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Talent planning is essential to your organization’s success, but implementing a plan often ends up low on the priority list. Every company should have a management transition plan, since it’s critical to continued growth. In a company with an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), the strategic planning responsibilities, referred to as succession planning, starts with the Board of Directors and ESOP Corporate Governance.

But talent planning goes beyond that. A true talent planning strategy implemented by Human Resources will encompass recruiting, developing and retaining the best employees in your market at all levels.

So how do you put a talent plan in place?

1. Know the Company Vision and Goals

It starts with senior management. The leaders of the company need to share the short- and long-term strategic plan in order to identify the skills and competencies needed to make the plan work. Next, identify the positions that require talent planning. In some companies, that’s only upper-level management positions. In other companies, it’s every position. The key is to create a talent plan that aligns with the corporate strategy.

2. Develop a Talent Pool

Do an assessment of the positions in your plan and the skills needed to fill those positions. Do you have employees who fit the bill? Can you develop those skills within your staff? If not, you must create a recruitment plan to support the vision. Whether you’re working internally or externally, you need a process to engage people in the opportunities you have for them. With your own staff, use the annual review process to discuss an employee’s strengths and personal career goals. Then be sure to follow up on the progress toward these goals. This type of career pathing is the single most important factor to increase commitment and engagement, according to a study by the Center for Creative Leadership. In the study, 27% of participants chose career pathing and support — more than incentives and rewards, developmental opportunities and work/life balance — as the most important factor. Externally, network outside of your organization. Have you met people at trade shows or professional functions who should be in your talent pool? Keep in touch with them.

ALSO READ: How Could Employee Ownership Help You Reduce Churn & Boost Retention?

3. Review Your Results

It’s important to take time once or twice a year to assess the progress you’ve made. Get feedback from the team, adjust your plan as needed, and keep at it. Are employees in a role that most closely matches their talents? If not, the full potential of their talent will not be realized. Turnover rate should be a part of the results. Why are good employees leaving? What can be done to change that?

Implement these three steps and you’ll have a comprehensive talent plan that mirrors the company’s long-term strategic plan.Sell Your Business For More Cash & Less Tax eBook

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