Today’s labor market is constantly changing, in the context of labor shortage and scarcity, talent management and leadership development are at the center of our concerns. As an employer, we must adapt and rethink our ways of doing things, bearing in mind that employees are no longer patient and looking for constant challenges, career evolution, empowerment, and leading initiatives and making decisions. Access to training, coaching, and special projects are essential to counter boredom and detachment to ensure organizational success.  

As HR leaders, it is our responsibility to develop a strategy surrounding the following best practices: Identification of leadership competencies, ensuring a robust succession plan, ongoing calibration sessions, and creation of development plans.

 Identification of Competencies

Technical skills are important, of course, however for identifying and developing future leaders, it is the leadership competencies that will need to be well defined and assessed.  

These competencies must be determined by level (Team lead, Supervisor, Manager, Director, and Executive) and be limited in number. Ideally, key competencies should touch on:  

• Resource planning/organization  

• Emotional Intelligence  

• Support (caring), influence, and ability to motivate others  

• Collaboration  

• Communication  

• Managerial courage  

• Focused on results, continuous development, and improvement  

“Development happens 70% through experience, 20% through exposure, and 10% through education”

Establishment of a Succession Plan

This step should include two important considerations: First, who are our employees who want to grow? Who performs well? Which potential individuals have a positive impact on people (internally and externally) and the organization? Who has the potential to do so and who are at risk of leaving us if they feel they are not progressing (Flight Risk)? Second, what are the internal positions that put us at risk if they are vacant? Consistent planning for upcoming retirements must, inevitably, also be part of our discussions.  

Calibration Sessions

This crucial step is often overlooked yet so important. It consists of having interdepartmental discussions on internal talents in a structured way to get an overall view of individuals. These discussions allow us to learn more about individuals’ competencies and performance, but also to seek feedback from our colleagues to better target individual development opportunities and ensure we mitigate blind spots (and be honest, we all have them).  

Development Plan Creation

Selecting a focus for development requires careful thought. Holding calibration sessions will help identify the skills and competencies that need to be developed or optimized that will best contribute to the employee’s current and future success.  

Remember that development happens 70% through experience, 20% through exposure, and 10% through education.  

Finally, to measure your success in talent management, ask yourself the following questions:  

• How are we doing from a promotion standpoint?  

• How are we doing from a lateral move standpoint?  

• What has been the turnover of the people identified in our succession plan?  

• What is our engagement level survey saying about internal career opportunities and development?