High-potential talent — the organizational pipeline of key people and future leadership — is more important than ever. Yet talent management processes in many companies are missing the mark. It’s time to take action — your talent is watching.
“Your organization’s ability to develop, retain and engage skilled, valuable employees is critical to managing change and operating through continual uncertainty,” says CCL’s Roland Smith. “We need to remember that the people we call “talent” or “the leadership pipeline” bring their perspectives, preferences and experiences to the process, too.
“Employers need to understand and appreciate what’s going on with their people if they expect to have the talent they need two, five and ten years down the road. Paying attention to the view from the pipe will also increase the engagement of key talent immediately,” Smith continues.
So what does the view from the pipe look like? Smith and CCL’s Michael Campbell conducted a research study involving 199 leaders to find out whether or not today’s talent wants to be formally recognized as high-potential talent, what they expect in terms of investment in their growth and development, how they feel about their status as high potentials and whether or not they expect to be involved in developing others.
Building on the research, you’ll want to evaluate the policies and processes that affect your high potentials, suggests Campbell. From there, you can identify what is working well and what changes could be made to better align your talent management efforts with the view from the pipe.
One way to conduct a talent diagnostic for your organization — or department or function — is to explore a series of questions, including:
- Have you put any rigor into how you communicate to people their high-potential status, or do you leave it to chance?
- What degree of formality and transparency is appropriate for the culture and context of your organization?
- How much more investment do high potentials expect from the organization over the average performer?
- What efforts do you make to ensure your high potentials feel recognized and valued?
- How many high potentials did you lose over something that could have been prevented?
- Do you understand the contributing factors that led to why a high potential has left your organization?
- How do you recognize and catalyze the ability of a high potential to be a developer of talent?
- In what ways are leaders at all levels held accountable for developing talent?
Asking questions like these will help you understand the view from the pipe in your organization — will help you match the talent you have with the needs of the organization.
To learn more about CCL’s View from the Pipe research and to see a more extensive series of talent diagnostic questions, download the CCL white paper High-Potential Talent: A View from Inside the Leadership Pipeline.