The Grass is Greener Where You Water It
We are no longer just in a "war for talent." No, we are in a “talent drought.” There is not enough existing talent with the required skill sets ready to fill the empty seats in the IT channel. Due to the shift in the landscape, we need to shift the way we're thinking about our talent problem. We've all heard the saying, "The grass is greener where you water it." I believe that's the state we're in. If there's no sod to acquire, we need to plant the seeds, nurture and grow our own.
Homegrown: A Personal Example of Internal Talent Nurturing
I’d like to share a personal example to demonstrate how growing your own talent can be impactful.
2015 was a game changer for me. It was the year which held the first falling domino that would catapult me into my career as it is today. At the time, all I had was a year of "real world" experience, a semi-clear vision of the direction I wanted to take my career and a burning passion for positively impacting those around me.
I was working as part of the Human Resources team at GreatAmerica Financial Services when a leader reached out to me. She had a position she needed to fill, but couldn’t find applicants with the existing skills and talent needed. However, she was aware of my work and my passion. She simply asked where I wanted to take my career. That tap on the shoulder and listening ear changed my life.
I always imagined my dream job would come after years and years of experience, and honestly, I knew I wasn't "ready." The raw materials were there, but the work of fine-tuning still needed to be done. My leader recognized that, and decided developing and nurturing my talent would be more effective than waiting for someone with all the right qualifications to appear. In reviewing the opportunity she presented, I knew every single moment would be a learning and stretch opportunity. “Doesn't the best learning happen when you step outside your comfort zone?” I asked myself. So I stepped… make that leapt, outside my comfort zone.
Help Your Talent Bloom with a Tap on the Shoulder
Not even three years after that pivotal moment, I’ve accomplished more than I ever dreamt I would by this stage in my career. In that short time, I’ve continued my formal and informal education, and have been recognized and rewarded for my efforts along the way. I became the team member my leader was looking for and couldn’t find, but I never would have without that tap on the shoulder.
I have never in my life accomplished something on my own; it's taken a team of people filling my bucket to get me where I am today. Someone had to take a chance on me, encourage me to leap, and water, water, water until I bloomed. I am so thankful for the investment and in return, I am loyal, engaged, motivated and just getting started. Chances are, your employees feel the same and would be excited to have the opportunity to obtain certifications and accomplishments.
Why Developing the Talent You Need Could be the Answer for Your MSP
I share my personal journey as it demonstrates two key points I hope you walk away with:
- The talent you seek today may not be readily available, whether you look inside or outside your organization, but the potential likely is.
- Developing talent from within is possible, and it doesn’t take as long as you’d think. Two years ago, I wrote a blog on how to be a dream organization highlighting organizational practices which create a culture of home growing talent. I can personally attest, this type of culture is attractive and a good tool for retaining your talent. I am still here, more competent, more engaged, more loyal, and committed to our mission and vision than ever.
How to Apply Talent Nurturing in the IT Channel
Let’s take this back to the tech industry and your talent needs. There is a talent deficit in your industry; there is not enough talent with the adequate skillset for the positions you have now, and that gap is only going to growing.
According to new research from the Korn Ferry Institute, technology, media and telecommunications industry face the second highest industry skill deficit as the tech industry continues to expand.
Focusing purely on talent acquisition isn't enough to meet your business needs. It’s time to invest in developing talent, taking the long-view approach to a loyal, engaged and motivated work force.
To assess how ingrained development is in your culture consider these questions:
1. Do you have processes designed to enable the consistent and planned development of your talent? Do you have a plan?
2. Does your leadership team support and encourage the development of their team? Are they held accountable for the consistent and planned development of their team?
3. Is there a clear line of sight to the impact individuals have in helping the organization achieve its vision? For example, can they see the higher purpose in their work? Can they connect the dots to see how growing their skills and expanding on their strengths will help them, the team and the company be more successful?
Ask yourself, who will you tap on the shoulder? Whose career will you impact and make a difference in both your lives and the success of your company? It’s time to pick up the watering can and get to work nurturing the talent of your company’s future.
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