Talent management strategies are designed to stimulate employee retention in small and medium size enterprises (SMEs). The rationale is that employees who are provided the opportunity for professional development and career growth are much more likely to build long-term loyalty to the firm. Employee retention is particularly important to ensure that your company retains those workers who possess important knowledge, skills, and abilities (also referred to KSAs or simply as human capital). Those companies that fail to develop an effective talent management strategy will likely experience significant employee recidivism, many times to competitor firms. This can then lead to operational inefficiencies resulting in loss of competitive advantage.
Methods of Talent Management for SMEs
In order for SMEs to remain competitive and continue building revenue, they must learn to leverage their top talent. The performance of talented employees directly affects company operations in several ways from innovation and new product development, to marketing and branding strategy, as well as client service. Today’s business economy is very competitive with human capital a driving force behind revenue growth. For this reason, top talent should be consistently sourced, developed and rewarded. Talent management requires that managers shift their focus from recruitment as a static process to one that become embedded in the entire culture of the organization and performed by all employees rather than delegated solely to the human resource department.
Methods of Talent management:
Pre-employment testing: Due to high recruitment, on-boarding and training costs, it is wise for SMEs to implement pre-employment testing that assess not only candidate KSAs, but also personality and work style. Testing both skill set and behavioral traits yields a 360 degree perspective of each applicant and examines their fit in terms of technical prowess, as well as corporate culture.
Post-employment testing: Post-employment testing is a highly valuable tool for SMEs to evaluate which employees have the potential to become leaders in the firm. Once these employees have been identified, they may then be groomed to assume supervisory and management roles through professional development opportunities, as well as hands-on training.
Provide on-going feedback: While all employees are provided with yearly performance evaluations, SMEs can increase employee productivity by scheduling more frequent meetings to discuss work performance. These discussions may be held on a one-on-one basis or be included within weekly team meetings. During the team meeting, managers should not only highlight areas for improvement but also take the time assist employees in developing strategies for enhancing their performance. SMEs have a significant advantage over larger firms as they tend to foster a more democratic leadership style and value employee input regarding their own work effort.
Implement employee recognition programs: Employee recognition programs are one of the most effective methods to build employee morale which, in turn, will increase productivity. The end result will be that the company as a whole will benefit with enhanced revenue. A recent study conducted by the International Society of Performance Improvement has concluded that employee recognition program can increase overall employee productivity by as much as 44 percent.
Provide opportunities for career growth: Most employees consider the opportunity to engage in challenging duties, along with professional development and career advancement to be just as important as salary in terms of their willingness to remain with the firm. This leads to a second major advantage of working for SMEs over larger firms: in smaller-size companies employees are exposed to diverse areas of operations so that there is room for growth across several verticals.
Ensure employee satisfaction: By establishing on-going communication, managers will be able to note any signs of employee discontent before they become problematic. When such incidences are discovered, a one-on-one meeting with the employee and manager can be arranged to discuss specific concerns and review strategies that will motivate the employee to remain with the firm. Discontent within a smaller firm has a larger ripple effect than within a larger firm so should be addressed quickly.