PMOs are often hampered in their ability to make a strong enterprise-wide impact because of talent-management challenges – particularly when they manage project staff without direct authority over their recruitment.
But these PMOs can still achieve a culture of purpose and structure that attracts and retains the best talent, by developing an effective talent management strategy.
Training is the major component of every employee retention programme – but for it to be truly effective it needs to be part of a larger programme that considers the whole, as well as the individual.
This means selecting a training framework that can transform the way your organisation, or department, thinks, leads and executes its strategy. In other words going beyond ‘business as usual’ to move the business forward.
By keeping an eye on the bigger picture, the talent management programme can deliver value, and ultimately increase revenue, profitability and market share.
The following six areas will help PMO leaders prepare a project management talent management strategy that is aligned with the organisation’s overall strategy:
1. Know who you are and where you are going
You need to be able to clearly identify your team or department’s purpose, identity and long-range direction in order to determine how well this aligns with the organisation’s strategy.
Having a strong identity at the project and programme level, that clearly defines the work that will be done, allows employees to find meaning in their individual as well as group efforts, as well as understand the impact they have if it is aligned at organisational level.
2. Align with the organisation’s culture and structure
A PMO is often structured within specific roles with little flexibility. Defining the organisation’s culture and ensuring it is not in conflict with your structure is critical – both for business success and talent retention.
Discovering, defining and articulating the culture and structure also improves alignment between the organisation, the project work and the team members. It ensures the culture and structure are transparent, enabling team members to produce at their highest levels.
3. Translate long-term intention into short and medium-term goals
A strong vision helps leaders to define and measure its organisation’s contributions, and also helps create a platform to communicate those contributions to top project management talent.
Clearly articulating this also allows team members to see what matters most, enabling them to align their work focus to these outcomes and deepen their understanding of how their role contributes to the organisation’s overall success.
This creates the opportunity for employees to acquire visibility within the company, which strengthens their commitment to their projects and the organisation.
4. Know what’s required to execute the strategy
Aligning projects to the organisation’s strategy is important for overall business success. It is also essential for talent engagement and retention.
For PM leaders this allows them to identify what skills and abilities are most needed on the team, now and in the future and also provides individuals with opportunities to grow these skills and have a real impact on the organisation’s future success.
5. Successfully execute the projects and programmes to retain talent
Successful project work is accomplished through leadership alongside methodologies, governance and processes, so for PM leaders wanting to pursue talent, it’s important to ensure that the necessary tools and resources are already in place.
Once talent is attracted, spending time understanding an individuals’ career goals, and providing guidance on their career path, is a crucial part of a talent management strategy if it is to help retain the talent. As will ensuring that any recognition programmes are consistent, comprehensive and fair, and have the flexibility to uniquely address an individual’s needs.
6. Moving forward more visibly
By making project success more visible in the organisation, PM leaders will have a clearer perspective of the impact they are having on strategic goals and objectives.
And by reviewing the metrics defined for success at the individual, team and organisational level, they will also be able to see if the talent management strategy is working or falling short.
As well as attracting and retaining the top talent, the above measures will also help the project teams (and the organisation) become a top choice for the targeted talent.
Aligning your organisation’s strategy to your talent management needs – as well as the needs of your top talent – will deliver what you, your organisation, and your team members need to keep renewing their commitment for a successful and long-term relationship.
But the ultimate measure of the project talent management effort will be the extent to which these strategic changes become part of the organisation’s culture and routine.
For more on how to create a PMO with a purpose, culture and structure that attracts and retains the best talent read our full whitepaper: If You Build it They Will Stay – Investing in Training and Development to Retain Top Talent.