Quick Wins, Band-Aids, and Long-Term Initiatives: Components of a Talent Management Roadmap

A strategic roadmap can help you plan the implementation and timeline of your Talent Management Strategy.  Roadmaps convey to observers that you have identified a need.  You have identified an estimated timeframe for resolution.  And you have identified the need to budget and source to meet this planned initiative.  They also keep all involved focused on the end goal.

More than likely your roadmap will contain a series of quick wins and band-aids interspaced with long-term initiatives.  Let’s explore these categories and some examples of each.

Quick Wins

A quick win is the implementation or revision of a strategy that can be accomplished in the short-term roadmap with very little time, budget, or resource allocation.  Company adoption of this process would requirement minimal change management.  We sometimes call this “low hanging fruit”.  Quick wins may also be scaled down versions of a robust strategy or an initial component of a more complex initiative.

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I like quick wins for two reasons:

  1. They’re quick.
  2. They’re wins.

Here are some examples of quick wins we’ve helped customers put in place.  Keep in mind that a quick win for another organization may not be a quick win for your organization.  Things like company culture, resource availability, and anticipated spend help determine what qualifies as a quick win.

Examples of quick wins for Talent Management include (varies by organization):

  • Creation of a basic employee talent profile
  • Incorporating company/strategic goals into an already existing goal/performance process
  • Establishment of an employee recognition program
  • Rollout of a company-wide organizational chart
  • Use of a standardized Exit Interview survey
  • Checklist for an onboarding process including communication steps.

Band-Aids

A band-aid is a short-term quick fix to a problem that needs a more robust solution but cannot wait for at least some relief.  In these cases, putting something in place is better than nothing.  A formal or strategic process should follow.  Band-aids are meant to be temporary and may not align long-term with the company vision.  Your roadmap should include a revision or replacement process and a timeline for implementation.

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Here are some examples of band-aids we’ve helped customers put in place or that we’ve modified or revised for long-term sustainability.  Keep in mind that a particular band-aid for another organization may not be needed for your organization.  Things like pain points, business needs and drivers, crisis situations determine when and where band-aids are needed.

Examples of band-aid scenarios for Talent Management include (varies by organization):

  • Shortage of skilled workers
  • Rapid recruitment plan and internal cross-training is needed
  • High turnover in a particular area of the organization
  • Immediate increase of employee engagement is needed
  • Loss of a key individual
  • A short-term succession scenario should be enacted

Long-Term Initiatives

A long-term initiative has two meanings in our space.  First, it can mean an initiative that will not be implemented any time soon.  These may also be referred to as future initiatives.  The timing of such an initiative is usually impeded by a roadblock such as cost, resources, or a competing initiative.  Second, a long-term initiative can mean an initiative that is currently being implemented but the process is a long one given scope, budget, and/or resources.

Regardless of the definition you’re using, a long-term initiative generally is not realized within a six month period.  Long-term initiatives are typically thought of as being realized in six or more months and may likely take longer.

Some examples of long-term initiatives for Talent Management include:

  • A robust and relevant recruiting program
    • Staffing needs are clearly identified and communication.
    • Job requirements are known and candidates are evaluated accordingly.
  • A streamlined onboarding process
    • Begin employee engagement right from the start.
    • Reduce new hire downtime waiting for resources and provisioning.
  • Setting and alignment of strategic initiatives. Communication of company goals.
    • Everyone is working towards common outcomes – alignment.
    • Employees have a sense of company contribution.

Are you wondering how to successfully implement a long-term initiative?  The idea of attacking a long-term project can certainly be daunting.  There are budgets to plan and have approved, resources to corral and possible hire/contract, and time that needs to be carved out of people’s already full schedules.  Here are some tips that may come in handy:

  • The initiative must be meaningful. Consider setting SMART goals for your initiatives.
    • SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time based
  • Execution may be hard and you may have setbacks. Adjust as needed.
  • Build in short-term milestones that will help you measure progress and have a sense of accomplishment.
  • Celebrate achievements along the way.
  • Find the right resources to assist you.
    • Internal and external, as needed.
  • Budget accordingly and prepare for tangents.
  • Your organization’s leadership must be invested in these goals. You need their support for execution.

For more information about how technology can help drive your HR segment towards being a strategic partner within your organization, please check out these Resources on SAP SuccessFactors.

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