Keep your Global Stars Shining
Global talents are sometimes described as rolling stones that gather no moss, because being highly mobile, top performing professionals, they are often not contented to merely stay put in any given organisation out of loyalty. It is particularly so, as today’s talent crunch gives them a good reason to glide into greener pastures.
In fact, market research has shown that global talents are usually harder to retain than core employees because their skills and global mobility make them highly attractive on the open market. This is a worrying trend for global corporations given that high performing employees are typically 50 per cent more valuable to the business than core employees and their departures can easily cripple any organisation’s growth plan.
With many organisations at risk of losing their high potential performers to the next better job offer, how can you turn your global talents from rolling stones to stars that keep on shining for you?
Tip 1: Treat your global talents differently yet the same
While global talents are typically valued for their ability to work well independently, they still highly value manager-led guidance, particularly when they feel they are equal partners with their managers in their career development. When designing a development plan with global talents, managers should take the same fundamental actions when developing other employees, for instance,
- Listen to what your global talent has to say and always allow for open, positive and regular discussions around career development
- When assigning new tasks or development opportunities, explain how they contribute towards your global talent’s development goals
- Recognise your global talents in a SMART way – Supportive of the organisation’s goals, Meaningful to the talent, Adapted to motivate the talent, Relevant to developing behaviours important to the team and Timely to ensure the link between behaviour and desired result is clear
Where most organisations fail is differentiating developing plans for global talents from core employee offerings. A key point of differentiation lies in ensuring that your development plan for global talents is success-focussed and forward-looking.
For example, when developing global talents, make it clear to them how a new task or development opportunity can contribute towards building their reputation, standing and long-term success within the team and wider organisation. Connecting your talents with leaders both within and outside the country office also grooms your global talents to think beyond their current role and gives them an incentivized plan to work towards global leadership positions.
Tip 2: Create a wide berth of potential-building opportunities with boundaries in place
When grooming global leaders, it is important to take into consideration individual career preferences and competencies when providing global talents access to high impact opportunities. Having open and regular conversations with global talents gives managers the opportunity to ask this crucial development question: “How can we ensure that available global assignments align with your career objectives?”
Allowing global talents to express their preferences not only gives them greater control over their careers, but generates higher interest in critical, high visibility global assignments. This is because your target global talents can clearly differentiate the benefits of such assignments for their career progression and then identify the best opportunities to fit with their career objectives.
However, ensure boundaries are in place to balance development with risks. For example, place measures to limit the amount of time a global talent need to spend in a particular market to acquire requisite knowledge to avoid ‘country hopping’. Also, avoid changing the type of responsibilities required by the role and the amount of responsibility in order to set your global talents up for success.
Tip 3: Make sure you measure the return on investments
The reality is most global talent development programs require vast investments by organisations and unfortunately, many fail to adequately capture significant returns on their investments into global talents. As a result, it is often difficult to present a strong case to management to continue funding and delivering the employment offerings that are critical to retaining and attracting global talents.
One way to measure the success of a global talent development program is to create a control group of core employees to compare against global talent participants. Some effective measures tracked by leading companies include: the quality of applicants into global talent programs based on set entry barriers, the number of global talents promoted and the estimated revenue or business value generated by global talents undergoing structured development.
Measuring success also ensures you maintain a sustainable and well-engaged pool of global talents in your organisation by clearly and consistently communicating the benefits of your talent development program to the future stars earmarked for global leadership.