Years ago there was no need for an organization to have a formal Talent Map.
People stayed with companies longer.
Structures were flatter and not as complex.
Today is a totally different animal.
There is constant downsizing or up sizing.
Re-structuring organizations is the norm.
Retaining and attracting new staff requires more creative and ambitious means.
Change is a constant and organizations that can adapt to change quicker are the winners.
For organizations to thrive in this turmoil the need to formalize their succession planning at ALL levels has reached an all time high.
How a Talent Map works:
- Managers identify every position in their department.
- For each position they list the people who they believe could do that role now (and are not currently in the role) or have the potential within the next 12-18 months.
- Individuals are ranked from the most ready to the least ready.
- Alignment is gained with senior management and HR on who is on the list and where they are positioned.
- Senior management takes their department’s list and meets with other senior managers.
- With the assistance of HR, some individuals could be included on lists for positions in other departments.
- The full list of all roles in all departments is held by HR and reviewed every 6 months.
There is considerable work up front in developing a Talent Map.
However, once the heavy lifting is done it is just a matter of updating it.
Talent Map Purpose:
- To identify top talent in your organization.
- It allows managers to more effectively plan for change, promotions or lateral development opportunities.
- Cross-functional opportunities are visible to senior management and considered during change.
- Allows a clearer picture for wargaming during restructuring.
- Provides guidelines to the whole organization on succession planning.
- Identifies gaps in the depth for certain roles.
- Can guide managers to hire future candidates specifically to fill gaps.
- As a form of retention, some organizations share with their top performers.
The Talent Map is an important data point but not all decisions can be made solely looking at the Talent Map.
There are the human factors that come into place that must be considered and that is why it is so important to stay connected with the employees.
Everything continues to evolve and so does the circumstances in people’s lives.
Their goals or circumstances may change or evolve over a period of time.
Managers need to have a good handle on this.
Talent Maps are living documents and can and should be adjusted based on the current situation with both the organization and the individuals.
People can be added, move up or down in the depth chart for roles or even taken off of a Talent Map due to performance or questionable future potential.
This is why it is so critical to update the Talent Map at least every six months.
Great organizations have Talent Maps in place for all positions.
Great employees who want to advance their career need to find out what it takes to get on and stay on an organization’s Talent Map.
Photo Courtesy of Sebastiaan ter Burg