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    The Key to Talent Management: Insider Investment

    Discuss talent management and one of the immediate thoughts which begins to percolate is recruitment. How do we find the people we need? Should we use a recruiting firm? How do we leverage social media? While these questions are important, they can overlook a key first step: talent management begins with the talent already in our organizations!  Below are examples from two local Goodwill organizations that are used to develop talent.

    At Goodwill Industries of the Columbia Willamette (Portland), the top talent management priority is employee development. The robust employee development programs are focused on providing employees with the tools to succeed, grow, and prosper with the organization for the entirety of their career. These are some of the tools and resources provided:

    • 18 Course Supervisor Management Training Program (SMDT)
    • Scholarship Program
    • Department of Public Safety Standards Training (DPSST)
    • Employee Career Enhancement Program (ECE)
    • Employee Leadership Development Program (ELDP)

    These programs provide a diverse level of training on a range of topics. Each program contains specific learning objectives aimed at further growing employees’ skill sets. In providing these various training outlets, they empower employees to continue progressing in their career with us, which not only broadens and deepens their impact on the Goodwill, but grows their professional experience and improves their financial welfare. In a market rife with talent competition, the war for talent begins with our own.

    Staff at Goodwill of Greater Cleveland and East Central Ohio can’t talk about talent development and succession planning without talking about Beyond Great.  Beyond Great is the organization’s holistic approach to creating a culture of engagement that drives all actions and fosters professional and personal growth. Below are several components of Beyond Great and a brief description of each:

    • Emerging Leader – A two year leadership journey for high potential professional employees. Participants are assigned a mentor from the executive team.  The program is designed for employees to develop self-awareness and leadership attributes.
    • Leadership Pipeline – All management is annually placed on a 9 box. The 9 box identifies the performance and potential of the employees.
    • Competency Based Performance Management System – This is used to clarify expectations for the employee’s current and next level. The system also creates a performance dialogue, identifies high performers and areas for development.
    • Dream Manager – A program designed to foster professional and personal growth specifically in the financial, professional, spiritual and physical aspects of our lives. Currently, 80 percent of employees participate.
    • Wellness – A comprehensive wellness program offering on-site biometrics testing for all employees, one-on-one coaching, incentives for healthy behaviors, etc.

    Many employees who have participated in several of the programs listed above are a part of the Goodwill network’s broader succession planning.  As an example, two of their five executive leadership team members were promoted from within and both are graduates of their local emerging leader program.


    GII Executive Development Program Director
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