Talent Strategy Joins the Strategic Planning Process Leadership Skill Development Does your talent development strategy align with your business strategy? You can no longer afford to separate your human resource strategy from your strategic planning process. Your human resource strategy is the foundation of your strategic goals. The old adage still applies. People don’t leave their jobs, they leave their bosses. If you aren’t deliberately developing your key people they can develop the habits that contribute to turnover. The ‘Center for Creative Leadership sites in their research the top career derailers: • Does not build or leverage peer relationships • Not a team player • Cannot execute through others, does not develop other leaders • Stops growing, not open to feedback and lacks introspection • Ego gets in the way, being right and going it alone So what skills do leaders need in the 21st Century to manage knowledge workers? Sandy thinks these are key: Mentoring and Coaching Most individuals thrive in an environment of reinforcement, and acknowledgment. By reinforcing and acknowledging individual’s success you let them know what they are doing right and continuing to clarify the pathway to success. You are also supporting employees in gaining more energy and striving to do their best. Stephen Covey’s concept of the emotional bank account still applies. You must have a lot more positives in your mutual bank than negatives so that when you do need to deliver criticism, the trust exists to allow the criticism to be taken to heart. Blaha says A/E firms spend a lot of money on succession plans when they should be teaching requiring and rewarding their senior leaders for passing their knowledge on to the next generation. With a 15% shortage in personnel behind the boomer generation, employee development should be a requirement of top managers. Mentoring and coaching skills are key to passing knowledge on from one generation to the next. Finally Blaha recommends that you only promote to people with mentoring and coaching skills. The day of the high producer bully is dead. Eliminate the Fear Factor Manager-Leaders need to receive feedback openly without being defensive, thereby being a role model for learning and improvement. You can’t get your best from employees if they are afraid to bring you their best ideas, ideas which might be different from yours. Create opportunities for feedback and receive it non judgmentally. Be a role model. The key here is being gracious. You don’t have to be right and if you listen to your employees and they are comfortable giving you their input, you are likely to learn a lot as well. Frustration Factor. As executives learn to do live in the paradox of innovation and keeping their eye on the horizon, they must also attend to their core processes. On a regular basis, scan your operational systems for alignment with your change directives. Ask you employees, do our systems align with our strategy? Ask your employees, where are the gaps? They will be happy you asked and more than willing to tell you what needs to be done differently. Is your company able to be honest about the gaps or do we pretend they don’t exist? If you hear – “we don’t do things that way” even in the face of strategic change directives you need to get involved. Too much frustration and mixed messages will help your high potentials vote with their feet, right out the door.