Unorthodox Talent Management Approaches

Basing every talent management practice on traditional measures and processes can lead to a slump. Trying some unusual processes could be exactly what your organization needs to change things up for the better. A recent article from Talent author Deanna Hartley gives a few unorthodox ideas about how to try a different approach to your talent management processes.

One example of an unorthodox approach comes from U.K.-based Red Gate Software. It eliminated commission for its sales team but gave the employees a higher base pay plus a share of end-of-year profits. What was the result? Short-term result: some team members quit, however, in the long run, sales increased as well as sales team collaboration. Overall, a win-win for the organization.

Unorthodox approaches to incentives can really stir things up. An ultimate goal for your organization should be collaborative incentives because this drives higher motivation. Individual incentives do not benefit the whole. When changing the norms and attempting an unorthodox approach, don’t be set back by folks being off-set. Change is scary, but change is necessary! Remember that the goal is to better serve your clients and boost your business with your unusual approaches.

Another thing to consider taking a different approach to is performance management. Does your performance management strategy actually add value to your organization or your employees’ performance? It’s an old-school strategy that doesn’t seem to be of much use, but is still employed to make pay decisions or to deal with under-performers. One North American company is taking a different approach to their performance management strategy. Kathy Kane, senior vice president, talent management for Adecco Group North America, suggests that more day-to-day coaching between employee and manager can enhance performance much more than an annual or bi-annual performance review.

“The new process is a feedback loop between the manager and the employee and allows the manager to coach and give guidance to an employee on a regular basis – daily in a lot of cases,” Kane said. “You have somebody who’s been working on a project and you can say, ‘I like how you did this today, and maybe next time do this to improve upon it.’ That way you’re giving that person something in real time they can do something with.”

Formal reviews may still be necessary, but daily support to employees will go much, much further and improve output. Employees need to hear continuous feedback, or your remarks at the end of the year about the project that didn’t go so well in June won’t be nearly as relevant. Focus on regular performance conversations and coaching in real time versus the formal performance review.

Here’s another idea: Say your consulting company is global and takes on a project in New York; have a consultant from around that area come to work on the project instead of flying someone in from Tokyo. When your employee is from the area, they risk their reputation if the project is a flop. Someone from out of town won’t care as much. This increases personal and corporate accountability.

When it comes to rewards, unorthodox approaches can sail beyond expected bonuses or vacation time. Not to mention, with the state of the economy, bonuses can’t really be expected anymore. That doesn’t mean your employees should have to sacrifice rewards. The go-to man for Hay Group is Tom McCullen, North American reward practice leader for the global management consulting firm.

Constantly evaluating their approach can help organizations say ahead of the curve. McMullen said top talent leaders should rethink their approaches to determine the best programs, processes and structures that will help them win the marketplace.

Focus on and emphasis internal value rather than external expectations. Really honing in on who you are as an organization and what makes you different from everyone else will give you a few good starting points on how to reward your special employees. Trying a few things differently can really create a better organizational environment. Click here to read the full article on how unorthodox approaches can benefit your organization.



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