Having a strong talent pool can provide a strong competitive advantage for any company.
So, it only makes sense for organisations to deploy a massive amount of resources and energy to develop its talent pool in order to secure success.
Talent development programs facilitate companies to design a robust succession plan to fill the gap during leadership changes. Organisations expect that their A-team to honour their commitment, demonstrate enthusiasm, and be able to deliver on critical assignments smoothly.
To that end, these are the six key elements that define a company’s A-team.
I shall not lie, cheat, or steal
Truthfulness, in the professional capacity, directly correlates with honesty and integrity. A truthful individual always does the right thing, rather than doing things right. A truthful individual would never be guided by wrong contrivance.
Without this strength, a talented worker can’t take up additional challenges and may struggle to demonstrate ownership and, eventually, fail to contribute at a level expected of him/her.
The sky is the limit
There needs to be an urgency to grow as an individual, along with the organisation. One’s goals should be congruent with the company’s vision. When we aspire to a goal, that aspiration guides our decisions and directs our energy.
Quite often, it also rallies others to the same goal -- and, this momentum then galvanises collective effort.
Hence, this is one of the most sought-after character traits expected from an A-team member. Therefore, talent managers need to device relevant strategies or programs that facilitate employees to pursue their aspiration, in line with the company’s goal.
‘I’m married to my work’
Working for an organisation doesn’t necessarily mean that one needs to be loyal to it, it might be lower opportunity cost that leads an individual to work for an organisation.
Employees should feel passionate about delivering on the job and seek ways to improve the quality of their work -- especially since, in the end, it is the human resources that decide the fate of a company
But the A-team can’t afford to not be loyal to the organisation. In fact, this is considered an inherent quality upheld by such employees. Otherwise, despite all the efforts by the organisation to develop its talent pool, he or she would not be appreciative of the care provided by the organisation.
Thus, talent managers need to allow employees to show their true colours by engaging them in various activities.
Are you high energy?
High, or positive energy clearly distinguishes the A-team from the rest. It is this that makes the management put their faith on certain employees to mitigate a crisis or any critical situation.
Since many companies are developing their talent pool through accelerated development programs, the company expects them to participate in the ongoing strategic initiatives in addition to their day-to-day business as usual tasks. Therefore, the talent managers should engage them in activities to showcase their level of energy in accomplishing the goals of the company.
Lead by example
The A-team is expected to be the house of novelty. The A-team needs to inspire aspiring employees by setting the right examples as far as this key element is concerned. On the other hand, it is the organisational culture that is supposed to appeal to the A-team in the first place to display this trait in their conduct.
Thus, demonstrating novelty would enhance their sense of belonging in the talent management program and the company as a whole. It would prove them as an individual who is willing to take risks for the greater interest of the company.
This key element is meant to lead them to exceed the company’s expectations and reach unparalleled excellence. Talent managers can arrange some coaching or mentoring workshop to sharpen this strength of their A-team members.
Time is of the essence
“My favourite things in life don’t cost any money. It’s really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time,” Steve Jobs emphasised, on the importance of timeliness.
The A-team must, therefore, utilise it better than the rest. Talents are expected to live this virtue not only for their own development, but also to uphold their commitment towards the organisation.
It also helps them to maintain a high level of energy.
The A-team is generally entrusted with crucial projects where time is of the essence -- and believed by the company that they would deliver on time with full enthusiasm.
Hence, it is imperative that the talent managers create enough opportunities for employees to demonstrate and firm up this strength through challenging activities that taps into their full potential.
In order to put things in perspective, it is advisable that talent managers develop interventional programs that help employees to cultivate and nurture these six strengths.
Employees should feel passionate about delivering on the job and seek ways to improve the quality of their work -- especially since, in the end, it is the human resources that decide the fate of a company.
Faisal Khan is Vice President, HR Business Partnering, Robi Axiata Limited.