Years ago, a successful career usually meant achieving upward mobility. Ambitious people climbed the corporate ladder to reach management positions. Today, fulfilling career paths run in many different directions, and fewer people spend their entire careers at one company.

However, some things stay the same. Most people still value career growth even more than salary and benefits. At the same time, organisations want people to feel engaged in their work and use learning and development opportunities to encourage this.

How can your organisation cultivate internal talent so that people contribute high value in their individual roles?

Consider these ideas for talent attraction and retention strategies, designed for today's world of work:

Benefits of Developing Internal Talent:

  1. Saves Money - filling positions with internal candidates usually costs less than external hiring. You cut down on expenses like advertising, screening, and training. Plus, external candidates often expect a higher salary than someone who is already in the organisation.

  2. Reduce Turnover - high turnover can damage morale and disrupt productivity. It’s expensive too. Finding and training a replacement typically costs twice the departing person's salary, according to The Wall Street Journal. Retain employees longer by showing them they have a future at your company.

  3. Keep Top Talent - retention is even more important when you’re talking about your high performers. Even if they’re not actively searching, they may be getting calls from head-hunters, so it’s important to stay competitive.

  4. Reduce Risk - what happens when a new recruit seems unable to deliver what they promised at their initial interview? You’re less likely to make an unfortunate decision when you’re dealing with peop[le you already know well.

  5. Achieve Your Goals - most importantly, talent development enables you to build the team you need for current and future business priorities. Engaged talent, taking ownership of themselves and their contribution to the organisation's goals are essential for success.

Implementing a Talent Development Programme:

  1. Align and Communicate - ensure people understand your business strategy. Then, you can align individual goals with your organisation's priorities and they will know where to focus their own efforts.
  2. Offer E-Learning - provide opportunities to acquire new skills and knowledge. Nowadays, technology makes education and training more affordable and accessible. Many experts recommend a blended approach of workshops, digital learning and on the job experiences.

  3. Coach and Mentor - create a formal mentorship program and reward people who provide guidance and support to others. Set clear objectives and measure results.

  4. Embrace Diversity - an inclusive organisation can make your business more competitive and innovative. Learn more about your people’s backgrounds and encourage relationships based on appreciation and respect.

  5. Recognise Potential - In addition to high-performers who regularly exceed expectations, identify those employees who may have the ability to shine, especially if they move into a different role that leverages their strengths. Remember that performance and potential often overlap.

  6. Encourage Collaboration - major accomplishments in most workplaces are the result of group efforts, so it makes sense to recognise teams as well as individuals. Set team goals, use online collaboration tools, and build a sense of shared purpose.

  7. Broaden your Perspective - Overall, identifying and nurturing internal talent requires expanding your vision. Evaluate people based on how they can contribute to your mission in the future, as well as how well they’re performing in their current positions. Focus on organisation-wide goals.

Above all, give people opportunities to develop their potential and progress in their careers. An effective talent development program helps both your people and your organisation to meet their goals.