How To Spot Good Talent In The Workplace

How to spot good talent in the workplaceAs the economy improves, employee retention becomes an event more critical issue for companies across the board; if your employees are not engaged and satisfied with their prospects at your company, they have more opportunities than they have in years to move to another job. Recruiting specialists are seeing a marked increase in companies looking to fill new and vacated positions. One way to help keep the best and brightest on your team is to make sure your managers and executives know how to identify your best talent and how to cultivate them and their skills. Employees appreciate being appreciated and if they know they’re being groomed for a more responsible position in your company, they’re more likely to remain highly engaged and enthusiastic.

In recent years, the topic of “High-Potential” or “Hi-Po” designations for promising employees has become a topic of some controversy, as some companies found that while those designations did a great deal toward building motivation and engagement among those so identified, it could also cause resentment and disengagement among other employees. Some companies avoid the issues by changing the labels, others choose not to divulge to employees when they’ve been identified as Hi-Po, and yet others choose to acknowledge those employees as “Fast Track” employees who are openly offered additional training and mentorship for advancement. Developing a policy on how to manage the development of Hi-Po employees is critical and should result in a policy that can be consistently applied.

In terms of identifying those employees whose potential merits your company’s development investment, there are some basic techniques your managers can use to do some preliminary screening and build goodwill among the employees in the process.

  • Go Beyond Praise – When an employee is due a compliment, give it, but turn that into a conversation about how he did this great thing, where he got the idea, and so on. It may turn out to be an idea that’s applicable in other areas, and you can build that employee up by working with him to present the idea to co-workers or to other managers.
  • Acknowledge Their Process – When you’re considering an employee’s performance for evaluation, don’t stop at listing their accomplishments; look at how they accomplished things. This reminds you to keep your eye out for employees with uniquely productive ways of thinking, and it shows the employee that you’re interested in their entire process, not just the end results.
  • The Right Mind For The Job – Gaining an understanding of what each employee excels at is critical, but it’s also important to learn why they are most interested in, and excel at, some things, or are less engaged by other things. When an employee expresses such preferences, take a few minutes to ask why, and you may discover things that allow you to make better use of that employee’s talent and temperament in future.
  • Give Them A Taste Of Their Future – Find out what your employees’ ideal work would be. When possible, arrange for that employee to work on projects that incorporate some aspect of their ideal work. Giving your employees a taste of the career future they want shows them that you care about where they’re going and that your company can offer them what they wish for, and it gives them a reason to work toward attaining that goal within your company.

Spotting Good Talent In The Workplace Is A Valuable Skill

Training your managers and executives to identify and cultivate high-potential employees is an invaluable investment because it immediately increases the satisfaction and productivity of your current employees, and it solidifies their relationship with your company, so they’ll be more likely to seek growth within your company, rather than taking their talent elsewhere.