Talent Management

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Black River Performance Management

Our People Are Our Greatest Asset

What does the future look like for you, your team, your organization? If our people truly are our greatest asset, which we believe to be true, why do we do a better job of taking care and maintaining our other assets, like our equipment and its preventative maintenance, our customers and their needs, or our grounds and facilities? I’d like to think it is a simple answer, ‘like the shrubbery aren’t very emotional today,’ but it more likely follows the logic of ‘we paid thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars on this equipment’. However, if we think of the cost of low or poor performance, or the cost associated with turnover and replacing staff, we don’t show our people the same level of respect. Turnover costs are estimated to be between 30% to 100+% of the annual salary for positions if we consider down time, loss of productivity, redistribution of work, loss of inertia within that position or team, and burning out the other team members.

Talent management, or talent planning, is our opportunity to build and enhance our culture while, simultaneously, building capacity. Consider a new hire. How ready or competent are they within the first 6 months? This is not meant to be negative, but a look at the relative value of new employees versus experienced ones. Typically we are excited to get them started and their enthusiasm and motivation for their new work rubs off on us. So, it isn’t uncommon for managers to feel like the new employee is more successful than they are.

Build Your Capacity by Building Your Talent

So what is the solution? There are several solutions and they are all based on the organization’s needs and capabilities to execute a talent strategy. A talent strategy can be best considered around the major lifecycle phases of employees as it relates to the goals of the organization. Unlike a piece of equipment that will break down and need to be replaced, our employees can be an investment, similar to a garden, that continues to grow and bear fruit for the organization.
"Black River has helped my organization in more ways than I can count. The assessments alone have helped my team work together far better than ever before. The assessments helped the staff to understand how each person is unique and ticks differently. I have seen dramatic changes in management meetings and interactions. Rob and Angie are both a wealth of knowledge and are such a pleasure to work with."
Nancy Rydalch
CEO, Healing Sanctuary

The Staffing Phase is a significant undertaking that has a lot of mystery built in. There is a science to staffing. Without a purposeful and strategic design to Staffing, we leave much of the process to luck. 

The Enhancement phase is where we look to cultivate our employees and uncover the gems in the rough.  When we loose sight of those who are not the “High Performers” we risk overlooking the value, contributions, and budding talents of others. 

In the Capacity Building phase we are being purposeful with focusing on building depth of expertise with the specific intention of enhancing the organization’s readiness that aligns with the strategy. 

The final stage is the the Proliferation Phase where our most experienced members begin transitioning out of the organization and we are very intentional not to miss out on their interest and willingness to contribute back into the organization. This is a great time to harness their wisdom, insight, and leadership and work with these transitioning members to find activities and opportunities to contribute and reinforce the first 3 stages.

What Is Your Talent Management Strategy?

If you don’t yet have one, don’t worry, you are in good company. For most organizations, strategy and, specifically, a talent management strategy is an afterthought. Strategy and strategic planning are not the easiest processes, so we understand why some groups struggle. I’ve made it through several and every time I ask myself if it was truly worth it. They are labor and resource intensive and, historically, organizations have poorly integrated them, which often leaves a bad taste in people’s mouths.

However, congratulations are in order for taking the big first step to reach out to an organization like Black River for assistance. This is no small feat. Recognizing a need and beginning the exploration process is significant. No doubt your decision to consider this will be met with questions and skepticism, both within the organization and outside. I am here to tell you that your decision to seek assistance is a crucial step in every successful organization’s success and performance plan.

Your resources are important to be mindful of. With several different groups out there vying for your time and resources, regardless of whom you go with, it is important to recognize the range of services available. Most consultants will want to sell you training or advice without taking a
deep dive into the culture and historical behavior of your organization. When encountering such groups, your primary concern should be sustainability and impact. Seldom training alone can accomplish this. At Black River, we take a multi-faceted approach to truly uncover sustainable performance improvement solutions. Our 3P approach ensures that all initiatives are correctly aligned with your organizational goals, values, and culture.

Black River’s approach is unique to every organization. We begin with recognizing and acknowledging your strengths, weaknesses, and challenges, relative to your culture and your history. This informs us as to how to best move forward to ensure organizational success. From this point we work with the client to better understand the direction the organization wants to head and then we begin to build out a strategy. While the strategy varies from group-to-group, most groups find the combination of facilitation, consultation, and training to be the best approach.

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