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Published on: HR Consultant

The Future of Reward & Talent Management

Workplace productivity brings a variety of benefits, such as profitability, employee morale and overall job satisfaction. Productivity is key and if your workforce is productive and dedicated to their work, the quality and quantity of their work will also improve. However, having a productive workforce is easier said than done, and it is an aspect that many businesses struggle with.

To improve productivity, we recommend that you should communicate effectively, assign and delegate carefully, train your employees, incentivise your employees and embrace positive results with a form of reward system.

Reward systems can be used to reward productivity and hard efforts in the workplace and are known to be highly effective when used correctly. Reward benefits are important factors in attracting, engaging and retaining employees as a way of thanking them and recognising them for their contributions.

As workforces become more diverse, the way we reward employees also changes over time. This sparks the age-old question in the world of HR, what will the future of reward and talent management systems be like?

​What is Talent Management

Talent management is a massive topic in the world of HR, with many HR professionals and employers wondering how to attract the best candidates for the job and how to pinpoint talented employees when they first walk through the door.

Talent management is the full scope of HR processes to align the business goals with its strategic objectives. The target management loop features six main areas, which include the attraction, identification, development, engagement, retention and deployment of highly skilled employees who are excellent performers and are considered of high value to the organisation.

HR professionals consider talent management a key priority as it aims at improving the performance of the business by increasing productivity amongst employees. By doing this, employers can build a high-performance workplace and add value to the business.


Attracting a healthy flow of applicants is the best way of keeping the process as smooth and efficient as possible, which typically begins at the recruitment process. It goes without saying, but the quality of job applications that you receive should be a significant indicator during this process.

Your employer brand is the key to ensuring applicants come to you, and form an orderly queue at the virtual door ready for whenever you have a vacancy.  What do your employees say about the employee experience, what impression do people have of the company brand, and why would someone want to work at your company? Aligning your employer brand to your company brand, and working with your marketing team is an excellent step in the right direction.


During the interviewing process, identifying talent was traditionally done through written tests, discussions and sometimes psychometric testing to gauge a picture of each candidate and to support in identifying their strengths and weaknesses.

Has this approach worked for you?  How can you flex your approach to suit the market and the job role? There are three key areas to focus on – attitude, motivation and skills. The first two are generally overlooked in favour of an almost exclusive focus on skills. Developing employees allows you to help them grow with the organisation as you train them for the expertise needed to help the business succeed. The question is – how is that approach reflected in the selection process?


A popular social media quote periodically does the rounds, “What if I train them and they leave?”, answer “What if you don’t and they stay?”. Development is critical to organisational success, and is not the exclusive domain of a formal training course. I recommend applying the 70, 20, 10 rule – 70% of learning happens on the job, 20% through supervision/coaching, and 10% through formal training. True development and learning happens systemically, with ample opportunities, mentoring, coaching and job-rotation schemes.


Deploying talent is about drawing on the strengths of your employees to delegate them with tasks that suit their talents and areas of expertise. It’s about placing your employees in the right roles for them, at the right time, to fill critical workforce gaps.


Productivity in the workplace cannot be achieved if employees are lacking engagement in the work they do. Listen to your employees and find out if there are any areas of their job which they do not enjoy as much. Many employees will not voice their opinions unless they are directly asked, which is where one-to-ones come into play. In my recent Psychology Masters, I uncovered an engagement ‘sweetspot’, where employee engagement was empirically proven to be positively influenced by trust in management and support with goal setting and achievement.


In order for a business to be successful, job retention rates need to be high. Usual methods of employee retention often include promotions, opportunities, growth, further training and reward programs, which have been proven to work very effectively in the workplace. It is also important to consider that careers are more flexible now than ever before – it is more likely than ever that employees might leave and return again at a later date. Ensuring the employee’s leaver experience is positive will reinforce your employer brand. Sometimes managers (and HR) can interpret a resignation as a sign of disloyalty, but it’s important to ensure the experience is a positive one.

Developing Leadership Talent

​Developing and retaining talent is critical to the success of any organisation. Leaders are responsible for developing talent within their own teams, however, leaders must also have developed knowledge and understanding of how they must efficiently run their own team and become a positive leader, which is why you should focus on regularly developing your leadership talent.

You should know where the talent in your team is and what development they may need to help them excel in becoming a leader. To tailor and streamline your company’s leadership, you should make use of bespoke training and development framework within the leadership strategy.

By using a bespoke training and development framework, progress can be accelerated with improvements in performance to support the structure of a leadership team and your future plans for the leadership hierarchy.

Succession Management

Succession management enables organisations to create a secure plan for the future by ensuring that skilled employees are proficiently trained and are able to meet the strategic objectives of the business. This helps with identifying which employees have the potential and ability to take exact positions within the business.

The most reliable, efficient and effective ways of building succession management is by using valuable information from performance data, one-to-one reviews, supervisor assessments and general work quality.

Many businesses use talent assessments to get an idea of how a candidate performs and how this may align with positions within the company. These will help gain an understanding of whether or not the candidate will be successful if they are employed by your company.

By using a well-thought-out and planned succession management analysis, you will be able to have control over having motivated employees, a more talented pool of employees, clearer objectives and greater confidence in your workforce.

Leadership Development

Developing leaders for the future allows an organisation to drive team changes, build cross-functional relationships, have better collaboration and builds more trust with stakeholders. Believe us when we say that it really is worth the effort to train the leaders of tomorrow, as the return on investment is worthwhile as it drives the innovation throughout the organisation and spurs the growth throughout all teams.

Those who do invest in their organisational leaders do tend to see a positive impact on employee retention and improved recruitment processes, however, modern leaders have to collaborate, and be transparent, engaging and receptive in order for the organisation to see results.

The idea behind leadership development is to increase the number of individuals performing in leadership roles and developing strong employees who may be well suited to a leadership-style role. The development of leaders is a way of improving the skills, confidence and abilities of leaders within the team for a stronger structure

Leadership development is a critical function of succession planning whereby high performers are typically identified as potential leaders and are placed under a leadership development programme. In order for leadership development to effectively work, you would need to have targeted leadership training for selected employees, which is designed for the needs of their next-place and in-place roles.

When developing leaders at all levels throughout the business, you should consider their current capabilities and their desired skills to make sure that there are no gaps in the development structure in your organisation.

These selected leaders are classified as high-potential leaders as they acquire the skills to take on a leadership role. You will need to identify these high-potential emerging leaders, build their relational skills and focus on their evidence-based leadership skills to support them in growing and forming the overall leadership plan.

A leadership training program should be part of the overall leadership plan, as it focuses on key principles and practices of the organisation. A well-designed development training program will provide improved employee engagement, enhanced productivity, better decision-making skills and allows you to bring the best out of your teams.

However, if you do decide to start a leadership team, you should begin by starting small. This means creating a core group which will become the foundation of your leadership development program that is limited to a small number of leaders. Starting small is more effective as it allows you to focus more attention and time on your leaders.

Leaders should receive ongoing support throughout the program and even though a leader has been provided with leadership training, they should still need guidance and support every step of the way, otherwise, you may experience problems with leader retention.

Senior Development Leader

​The development of senior leaders works in a different nature as it includes more advanced elements of individual coaching. As such, this should allow them to handle complex issues within the business by including advanced training programs to build critical industry-specific skills, executive team coaching and also 360-degree assessments to provide an extensive overview of areas that could be improved.

The Future of Reward

The reward and recognition received by employees should reflect their contribution to the business. There is a growing move towards using technology to implement a reward program that offers a plethora of functions for employees to choose from and enabling a more curated, bespoke approach.

It’s also important to not lose sight of using recognition to praise your employees for their hard work and contribution, rather than using an automated reward system that lacks the human touch. For an online reward system to work, the rewards need to mirror the level of praise your employee should receive for their contribution, and you should also not take away verbal praise throughout the team.

Your approach to reward and recognition says a lot about who you are as a business, so your reward strategy will need to be aligned with your business strategy and reinforce the behaviours of your employees in order to lead to success, while you are attracting the best talent in your team.

As time goes on, you should be prepared to regularly review your approach to reward and how you recognise efforts from your employees. After all, if a rewards system doesn’t give your employees a reason to feel excited, it won’t necessarily give them a reason to provide more contribution and productivity to their work.

Company reward programs are complex as they must be innovative, relevant, and flexible in the wider HR strategy, which it is an integral part of. As rewards are critical for employee engagement and performance management, many organisations are unsure of where to start.

​If you aren’t sure of how to structure or implement a reward strategy and system, you may benefit from using an HR consultant who will be able to evolve your reward initiatives and link this seamlessly to your HR and wider business plan.

Use HR Consultation For Talent Management

With a unique blend of HR expertise & coaching, you can be confident that I will always strive to help you deliver long-lasting positive and measurable results.

Whether you are relatively inexperienced in HR, or a seasoned HR pro looking for someone to bounce ideas with, I can support in delivering an effective HR strategy with my HR management consulting, with numerous elements of HR areas included, such as HR strategic planning, reward, employee engagement, leadership development, talent development and change management.

An important feature of the development I can help you with is continuity of learning and practical opportunities to apply and embed the newly acquired skills.

​For more information on how Ican help, please get in touch.

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