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Set a Quick Talent Strategy, and by that I mean, Objectives

I remember before the holiday last year, glancing back at my office just before I left, feeling good about our various projects and the plan for gearing up in the new year. And then BAM the new year hit us. The best laid plans…

Talent Strategy; woman in white hijab with glasses reading tablet, hand to forehead
Without a talent strategy it's easy to be overwhelmed.

I'm sure you've felt the same.

I mean, it happens every Monday, right? You feel great about the things you were able to close out during the week prior, and your list for Monday in your still-new planner is clean, ready to roll after a cuppa to kick-off the week. Then you open your email and splat. Argh!

If everything is important, then nothing is important. It's the tyranny of the urgent over the important.

Absolutely if you're in HR, there are times when the day is hijacked, employees need support and that's that. When you do have focused work time, setting priorities will help to stay focused on the important.

Talent Objectives Help with Talent Priorities

Let's talk about setting priorities so that when you do have time to be productive you are clearly focused. Specifically in the talent development space, I'm thinking about a talent strategy for the year. It's never the wrong time to set a talent strategy, and by strategy, today I mean focusing on setting 2-3 objectives for the year that will move the needle on critical talent and employee engagement needs.

If you'd like to learn more about a comprehensive talent strategy, I've got you. Head over to this article on developing a talent strategy that drives business objectives.

Getting a plan together to tackle talent priorities is always a good idea. It will allow you to focus and provide boundaries to prioritize. When we focus on things that increase employee productivity, make current programs or processes more efficient or address a lurking talent need, we are adding business value. I want you to do a lot of that!

Setting Talent Objectives

I'm always going to encourage you to keep things simple and straightforward. Simple wins the day.

Consider this formula to set talent objectives:

Action goal + timeframe + success measure with timeframe

  • Action goal is a program or initiative that will close the gap on a critical talent issue

  • Timeframe indicates when will you meet the action goal

  • Success measure with timeframe is a metric, KPI (key performance indicator) or business measure that is used to indicate progress over an identified timeframe. This is where you link your work to business results.


  • Launch an enterprise onboarding program (action goal) by December 31 (timeframe) to reduce first year attrition by 10% in one year (success measure with timeframe).

  • Develop and implement a harassment module in new supervisor training by June 30 to improve employee resources outcomes by 10% in two years.

  • Implement an emerging leader program by October 31 to increase the ethnic diversity of those in supervisory roles by 10% in two years.

Simple, straightforward objectives allow you stay focused on a key priority or two, easily share progress on those priorities and demonstrate that your areas of focus are driving valuable outcomes for the business.

Here's my call to action for you

This week, identify two - just two - objectives that you feel will close the gap on a talent issue you are seeing in your organization and that you are often called to address. Another way to think about it: consider the types of issues you are asked to address frequently. What can be done to reduce those issues, giving you more productive time in the day?

Introducing a Mentoring Circle on Setting a Talent Strategy

I have a BIG idea to share!

I'm testing a new concept called Mentoring Circles. Mentoring Circles are group mentoring sessions on specific talent development topics with the purpose of helping talent and HR professionals build talent development expertise. We'll tackle topics that help you design, plan and implement solutions to close the gap on key talent challenges.

If that sounds like something of interest, subscribe below. I will be offering the very first Mentoring Circle on a first come, first served basis and at a super nominal fee. My goal is to test the feasibility of the concept. I'm all about piloting new talent programs before a big launch, as you can see in this article on testing a continuous performance management design.

I'd love for you to be a part of the pilot. Sign-up below to learn when we launch!


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