Talent Management part 2: exploring the employee journey – it’s a marathon, not a sprint

Talent management: the employee journey marathon


In my last article we concluded that Talent Management (TM) was not a stand-alone activity that can be ‘done’ to people.  It is the compounding effect of people practices, leadership and thoughtful execution. As a definition TM is having robust people and culture structures, practice and initiatives that when combined add value to the employee journey while enhancing organisational brand.


Talent Management

In this article I’d like to focus on the employee lifecycle, or what’s more commonly referred to as the ‘employee journey and experience’.

One way to look at this journey is through the lens of time. There is significant anecdotal evidence that indicates that it takes between 18 – 24 months for a new employee to reach peak performance.  Once there, it is short-lived and with each passing year we see a steady decline in engagement levels if we abandon our leadership post. Employee abandonment results in engagement levels trending downwards which increases the ‘employee flight risk’ for a short time before everything starts to flat line. It is this flat line that leaders should fear the most. This is what I call the ‘stay risk’. Employees are so entrenched in their mind sets that they feel stuck in a job that they possibly no longer enjoy.  They become change resistant and blocks for the organisation to manoeuvre during times of significant change. Thankfully, there are ways to avoid this happening or at least minimising both ‘flight’ and stay’ risks.

  1. Understanding your organisations employee journey and experience

While generic models help us understand the various stages, each of our organisations are infinitely different as each journey reflects the culture within. For this reason, I encourage my clients to understand what journey they actually have on the table for their employees.  This requires a combination of brave leadership together with core HR metrics to analyse the joint effects.

  • What retention trends are our employees showing at significant milestones during their career?
  • How much and what type of L&D do we provide our employees at various stages of their careers?
  • Do we focus across all levels of our organisations, or are L&D opportunities for the lucky few?

These are just some of the rich questions we need to uncover to discover the real ‘experience’ that we are offering.

  1. Identify the critical path – our must hit targets for developing talent

With trends analysed by hard data we can start to paint a picture of the key risk times as well as key risk situations where employees are likely to disengage or exit the organisation. This becomes a ‘critical path’ of sorts where we need our P&C initiatives and practices to intervene or manage the risks. These are the things we must get right in our organisation to ensure that our people avoid boredom, feelings of being stuck, overlooked or developing closed mindsets.

  1. What do we offer at each critical step?

Having a range of options for employees adds value to their own ideas of what type of development they should receive. L&D budgets are not bottomless pits – if you are lucky enough to even have a budget. Innovative ways to develop talent need not be expensive nor be formal traditional types of learning activities. The use of the 70:20:10 model for L&D is a case in point. So why not invest more time and effort in the 70:20 ratio – it actually perpetuates the notion of talent management as internal experts become mentors and leaders which also helps to develop them as well. You get double the benefits!

The employee journey has many twists and turns, starts and stops, forward and backward momentum. To truly add value to our ‘most valuable asset’ we need to nurture our employees and provide them with options for their development as they run the marathon that is their career.

In my next article, I will focus on how our employer brand affects the way we attract and develop talent in our sector.

If you would like more information about how to implement or enhance you talent management processes, please contact our Senior HR Consultant, Andrea Collett.

Andrea Collett


Andrea Collett
Phone: 0422 437 153
Email: acollett@cbb.com.au

Talent Management Series – Part one

Do you have a lack of talent? It could be a reflection of the leadership culture

Often in my consulting work I am asked to help ‘fix’ the culture of a team, unit and in some instances, a whole organisation. So as I listen to leaders describing the unproductive behaviours, workforce issues and customer problems, I ask questions that help to uncover why these issues have arisen in the first place. Continue reading…

Customer loyalty – it’s simple yet complex

Loyalty is hard to come by these days – even in the not for profit sector.  Our communities are becoming more sophisticated, informed and savvy about the services they chose to engage in.  For community based organisations the issue with developing customer loyalty is not attracting new customers – it’s more about how we retain them.

Our regular customers need to walk away from every type of interaction feeling better than the start.  Think about it this way – every time you meet someone’s expectation you have only partially engaged them for their next visit.  If something newer or different comes along they may tempted to ‘check them out’.  We need to continually exceed expectations so when other options come their way they think – ‘nah I love where I am now’ or the best case scenario is that they don’t even see your competitors – it’s not even on their radar to try something else.

Loyalty is about creating a sense of allegiance in your customers where they become your advocates rather than a transactional customer.  Here are five ways to promote a sense of allegiance in your customers. Continue reading…

Customer Service or Customer Experience?

There is no doubt that consumer directed care has placed our service standards under the spotlight.  In a market place that is becoming more crowded and noisy, finding that special ‘something’ to attract and retain our customers has become a necessity for survival rather than a ‘nice to have’.  With so much focus on packaging effective and efficient products and services, the disability sector has come to the harsh realisation that ‘commercialisation’ and ‘bottom line’ results are now standard items on the strategic agenda.  The attraction and retention of our customers has become a vital part of our organisation’s success.

To keep our doors open we need customers that Continue reading…

Using carrots to focus on customers first

focus on customers first

Employee engagement principles are easy to understand, at least on a theoretical level.  Employees that feel valued for their inputs (knowledge, skills, experience, work ethic, ideas, feedback, performance etc.) are more likely to have higher engagement levels.  They go beyond the basic service deliverables and as a consequence they deliver positive customer experiences that add value to their customers’ everyday lives.  From a practical point of view, how can we encourage our employees to feel valued?  Here’s a few ‘carrots’ to consider. Continue reading…

Five tips to bring your customer service charter to life

Customer service charters can often be bland documents full of big hairy promises that sound more like a fairy tale than real life.  We often mistake these charters as vision statements and promise the world. Delivering on these promises becomes a stretch goal rather than the minimum standard required.  Consumers have more information available to them than ever before and are usually well prepared for their purchases.  So if we are to stand out in a crowded market place we need to manage the consumers’ expectations and be truthful about what we can deliver.

The reasons for having a charter in the first place is to sell our organisation and differentiate ourselves from our competitors.  To do this we have to identify what we do better than anyone else.  Creating a service promise is just the first step.  Once all the elevator speeches and tag lines are done and dusted we then have to deliver on that promise, and that is where the hard work begins!

  1. Can you deliver on the promise?

Continue reading…

Power – it’s not a dirty word: it’s all about how you use it

As 2017 comes to a close and we head off to enjoy the holiday season, it is often a time of reflection and planning for the new year ahead.  One of the underlying themes in the consulting work that I have been involved in this year has been the effect that ‘perceived personal power’ has when we communicate, work and grow together. Continue reading…

Get used to it – change is here to stay (Part 4): A final word

Organisations are in the business of providing products and services to consumers, who in turn, provide organisations with currency to continue their work.  Most products and services have a lifespan.  It is this lifespan that triggers our need for organisational change: changing what we do and the way we do things to remain relevant by satisfying emerging needs.  We do this so we can survive and continue to serve the customers that sustain us.  Consequently, organisations must change to survive.

In a logical sense, most employees understand this cycle and would nod their heads in agreement – we’ve all been on this merry-go-round before and have seen many changes to our professions during our careers.

So why is ‘organisational change’ so difficult to manage, especially when we know at a cognitive level that it is a necessity for our economic future? Continue reading…

To resist or not to resist – that is the question…

“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”

(Charles Darwin)

Think about the last time you resisted a change that was either thrust upon you or took you by surprise.  How did you react?  What range of emotions did you experience?  How strong were these emotions?  How long did it take for you to come to terms with the change?  Can you remember the tell-tale signs that you exhibited that showed how you felt?  Most importantly, what was the catalyst for you to get past you resisting organisational change and embracing the new and different?

Let’s be honest – we have Continue reading…