Monthly Archives: June 2009

Unleashing Untapped Employee Talent

Imagine being able to unleash the hidden talents and untapped skills of EVERY single one of your employees?
Imagine if every single one of your employees, from front-line staff to senior management, was 100% engaged, doing the work they were cut out for, contributing to the success of your organization by focusing on their core competencies. Can you envision the collective power you would unleash? No laggards…just a company filled with rising stars. Absenteeism would drop instantly, worker defections to your competitors would cease entirely. Entire Departments would start exceeding quotas.

You would become a preferred employer, and employee recruitment would be an exercise in picking the talent you wanted. Better yet, what if I told you this CAN be achieved and WITHOUT the tremendous cost and resource drain of investing in hard to measure training programs? That long sought after seat at the Management Table would suddenly materialize for you, the HR professional.

Sound too good to be true? Well, it’s not. There is a beautifully simple tool called a human capital development audit that you can implement immediately to achieve these results.
Here’s how it works…for each employee in your organization, you match the roles and responsibilities of the job they are employed in with their skills, core competencies, and experience. Be as expansive and broad as possible in identifying their skills. Consider their academic training, software skills, certifications, professional development, leadership, cultural diversity…everything!

After identifying all the roles and responsibilities that each employee is tasked with accomplishing, you then detail their skills. Use a spreadsheet and simply line up the roles and skills along one another in facing columns.

These should be obtained through interviews with the employee’s manager, their current (and any past) managers, coaches/mentors, peers they have worked with, etc.

After that is accomplished you drill down to identify which skill sets that they possess that are NOT being utilized. In order to maximize the positive impact to your organization from an ROI perspective, you should prioritize those skills that they are NOT currently using, based on their ability to generate revenues, reduce costs, improve your organization’s processes, etc.

Next, you must develop an action plan for all of the highest priority non-leveraged skills that the employee possesses. For each untapped skill, set a timeframe for completion and any contingencies, or potential barriers that would prevent the employee (and their Manager) from making those untapped skills part of her newly redesigned job description.

For this human capital audit to work, it has to be embraced by your senior management, owned by Human Resources, and conducted for ALL departments and levels of your organization. It should be reviewed quarterly, and merit-based compensation plans should be developed for employees that integrate untapped core competencies into their new roles and responsibilities.

Most HR professionals that I have spoken with about this audit indicate it is not possible to implement. They claim it is a big time commitment, doesn’t seem to be something that can be quantified, in terms of impact to the organization.

I would argue that, in this challenging economic environment, even if you ‘ONY’ achieved a 50% increase in each employee’s productivity as a result of implementing this human capital audit, the positive potential impact to your company would be great. I guarantee that a 50% increase in your entire organization’s productivity will force Senior Management to take notice of Human Resource’s role as a strategic partner in driving value through the organization.