Talent Optimization - it all starts with a diagnosis

Implementing a solid Talent Optimization Process requires an in-depth understanding of the business strategy. We often forget that without the business strategy, we will be going all kind of places, without getting anywhere. Might be adventurous, but you won't get the hype of reaching a goal.

The Talent Optimization Framework starts with a Diagnose

Diagnose is a method or pinpointing the root cause of gaps—your underlying people problems—and making strategic changes or changes to day-to-day execution. The insights you uncover in diagnose typically point back to the other three aptitudes of talent optimization: design, hire and inspire. Businesses that collect and analyze their people data and then make necessary adjustments proactively will enjoy a more productive and engaged workforce; instead of letting problems build up and fester, addressing them quickly shows employees they care.

  • Measure what matters.
  • Analyze the evidence.
  • Prescribe improvement actions.


Step 1 - Measure what matters

The root cause of gaps—your underlying people problems—can be determined by measuring critical people data. After analyzing data, strategic changes or changes to day-to-day execution can be determined. But what do you need to measure? Here a few examples:

  1. Turnover data- it will tell a lot about how your workforce is transitioning in and out of the organization. To create a balance organization, which means you keep the right amount of knowledge but also get enough new idea's to the organization, aim for about 5% turnover in every area of the organization. Also, don't forget to compare it to turnover compared to the number of service years. You want to have a certain turnover in each group, not just your new hires.
  2. Behavioral Profiles This data identifies someone’s natural drives and preferences. It helps you hire people who are suited for a job and manage them appropriately, which can impact engagement, performance, and business results. You want to see if you have a very homogeneous workforce when it comes to behavioral profiles, but also if the people are aligned to tasks that align with their profile.
  3. Job performance: This data identifies how well your employees are moving your initiatives forward and pinpoints those who are struggling. Job performance data can also help you identify which behavioral drive is shared by all top performers.

Other data points you can look at benefit utilization, absenteeism, vacation utilization, employee sentiment, employee engagement, organizational culture, and vs adapted company values.

Step 2 - Analyze the evidence

As always, you must analyze your data within your business context. For example, you may conduct a leadership gap analysis that evaluates your leadership team’s execution style and abilities relative to your business strategy. Or you may need to work backward from a poor business result such as a slip in production quality. Remember that in business, nearly every problem is a people problem. Analyzing people data objectively uncovers issues that aren’t obvious, which allows you to quickly and effectively take action.

Step 3 - Prescribe improvement actions

When it comes to improvement actions, it is important to not create improvement actions for every single improvement area you have found. The organization will become overwhelmed, and in the end, nothing is happening. Choose two no more than thee items, and write down clearly what steps are going to be taken to improve those areas.

Step 4 -Communicate

When you are working on optimizing any part of the organization, make sure that you involve your workforce in the transformation. Often I see that companies who do not engage in the diagnostic phase are missing out on a critical moment to engage the employees and to encourage feedback and input.

Create engaging conversations where you make clear that they are part of the journey. Harvard Business Review published an article about the importance of empathy during change.

Would like to discuss how we can support your organization in optimizing the performance of your team? Let's connect. Let's talk: Schedule a call with Mirjam! click here 

Photo by Rod Long on Unsplash

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