organization?

You already know having an effective talent management strategy has never been more important than it is today. Here’s what is most critical for your talent management model so you can engage, grow, and retain your people.

Table of Contents

There’s a reason why “The Office,” a TV series that pokes fun at corporate work culture and disengaged employees, became the most watched show on any streaming service in 2020.1 It’s relatable. Nearly 80% of employees worldwide are not engaged or are actively disengaged at work, according to a workplace survey conducted by Gallup, a global analytics and advice firm.2

This isn’t just an employee engagement issue, it’s a productivity issue. A Gallup report estimates that low engagement costs the global economy around $7.8 trillion.3 A successful talent management strategy not only helps keep employees engaged throughout every part of the employment journey, but it also helps empower them to do their best work. Talent management, when done well, connects the right people to the right work, develops critical skills in-house, and retains top talent by aligning employee development to business goals.

You may have a talent management strategy today, but how effective is it? Does it support employee performance and productivity at every stage in the talent journey?  Having an effective talent management strategy is not just a nice-to-have; it is a critical method to increase your competitive advantage, retain your people, and lead your organization to success.

Chapter 1: Building an effective talent management strategy

What is a talent management strategy?

Your talent management strategy defines how you recruit, develop, and retain your people. It encompasses the entire journey your new hire will take – from the moment of recruitment to the final moments heading into retirement – while keeping a clear focus on the employee experience at each point in their journey. Every organization’s talent management strategy might look a bit different as it should closely match the company’s goals and values.

Why should you have a talent management strategy?

A talent management strategy is one of the most sustainable competitive advantages an organization can have. It’s a holistic approach that helps builds trust and loyalty with employees while increasing productivity and growth.

The benefits of a data-driven talent management strategy

Engaged and loyal employees

Having a holistic talent management strategy is a great way to ensure your employee experience is top of mind. According to Ceridian’s 2022 Pulse of Talent survey, 61% of the surveyed employees are a flight risk.4 In a competitive talent market, having engaged employees is critical to avoiding costly turnover and business disruption.

An effective and holistic talent management strategy can help your organization engage employees by creating consistent performance touchpoints and tracking development. It also creates opportunities for open dialogue and feedback throughout the employee lifecycle, giving you meaningful feedback so you can identify and correct engagement issues before it’s too late. Using data-backed strategies like employee surveys and sentiment analysis can be incredibly helpful for identifying potential risks and areas for improvement. When your employees feel consistently supported, they’ll be more likely to recommend working at your organization and remain consistently engaged in their role.

Increased company performance and productivity

Employee performance is essential to the success of your organization. In Ceridian’s 2022 Pulse of Talent report, 18% of respondents said their work isn’t aligned with their skillset.5 That may not sound like a significant percentage, but if you break it down to the number of people in a 1,000-employee organization, that is 180 people who are dragging down productivity. When you can connect the right people to the right work at the right time and ensure you have the right skills, which a good talent management strategy helps you do, you can improve your organization’s productivity and performance considerably.

Chapter 2:  Implementing effective strategies at each stage of your talent management model

Attracting the right talent

Talent acquisition can be time-consuming for your organization without the right tools in place. Using AI for talent acquisition can help you make efficient and accurate hiring decisions while providing fair and positive candidate experiences. For example, automated candidate grading, and matching can help recruiters focus on higher value candidates. AI-driven candidate screening and grading helps with ranking applicants, matching skills to roles, and providing communication options. This can help employers make better hiring decisions, faster, with a smooth flow right into onboarding.

Learn more about how to adapt your talent acquisition strategies for the future of work.

Onboarding to speed up productivity

The next stage in the employee lifecycle where you should apply talent management strategies is onboarding. An effective and welcoming onboarding experience allows you to align new hires to your company’s culture and values from day one. A seamless and personalized onboarding strategy can also help speed up time to productivity.

It’s important to focus on only relevant materials and tasks during the onboarding process so your new hire can get up to speed faster and contribute to company productivity and success more quickly. Having tools like readiness checklists, personalized forms, welcome videos, and organization charts at the ready, are very helpful for keeping the entire onboarding efficient and effective for your new employees.

Developing and empowering your people

Ceridian’s 2023 Pulse of Talent report found that 84% of respondents who have a clear career path said it makes them more loyal to their employer.6 Growth and development opportunities not only help employees achieve their career goals, but when implemented strategically, they can also help organizations improve retention and build critical skills in-house. And that can directly improve productivity and performance.

According to Gallup research, only three in 10 workers strongly agree that someone at work encourages their development – “By moving that ratio to six in 10 employees, organizations could realize a 6% improvement in engaged customers, an 11% improvement in profitability and a 28% reduction in absenteeism.”7

Continuous performance management

Having a continuous performance management solution as part of your talent management model can be highly effective. Continuous performance management is a modern approach that has gained popularity among HR leaders. Rather than the more traditional approach of annual employee reviews, this type of performance management takes place throughout the year on an ongoing basis. The continuous approach includes goal setting, regular check-ins, real-time feedback, and near-term objectives – a much more effective way to track employee performance and progress.

Regular performance management allows you to consistently develop and motivate your team based on accurate and current data throughout the entire employee lifecycle. Having more frequent feedback increases communication and trust between people managers and direct reports. It also builds employee culture by allowing the opportunity for peers to recognize each other and celebrate each other’s wins – creating a sense of belonging among your people.

Continuous performance reviews give you a deeper understanding of your employees’ progress against individual and company goals. The right technology can also help with rewarding your top people when it connects compensation to performance management, so you can retain people based on benchmarking data and decision tools.

If your organization already provides growth and development programs, here are a few questions to consider helping ensure you’re on the right track:

  • How are you presenting growth opportunities to your employees? How often?
  • Who are the development programs for? Specific roles, or everyone?  
  • How are the development programs matched to your employees’ goals and interests?
  • At what stages are learning opportunities embedded into the employee journey?

Creating a culture of continuous learning

Learning and growth opportunities drive engagement and loyalty, while helping organizations build the right skills for future success. According to Gallup research, only four in 10 workers strongly agree that they’ve had the opportunity to learn and grow at work within the last year.8 The Gallup report notes that if this one ratio moved to eight in 10 employees, companies could see 44% improvement in absenteeism and 16% increase in productivity.9

Investing in a modern learning platform can help you serve the right learning opportunities at the right time, providing flexibility and personalization.

Providing your people with continuous learning doesn’t need to be a time-consuming activity for employees, either. You can provide real-time, micro-learning and skill development opportunities at every stage of the employee life cycle. For example, this could look like:

  • Programmed alerts guiding your employee toward a live training or webinar course.
  • Developing individual learning plans or course catalogs relevant to your employees’ career development.

A successful talent management strategy should ensure learning and development activities are connected to company goals. Having learning opportunities continuously programmed into your talent strategy frees up workload that would be spent tracking and managing learning and certification requirements across several systems. Plus, it helps decrease the likelihood of errors along the way.

Building a competitive employee experience

Employee experience is your new retention strategy. Understanding what is important to employees and what they value most is key to having a positive employee experience.

Employee wellness

Employee well-being is one piece that should not be overlooked. Gallup found that 95% of people who are thriving at work report being treated with respect all day, and 87% report smiling a lot.10 A stressful home life can impact productivity at work, just like a poor work experience can cause stress and overwhelm at home. Monitoring and supporting employees’ well-being shows your people they are a valued part of your organization and increases engagement and affinity.

Engagement surveys

Having the right tools in place can help significantly with building an engaged workforce. By consistently collecting employee feedback, you can make strategic talent decisions based on real data to effectively motivate your people. Strong HR leaders are looking to empower and engage workers, give employees a voice, and improve employee participation. Having access to data-driven insights is critical to uncover areas where action is needed.

Surveys can help you identify flight risk employees and act before top performers leave. You can also measure employee sentiment and identify patterns across departments, such as which leaders are most and least effective. Some survey tools also let you compare results against organizational benchmarks and identify areas of concern quickly.

The right talent management strategy will include building a great employee experience to help ensure your peoples’ professional and personal needs are met, driving engagement and retention. Engaged employees are more likely to stay and contribute to the business, choosing your organization as the right place to build a meaningful career.

One simple way to stay abreast of how engaged your employees feel is to consistently uncover answers to these five questions:

  1. Do they know exactly what is expected of them in their role, and does it align to their career development goals?
  2. Do they feel consistently supported and seen for the work they are doing?
  3. How much do they feel their voice is valued and their ideas are taken into consideration?
  4. What learning opportunities are they currently provided, and what learning opportunities do they need to progress to the next level or a new role?

Reskilling for enhanced performance

Preparing your people for the future is an important part of the employee lifecycle. In an effective talent management solution, this could be brought to life by succession planning and career development.

According to Ceridian’s 2023 Pulse of Talent survey, nearly half of surveyed workers said they want to contribute skills to new projects from within their current role, and 43% said they are interested in moving into a new role on a different team or in a different department.11

A main talent struggle today is filling critical roles due to a gap in required skills. Increasing the flexibility of your current workforce by offering the opportunity to reskill or cross-skill can not only help organizations fill vacant critical roles faster, but also help to retain top talent.

To build reskilling and upskilling initiatives that support business needs, you need to be able to track and capture the skills your current talent has and those your business needs to develop. There is still work to be done here as only 60% of surveyed employees strongly or somewhat agree that their employer has a good understanding of the skills they have, and only 49% said their employer has a good understanding of the skills they would like to have.12

Organizations can gain efficiency and control labor costs by fostering internal talent mobility. When your talent management strategy allows for continuous skills identification and development, it’s easier to move versatile people around the organization.

Chapter 3: Selecting the right software for competitive talent management

What is talent management software?

Talent management software helps organizations easily recruit, retain, and reskill a diverse, global workforce, by providing the right data-driven insights to help boost company performance and employee productivity.

Must-have key features and benefits

The world of work has changed significantly with most companies now adopting a hybrid workforce of virtual and in-person work. Having a flexible, data-driven, and effective talent management software is no longer a desire, it’s necessary to increase both individual and corporate productivity and performance.

Single, end-to-end talent solution

Investing in a single, end-to-end solution for all aspects of talent management can help to eliminate a reliance on fragile integrations between separate systems. The advantage to a single solution is that you can access data-driven insights across the employee lifecycle to help improve retention, productivity, and performance.

Smart talent acquisition and smooth onboarding

Strategic recruiting and onboarding can provide organizations with data-driven insights that help enable efficient and fair hiring decisions and smoothly onboard employees for faster time to productivity.

Data-backed engagement tools that drive change and inclusivity

Access to people data can help you better understanding your people and implement data-driven strategies to help drive productivity, boost retention, and measure inclusivity efforts with ease.

Continuous learning and skill development

Create a culture of continuous learning by offering real-time learning opportunities at each stage of the employee lifecycle, allowing your people to grow and develop faster.

Track, assess, and reward employees holistically

Continuously empower your people to achieve their goals and grow your business by managing performance in the context of compensation, development, engagement, and succession planning.

Informed and equitable compensation management

Help make informed and equitable compensation decisions by streamlining administrative efforts with data-driven insights and agile tools designed for today’s world of work.

Increased organizational agility and internal mobility

Plan for the future of your business and your people, by staying ahead of skills gaps and developing top talent within, by leveraging skills data and development tools.

Learn how CorePower Yoga saves and retains by implementing end-to-end talent solution.

[1], The Office Was the Most-Watched Show on Any Streaming service in 2020, Charlie Ridgely, Jan 2021

[3] Gallup, State of the Global Workplace: 2022 Report

[4] Ceridian, 2022 Pulse of Talent Report

[5] Ceridian, 2022 Pulse of Talent Report

[6] Ceridian, 2023 Pulse of Talent Report

[7] Gallup, State of the American Workplace: 2017 Report

[8] Gallup, State of the American Workplace: 2017 Report

[9] Gallup, State of the American Workplace: 2017 Report

[10] Gallup, State of the Global Workplace: 2022 Report

[11]  Ceridian, 2023 Pulse of Talent Report

[12] Ceridian, 2023 Pulse of Talent Report


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