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Tips to develop top-tier talent

Navigating trends in human resources: Part 2

Develop Top Tier Talent

As we said in our first post about HR trends, the teams with the best talent typically win more often than their less-talented competitors. Developing and retaining that talent is one of the most significant drivers of employee engagement — which in turn is the key to critical business outcomes such as revenue, profitability, innovation, productivity, customer loyalty and quality.

The teams with the best talent hire people with raw ability and then spend time, effort and money building and shaping that talent to best serve their needs. Sports teams hire coaches and trainers to cultivate their players’ abilities. For you as a business person, developing talent means investing in developing the capabilities your firm needs.

Helpful hints: Enhancing your talent pool

Every business is unique, including yours. Here are seven ideas that may help you nurture your workforce into the unique shining stars you’re shooting for.

1. Partner with universities. You may find a short supply of some skill sets and have to build a supply chain for talent. An article in the MIT Sloan Management Review details How to Create Productive Partnerships With Universities.

2. Establish apprentice programs. Apprenticeships are a combination of on-the-job training and related instruction in which workers learn the practical and theoretical aspects of a highly skilled occupation. It’s a model that’s been successful since the Middle Ages. The Department of Labor offers support for businesses setting up apprenticeship programs.

3. Utilize the Small Business Administration’s Regional Innovation Clusters program. It helps small businesses tap into local clusters of economic activity and train workers with skills that firms need to capitalize on business opportunities.  These grants are industry-specific and target high-growth mentoring. There are four clusters in California:  

  • Agriculture Innovation Cluster / Project 17 Ag Tech Agriculture Innovation
  • San Diego Advanced Defense Cluster Autonomous systems and cyber security
  • Advanced Manufacturing Medical/Biosciences Pipeline for Economic Development (AM2PED)
  • San Diego-Imperial Valley Renewable Energy Generation Training and Demonstration Center Renewable Energy

4. Create developmental assignments. Encourage employees to grow by reshaping their jobs and providing temporary assignments. Supporting them when they take on challenges outside of work can also be useful.

5. Start a mentoring program. Having a mentor (and being a mentor) can increase job satisfaction and can lead to greater loyalty and less turnover. Inc. recently explained the value of implementing a mentorship program, particularly for young workers.

6. Focus on continuous learning. Companies with continuous learning programs in 2014 will attract quality employees who are interested in expanding their skill sets. Employees who are looking for personal growth help to position their employers for growth, too.

7. Provide internal talent mobility and career growth in your own organization. Build a facilitated talent mobility strategy that includes open access to internal positions, employee assessment tools, interview guides and leadership values that focus on internal development.

By developing your workforce, you provide rewarding careers for your employees and ensure that they have the necessary skills and knowledge to take your business to the next level.

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The information contained herein may not represent the views and opinions of California Bank & Trust, a division of ZB, N.A. or its affiliates. It is presented for general informational purposes only and does not constitute tax, legal or business advice.
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