How to spot your workers’ T(Talent) Factor

Working to rule, mental resignation or immediate job change as soon as a better offer comes along – these are the challenges many businesses have to deal with. The reason for this is that many workers don’t feel that they are noticed. They lack praise and recognition, appreciation and feedback, encouragement and challenge.

Key players and high performers have an easy time on the job market. They can more or less choose their jobs both nationally and internationally. The old loyalty to the employer, that was maybe taken for granted, is disappearing. Life-long faithfulness to the job has long been passé. The talented know their power and use it. They are constantly testing their market value and are permanently looking for new jobs.

Workers’ commitment is becoming an important competitive factor. After the era of production, knowledge is in the heads of the workers. The new capital, knowledge, leaves the firm every evening and no one knows if it’ll come back.

That is why a lot of companies have created a “second” type of marketing – employer branding – where they are rated as excellent employers.
Alongside all the efforts to make talent recruitment particularly attractive, the whole business culture should be directed at searching for and nurturing talent.

It isn’t just the CV that counts. It’s not the successful assessments or positive diagnostic results. Talent can’t be found in this way. Often, the T-factor which particular talents bring with them isn’t obvious. Talent is usually a unique mixture of characteristics – which on the surface appear insignificant. They can only be discovered after the worker has had intensive confrontations when dealing with people; by you, as manager, experiencing them in as many different situations as possible and under as many different conditions as possible.

By bringing them into contact with as many business levels as possible – up to top management. And by giving intensive feedback, a lot of recognition and praise and by trying to recognise and encourage the real strengths. This often goes beyond the functional competence that we usually focus our attention on. It is in the petty situations, tasks, responsibilities, reactions and social interactions that, with time, you can recognise a trend that can indicate a top talent. Every worker wants to be valued and noticed. Every worker needs regular and honest recognition, feedback and praise. Only in such a culture of human cooperation can high performers be recognised and retained. Coaching, training, assessment or personality tests can always follow…

My personal “spot the T-factor” tips for you are:

  1. People with talent appear, on the surface, to be ordinary people.
  2. Look the person in the eye and not at his CV
  3. Talent can’t be spotted using normal competence measurements.
  4. Make sure you are “visible” – through values, ideals, company goals – in short: through your business culture of valuing.
  5. Organise things so that everyone in the firm comes into contact with the new worker and give feedback without concentrating on traditional competences or values.

In times when the investment in workers’ knowledge is often more expensive and valuable than the financial investment, you need targeted measures to find and encourage talent.

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