The “mechanics” of talent management are varied and may include many components. In order to simplify the process for clients I work with, I’ve created a framework, that I call the TAGG Model. It stands for:
Let’s look at each one of these components in detail:
The teamwork component is about how you promote team-level and not individual-level performance for your employees. Naturally, this depends on the job – there are key jobs where individual performance trumps the team – but teamwork should always be one of the criteria used to assess people.
This component may include measures such as:
- Necessarily including team feedback (360º) in assessments;
- Making performance-based results dependent on team performance and not individual one;
Assessment is a core part of talent management, but surprisingly enough, few managers do it correctly with precise criteria. Many managers focus on current performance and gather vague feedback for team memnbers.
Based on my work with the asset management industry, I’ve come up with a multifactor assessment including more than 12 elements. Now, not all of these are necessary, but there might be cases where 3 to 5 of them might be relevant, versus just current performance.
These assessment factors can include:
- Actual performance (results on an individual level);
- Team fit (level of collaboration with the current team);
- Cultural fit (how the person aligns with and represents the values and behaviors of the company);
- Contribution to firm processes (creation of new frameworks, new ideas);
- Pragmatism and savviness (when there is a difficult situation, does the person come up with a quick, pragmatic solution or do they become paralyzed?);
- Execution biases and blockers (does the person underperform in a specific part of their job? Do they have biases that skew their performance in specific circumstances?);
- Goal-directedness and autonomy (does the person act on their own and achieve results without support from leadership?);
- Communication strategy and transparency with management (Does the person openly share crucial issues? Are they open about failures and provide critical information to their manager in a timely manner?);
- Quality of processes and models (Do these people have specific processes for their work that can be taken and replicated to increase performance of similar talent?);
In the Assessment component I also include the delivery of structured feedback to talent using a model like CPG (Critique, Praise Guidance). This helps them improve performance in key assessed areas.
Growth is about the growth of the talent in your team. It’s about not only caring about current performance, but driving them to grow and acquire new skills, being involved in their professional growth, contributing both to higher loyalty and to retaining good “corporate alumni” relationships in case of talent exits.
One great lesson learned with the asset management industry is the inclusion of brainstorms for unblocking talent, in a sort of “employees anonymous” clinic sessions where talent can talk about their current blockers and problems, and others can contribute with valuable feedback to unblock them. This solidifies teamwork and promotes growth.
In the growth area I also include some basic leadership and motivation components, because I personally think it’s the duty of a leader to be able to get their team members out of a rut when they need help.
This can include measures such as:
- The inclusion of growth plans in 1-on-1 meetings, to make sure talent can develop skills and be rewarded for evolving versus only static performance;
- The inclusion of team feedback in assessment and growth processes to guide talent growth;
- The inclusion of elements like brainstorming sessions to unblock talent;
- Basic leadership and motivational techniques, using, for example, Kingmaker Influence techniques;
Governance is about the actual management of talent. Which kind of meetings to schedule? 1-on-1s? All-hands? How frequently? With what duration? Are you going to be assessing your reports or will someone from HR be involved?
This component can include measures such as:
- Determining duration and frequency of 1-on-1 meetings;
- Determining agenda of meetings (for example, 20 minutes for current performance, 20 minutes for growth planning, 20 minutes for feedback);