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The Changing Tides of Time – Canada’s Talent Management Dilemma

Over the next 10 years, 200,000 small business owners in Canada alone will turn 65 and want to retire. This number does not include their employees, mid to large businesses, corporations and public organizations. When you add all of those together this clearly becomes a critical issue with major impacts and ramifications.

As our workforce changes and becomes more diverse, the general thinking on talent and people resources is changing as well. While senior employees and managers are still essential to organizational success, there is now wide-spread recognition that improved performance depends on the acquisition, development, engagement and deployment of new talent.

For organizations to adapt to the changing tides of time, they must embrace talent management as a key business focus. Talent management helps identify the key strategies needed to address the aging workforce, retirement needs, changes in competitiveness and workforce diversity. In savvy organizations, talent management has become essential for survival.

The question you should now ask yourself is this: what is your organization doing about the changing tides of time? Here are three talent management steps to help:

1. Preparation is the Key to Success

This starts with knowing your facts. Firstly, ensure sure you have the right resources, materials, context and tools to properly assess your situation. The first stages of planning and preparation involve identifying priorities, establishing direction and reviewing resources, communications and engagement. Outlining your organization’s current position and future goals in relation to people resources will help you develop a talent management plan that is linked to the business strategy, job needs and the future.

You will also want to determine your readiness through benchmarking, assessments, future thinking and establishing focus/implementation approaches. You need to align with your business plan, assign the right people to work on the issues, review your processes and tools, engage in project planning and ensure administrative competencies are in place.

2. Identify the Essentials and Communicate Future Plans

The key here is to use your research to make informed decisions regarding succession at all levels. Start by identifying key positions that will need to be filled in the coming years and existing talent that may be able to move into these roles.

Conduct additional people assessments to determine potential staffing issues and create training plans to fill skill gaps. Remember, while you are doing this for your organization, your savvy competitors are doing the same thing.

Throughout this process, communicate your plans and encourage your team to develop their professional skills. Hold talent impact sessions with staff, management and leaders so they know how they impact the organization. Develop your resource coaching abilities, hold talent review meetings, and ensure that you have engaged your employees in the process. Make sure your gaps are identified and revisit your plans, key action points and results on an ongoing basis.

3. Drive Change and Continuously Review

If you are responsible and accountable for talent management planning, make sure you are making decisions and leading the charge. You will need to identify any gaps and problems as they arise, get solutions in place and make sure they are implemented immediately. This is critical.

Ensure that present management have the skills to help assess what is needed. Break down us versus them thinking by creating a common language for your people. Solicit feedback from those impacted the most to review the process and ensure that morale remains intact. Employ continuous improvement thinking and remain flexible to ensure that talent management is an ongoing process.

The business world is a changing. That is nothing new. There is an age wave that is rushing through Canada and it’s creating a falling tide that will impact your business and create ripples throughout the community. It is best to prepare now for the changing tides of time and ensure that talent management forms a key part of your business strategy.

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