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Talent Development

A Talent For Growth

Many entrepreneurs insist that one of the most potent business growth strategies boils down to a simple rule: If your want to grow your company, grow your talent.

Building core competencies, problem-solving skills and leadership abilities among your existing staff can bolster the health and growth of your company in countless ways.

Main Line Health Care in Philadelphia has received numerous awards in recent years for its performance, including The Joint Commission’s “Top Performer” status at three of its hospitals. President and CEO John (Jack) Lynch III attributes many of the company’s successes to its rigorous talent development effort.

Leadership training programs have enabled the company to fill senior executive positions through internal promotions and create a pipeline of talent for future promotions. Training about the core competencies of each position and impact of each position on the company has produced performance improvements throughout the system from executives to medical staff to cleaning personnel.

“I am blown away by the impact,” Lynch said.

Some core processes can help any company create a powerful, talent development program.

Define “talent” – Critically survey the full range of skills needed within the firm, including subject-matter expertise, customer service skills, administrative skills, marketing savvy, leadership traits, and so on. That master list can provide the foundation for strategic planning, performance reviews and training programs.

Track performance – Diligently tracking the performance of employees in the core competencies of their jobs will identify weaknesses and training needs, foster accountability among your staff, and show which individuals should be given bigger challenges and opportunities.

Create career plans – Determine how your employees’ ambitions and aptitudes could mesh better with your company’s talent needs and strategic plans. Then work with each employee to map out a professional development plan that could provide the employee with a long, satisfying career within the company while providing you with a steadily more valuable staff member.

Seize teaching opportunities – Education comes in many forms, not just formal classes. Allow employees to sit in on meetings that are above their pay grade but focused on topics they will eventually need to master. Facilitate mentoring, job shadowing, inclusion in special projects or the occasional rotation of responsibilities within your team.

Finally, remember that continuous growth of your company’s talent requires continuous effort. Talent development needs to become ingrained in your company’s daily operations.