EP 22: Creating Talent Pathways Inside of your Organization

Creating Talent Pathways Inside of your Organization

How can you climb the ladder within your organization, and what exactly does it take to work your way into the dream position that you want? So often our team members are left wondering which direction they are heading within our business, and this generally comes down to a lack of communication. In this episode, I will be sharing how to create a talent strategy so that your employees have a pathway to follow on their journey to success.

Listen in as I explain the importance of getting crystal clear on the expectations of your company, as well as why we must be thinking ahead in terms of where we want our organization (and our teams) to be headed. You will learn how to help your team progress in their positions, which traits you should be looking at when hiring for a role and the importance of having a long-term plan for your company.

What You’ll Learn In Today’s Episode:

  • How to create a pathway into leadership positions versus expert positions. (2:35)
  • How to help your team members grow in their positions. (4:45)
  • The importance of thinking ahead in your company. (6:45)
  • Which traits we need to be looking at when hiring. (9:30)
  • Why having open communication with your team is key. (12:38)
  • How to use data and which data is most important. (16:37)
  • The seven steps to focus on when creating talent pathways. (20:19)

Actionable Takeaway for HR Professionals:

  • Have a system in place and be sure to track what individuals want and need. (21:45)

Actionable Takeaway for Executives:

  • Plan out how individuals will flow through your company from entry-level to CEO positions. (21:18)

Ideas Worth Sharing:

“How we communicate and ensuring that we are crystal clear on the expectations that we want at the end are going to allow us to really get there and to be able to see how all of the points fit together.” - @TraciLScherck Click To Tweet “Some of us are not great managers and we are not great leaders of people.” - @TraciLScherck Click To Tweet “We really need to think ahead to what will that job look like in the future so that we can upskill our staff as we continue to evolve.” - @TraciLScherck Click To Tweet

Resources In Today’s Episode:

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Click Here for Audio Transcript

Traci Scherck: How do you get from point A to Point B to point C to point D inside of an organization and what specifically does it take to work, your way into that dream position that she want.

Traci Scherck: Well, welcome to talent optimization today we’re chatting in depth about creating talent pathways inside of your organization.

Traci Scherck: And guess what so much of this has to do with your talent strategy that strategy is going to lay out what that specifically looks like.

Traci Scherck: And I don’t know about you, but i’ve often walked into organizations and really struggled with hmm Is this a dead end job or how do we get to the next level.

Traci Scherck: And as we chat with staff and chat with managers and leadership teams, we find that sometimes, that this is.

Traci Scherck: A very, very real issue and what it comes down to is it comes down to time and so often we think we were crystal clear, on the communication.

Traci Scherck: That is specifically needed and we find out guess what that hasn’t happened so if you’re curious about communication that drives results go back to episode 18 where we specifically talk about that.

Traci Scherck: Because of how we communicate and ensuring that we are crystal clear on the expectations that we want, at the very end.

Traci Scherck: are going to allow us to really get there, and to be able to see how all of the points for together.

Traci Scherck: So when we look at creating a talent strategy there’s really several different steps that we’re going to look at and then we’re going to also look at three pathways to create it.

Traci Scherck: So I want to start with what are the three pathways that you can create inside of your organization and guess what you can create all three of these and so often you definitely need all three of these pathways.

Traci Scherck: One of the pathways, that is, the traditional pathway inside of organizations is a pathway into leadership or management positions so often we see that hey if we’re going to move up that so called ladder.

Traci Scherck: That means, you have to manage other people, but let’s face it, some of us are not great managers and we’re not necessarily great leaders of people, we might be great leaders and other areas.

Traci Scherck: In so it’s really important that you have two distinct pathways you have that specialist or that expert pathway.

Traci Scherck: That is that individual contributor, that is amazing at that thing that they’re doing inside the organization so often we see these as.

Traci Scherck: Maybe it’s a technician one a technician two a technician three where they then can become you know.

Traci Scherck: That source of information for new stuff coming in, but they’re not responsible for managing or mentoring necessarily because that’s not their skill set in their sweet spot.

Traci Scherck: But again they’re amazing individual contributors, the next pathway is our traditional pathway, this is our leadership pathway, and this is where we move into you know increasingly elevated positions.

Traci Scherck: Where we’re managing others right, and the third pathway that we are seeing evolve so much more is a pathway that is very much team based where.

Traci Scherck: we’re looking at what are the teams that we need to create inside the organizations and within those teams, what is the strategy that they need to execute, what are the outcomes that they’re responsible for creating.

Traci Scherck: And the key here is that this is different than the outputs right and output would be.

Traci Scherck: hey shopping recorded podcast today or an outcome is through that podcast we want to reach X number of individuals and educate on how to create talent pathways.

Traci Scherck: And so, with that you know for these teams when we say hey we’re going to create pathways for individuals to come into teams.

Traci Scherck: What we’re doing is we are allowing individuals to grow in many different ways so so often, what we see is hey as we get promoted through an organization.

Traci Scherck: It may be in a specific department or it may be across specific disciplines are across the business learning different areas of the business.

Traci Scherck: But because we give these arbitrary titles, at times, it feels like we’re going back down to go back up again right.

Traci Scherck: And so we hire into teams so often in organizations, we have work teams that are on a project for a year or two years.

Traci Scherck: We can hire them into those teams, knowing there’s going to be another team that’s going to open up that’s going to give them a different opportunity.

Traci Scherck: to step into so one of the analogies that we love to use is it’s kind of like climbing a mountain, if you look at climbing a mountain many times you’re going up.

Traci Scherck: And then you’re taking a switch back and then you’re going up and then you’re taking a switch back right, because what that’s doing is it’s allowing us to.

Traci Scherck: get to the top of that, mountain or whatever that pinnacle or peak of our career is.

Traci Scherck: But doing it in a way that we’re understanding and we’re getting the experience of each of those multiple areas so Those are three distinct talent pathways right we have.

Traci Scherck: Our team based pathway, we have the pathway where we’re looking at roles going up, specifically in a leadership management track, and we have a pathway that’s very much a specialist pathway.

Traci Scherck: here’s the deal do our staff know what those key pathways are and do we as leaders inside of our organization, know what it looks like to really create those pathways and so.

Traci Scherck: here’s a couple kind of items that we definitely want to chat about, and there are seven very specific steps that we typically see with this.

Traci Scherck: And when we look at these specific steps, one of them is thinking ahead, knowing hey What are those positions that we maybe need now and or in the future.

Traci Scherck: One of the things that we know is that the jobs we have today may not, and probably won’t be the same jobs we have in 20 years right.

Traci Scherck: So you know, we know that there will be a distinction as artificial intelligence comes into place as we start using robotics especially modern manufacturing.

Traci Scherck: types of positions that we really need to pay attention to what will that job look like in the future so that we can upscale our staff as we continue to evolve in the in the world of work that we’re currently in.

Traci Scherck: So that thinking ahead is a key piece, but also thinking ahead into we know it’s incredibly difficult to hire today, knowing how hard it is to hire.

Traci Scherck: Where can we start to get individuals interested in not only our entry level jobs, but our mid and top level jobs.

Traci Scherck: And some of that is doing that education in the Community and thinking ahead to what that looks like so, for example when we’re hiring in a.

Traci Scherck: A base level position so let’s say we’re hiring in a Teller at a bank, we know that for that bank Teller we typically want that individual to be pretty process oriented, they need to be pretty detailed focused.

Traci Scherck: But we also know that typically they’re going to follow rules pretty closely and they’re going to lead through collaborating with a team.

Traci Scherck: Knowing that if we’re going to put them in a track let’s say into a management position.

Traci Scherck: We know that we’re going to have to hire a certain percentage of individuals that have a little bit of a higher.

Traci Scherck: behavioral trait that’s independent leadership style versus a leadership style that’s really working collaboratively inside of a team.

Traci Scherck: And so, these behavioral traits become incredibly important when we do our talent pathway planning, because we need to know what does the job need what.

Traci Scherck: Are the individuals in the job, what are their strengths and do we have that pathway, because if we don’t.

Traci Scherck: We know we’re going to have to hire outside of the Organization for that, which is much more difficult to do than hiring inside the organization.

Traci Scherck: So the next step that we have is really we want to focus on the right traits What are those right traits inside the organization that were specifically looking for.

Traci Scherck: And again, these go back to those behavioral traits that we just talked about, and when we look at specifically at those we know that.

Traci Scherck: Do we need individuals that are really extroverted in this role, or do we need individuals that are going to get down get to work, be able to work behind the scenes.

Traci Scherck: You know, those are the key things that we need to know for our jobs and know that as we look at our talent pathway.

Traci Scherck: we’re going to be meeting different types of behavioral traits to move up through those pathways.

Traci Scherck: and looking at that and saying Okay, I know that 60% of the people I hire into this role will stay in this role.

Traci Scherck: or they may move into a specialist pathway, or we may move them on to another team, so that they have an experience with another.

Traci Scherck: type of department, but it’s the same skill set that we’re going to be using so we know exactly those skill sets and where they go across the organization, so that we know how to move individuals around.

Traci Scherck: And that’s those behavioral traits that become really important and, by the way, there is an easy button for this.

Traci Scherck: For us, we use predictive index, I know that there’s several of you that use desk that use myers briggs some of the other tools that are out there.

Traci Scherck: We use predictive index because it’s predictive of job performance and we can tie it right back into the job that makes creating these talent pathways.

Traci Scherck: You know much easier inside the organization to get us much better results.

Traci Scherck: And another key here is just asking people what they want right how many of you have ever been in an interview, and you get the question of hey what specifically are your plans for five years from now, where do you see yourself right.

Traci Scherck: that’s such a great question for candidates, but my challenge for our HR listeners and our executive listeners today.

Traci Scherck: is really think about what’s your five years you know people plan what’s your five year talent strategy, because what we’re missing so often is we’re not tying in.

Traci Scherck: Where does an individual want to be in five years to what does the organization need in its people in jobs in five years, and can we really map an individual’s career out with them up front.

Traci Scherck: Now, one of the key things that we’re, seeing as we’re talking with our career counselors as we’re talking with.

Traci Scherck: Individuals at the College level and the high school level that are working with students trying to plan out their career is.

Traci Scherck: They don’t see the whole picture, they don’t see the end of hey if I step into this entry level position, how do I get from point A.

Traci Scherck: To point B, C and D and we as executives and HR professionals need to do a much better job of laying those pathways out so individuals can visualize them at the onset because that’s going to impact, how we retain staff throughout.

Traci Scherck: And again, going back to ask people what they want, because when we don’t ask them guess what they don’t know.

Traci Scherck: You don’t and I don’t know if you’ve ever had a situation where you know you’re not talking with someone, whether it is a spouse or you know, a supervisor or a Co worker or whatnot.

Traci Scherck: And you just start making things up right how scary is it when we start making things up that aren’t the appropriate things it’s really scary and what we make up is probably much worse.

Traci Scherck: than what is actually out there, so guess what leaders i’m going to challenge you to share what is your plan for the folks inside of your organization.

Traci Scherck: and

Traci Scherck: have them plan with you because that’s going to be incredibly important for how successful they are.

Traci Scherck: And one of the things to think about is go back to episode 16 where we talk with joy deuce and joy specifically talks about the importance of succession planning.

Traci Scherck: and ensuring that individuals are on the same page so that might be a really great you know conversation to take a listen to, if this is something that you’re really focused on.

Traci Scherck: So the third kind of step within this that we’re going to talk about today is promoting from within, so our first step is.

Traci Scherck: You know thinking ahead our second step is focusing on the right traits our third step is promoting from within, so when we promote from within.

Traci Scherck: We are much more apt to have a candidate that has a less ramp up time because they already know the organization they already know that people they already know the expectations.

Traci Scherck: And so, one of the things we love about predictive index, is that you can just pull a report that says, who are the other matches for this specific job.

Traci Scherck: In see very quickly from a behavioral standpoint and from a cognitive standpoint, who is a good fit.

Traci Scherck: And when we can see who a good fit is, we can start having those conversations, and that is always a part of that talent pathway planning right.

Traci Scherck: So they may need to gain experience or they may need to gain a certification or education, but if we know that there are a behavioral fit for a job, we can start planning that years months in advance.

Traci Scherck: So our fourth and our fourth step here is to hire for the job in not what makes you feel good okay so here’s what we mean by that.

Traci Scherck: Now, if we are going to go out and just hire blind without any data in any science to back it up, we have this bias, we more than likely are going to hire people, just like us right.

Traci Scherck: And the issue of hiring people, just like us is one there’s no diversity in that, but two you know so often our teams end up incredibly lopsided in.

Traci Scherck: and are unable to actually meet the performance expectations that’s necessary because we may have a ton of visionaries on our team, but we don’t have any influence mentors on our team.

Traci Scherck: Or we have you know individuals on our team that are you know these great visionaries which means they’re hitting the gas pedal.

Traci Scherck: And going 90 miles an hour down the freeway and we’re not paying attention to the other things that are around them there’s nobody there pushing the brake and saying.

Traci Scherck: hold on that we’re an icy conditions are whole the online, you know, there is tumbleweed rolling across the road that we really need to pay attention to.

Traci Scherck: So that’s number four is, we need to hire for the job, and when we hire for the job, and specifically for the team that this individual is stepping into.

Traci Scherck: We are going to be able to ensure that we can meet those business results, based on the strategy that we have we’re also increasing the diversity inside of our organization.

Traci Scherck: And with that pathway planning individuals numbers are going, and when we know where we’re going, and we have specific goals were much more likely to get there in a.

Traci Scherck: In a shorter period of time and it increases employee engagement right.

Traci Scherck: So the fifth thing is to use data and we’ve talked about this a bit already today, so when we’re creating our talent pathway planning, we want to use data there’s a couple different types of data that are incredibly important.

Traci Scherck: The first type of data is the data that tells us what does the job need and we typically will create this using some job assessments.

Traci Scherck: And matching that to who an individual is based on their behaviors and based on their cognitive ability right.

Traci Scherck: And then that second piece of data really comes from what are the key expectations of this job What are those outcomes that individuals need to hit.

Traci Scherck: It when we can specifically look at that data and promote individuals within the organization based on hitting key metrics.

Traci Scherck: guess what that that data is going to be gold and also creating that loyalty and trust with staff because they’re going to see hey I know if I do these things, I will be promoted, because i’m seeing it happen all throughout the organization.

Traci Scherck: And the pathway is laid out in front of me for me to just jump on and follow and follow the key steps.

Traci Scherck: That may seem small the time but are going to get us to the big results at the end, but it has to start with a plan and the strategy.

Traci Scherck: The six thing that we want to talk about is the dream team and, as we create those dream teams inside of our organization.

Traci Scherck: You know, we have to ensure with those dream teams that we have the right makeup on the team so, for example.

Traci Scherck: If we have a team that is all sales folks and they’re very they’re very results oriented and they’re incredibly competitive.

Traci Scherck: that’s fantastic, however, if we don’t have a balance are on that team that really shows them hey, we have to have some teamwork, we have to pull together.

Traci Scherck: Because our competition isn’t each other, our competition is those other organizations outside of ours, that is going to get the business versus us right.

Traci Scherck: And so, these are very real problems that we see over and over inside of organizations.

Traci Scherck: And when we create those teams, we need to ensure that we have the balancing impact on the team to actually move the team forward to get the job done.

Traci Scherck: And as we lay out those pathways we also want to layer and what are the compensation plans that go along with this.

Traci Scherck: Both from the individual basis, but also from the team basis, so in a situation like I just described, where we have a very competitive sales team and.

Traci Scherck: they’re very results discipline, you know oriented, and we need to have a balance or that’s a teamwork orientated individual we also want a bonus based on how the team does versus just how the individuals.

Traci Scherck: Do there so that’s just something key to keep in mind and the last one is you know when we talk about talent pathways we really want to pay close attention to.

Traci Scherck: Making people better, both from the human side and the productivity side right because here’s the deal as those talent pathways go through the organization, we need to up level and upscale our staff.

Traci Scherck: We need to ensure that they have the appropriate training and they have the leadership development in the coaching so that they can really step into those higher level roles, whether that is.

Traci Scherck: leading a team, whether that is being a very, very unique specialist in an area.

Traci Scherck: And so, as we take care of those staff guess what they’re going to take care of us, based on their loyalty, based on the trust within the organization.

Traci Scherck: So with that I will just kind of go through those seven steps again that are really important and creating those talent pathways inside the organization, so the first step is to think ahead.

Traci Scherck: The second is let’s focus on those right traits those behavioral traits.

Traci Scherck: The third is you know really ensuring that we’re promoting from within, you know if you use pii take a look at those match scores, so that you can really lay that out.

Traci Scherck: The fourth thing that we’re looking at is hiring for the job and not what we want, as a manager, because we end up higher we end up hiring people, just like us.

Traci Scherck: We want to make sure that we’re using the data to really drive our decisions, we want to make sure we’re focused on the dream teams, and specifically the human element so with that.

Traci Scherck: Of course we start to wrap up and end all of our podcast by saying hey what is one key takeaway for executives listening.

Traci Scherck: And as we create dream teams inside of our organization in those talent pathways you know that one takeaway for executives is.

Traci Scherck: Plan out how individuals will flow through the organization from entry into the is the chief executive officer position because.

Traci Scherck: it’s not just succession planning that plays into talent pathway planning, it is also how individuals are grow and be engaged in the work that they’re doing.

Traci Scherck: And then, our key takeaway for HR professionals is have a systematic way to do this and be sure to track what an individual wants with what the organization needs.

Traci Scherck: and ensure that you have that key clarity and communication to your staff so that they don’t leave.

Traci Scherck: without knowing that there’s a huge opportunity right around the corner for them so with that Thank you so much for joining us here today at talent optimization with Traci Scherck.

Traci Scherck: and be sure to join our talent optimization foundation program where we get deep into each of these topics each of these steps we actually show you how to do it through our live office hours and webinars have a great day.