How to develop talent within your team

How to develop talent within your team

No matter how skilled your team is currently, there is always room to improve and increase productivity. A study by Sullivan in 2012 stated that “Top performers produce as much as 10 times more than the average worker, while they often require less than two times the pay “.

The development of talent in your business should always be a primary focus, offering support to those is a great way to built rapport and trust within your employees while also being a practical solution to help people reach their potential.  Developing talent is an ongoing process that will ensure that your company has a skilled workforce that can deal with situations and excel in areas effectively.

In this article we will explore and share the many ways possible to identify and develop talent within your team.

High Potential vs High Performers

High performers stand out in any organisation. They consistently exceed expectations, and are management’s go-to people for difficult projects because they have a track record of getting the job done. They’re great at their job and take pride in their accomplishments, but may not have the potential (or the desire) to succeed in a higher-level role or to tackle more advanced work.

High-potential employees have the potential, ability, and aspiration to hold successive leadership positions in an organisation. Once identified, they are often singled out for focused developmental opportunities designed to prepare them for future leadership positions. In short, they can do more for the organisation–possibly much more–with the caveat that high potentials who are consistently low performers are rarely strong candidates for management roles.

A high-potential talent as an employee who is assessed as having the ability, organisational commitment, and motivation to rise to and succeed in more senior positions in the organisation. Different organisations will have their own definitions of high-potential talent, but the essence remains the same.

Identifying high-potential employees is an important step in any succession management or leadership development plan. Properly identifying high-potential employees in a formal, systematic fashion can help target individual development plans for this talent pool, and build consistency and credibility across the organisation.

By properly identifying high-potential employees, HR and talent management professionals can reduce high-potential drop-out rates and the associated wasted resources and expenses. Proper high-potential identification can also work to improve and target developmental plans for these individuals, resulting in more satisfied high potential employees who are more likely to stay with the organisation.

When performance is the only criteria employees are evaluated on, high performers will be the only ones moving up–and your high potentials will be moving out.


Identifying areas needing improvement

Once you have a map of where the organisation want to focus its attention, the next most daunting task is investing into training, the next step in the process. One should identify what is currently not working and needs attention, you can find this out by evaluating goals set and whether they were accomplished on time or not with the desired result. A more involved way to identify what needs improvement is by directly talking with your colleagues or employees and finding out what their concerns are and whether they have specific problem in an area. Then plan to bridge the skills gap with appropriate training to develop the individual or teams competences.

Building on strengths

Unfortunately as humans we tend to have a greater focus on the negative things, whether it be negative traits, memories or experiences, our brains are developed to behave this way. As stated above, a great way you can develop your staff to help them excel in their field is to simply improve on what skills they already possess, strength based development is the official term for this approach. The whole mindset of this development approach to “build on strengths” is to work with people so that they may continue to develop the areas where they are already strong at in order to overcome their weaknesses. It’s described as an active and energizing approach to developing.

Make resources and seniors available

As an employer it is essential to always offer your time, support and investment for employees in all areas, this includes ensuring coaching or facilitating the team to help navigate the road to improvement.

Depending on the size of your company, you should aim to get line managers, senior directors and experienced colleagues on your team involved with mentoring and coaching others, also to perhaps offer them new challenges that they can learn from. One of the most common reason employees quit their jobs is because of a poor quality relationship with their direct manager, a bit of dialogue and time investment goes a long way!


“The talented employee may join a company because of its charismatic leaders, its generous benefits, and its world-class training programs, but how long that employee stays and how productive they are while they are there is determined by the relationship with their immediate boss”

Research from thousands of employees

Marcus Buckingham ‘First Break All The Rules’

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