In the world of HR, the phrases “talent management” and “employee engagement” are often used in the same paragraphs, if not the same sentences.
In theory, the better you manage your talent and the more engaged your employees are, the healthier your bottom line will be.
While both terms are certainly related, they are definitely not the same thing. But before we take a deeper dive to explore the differences between talent management and employee engagement, let’s first define the two terms:
Talent management includes everything an organization does to recruit, retain, develop, reward, and encourage its employees to become best workers they can be.
Employee engagement explores how willing an employee is to invest time, skills, ideas, creativity, energy, and knowledge into their organization.
It shouldn’t be hard to see why the two terms are symbiotic. The better an organization is at managing talent — i.e., attracting the best and brightest to apply, encouraging the strongest candidates to accept job offers, and motivating those individuals to work as hard as they can and continue to develop — the more likely it will be to have engaged employees.
Think about it: imagine you just landed a new gig. Within a few weeks, you figure out that your boss is in over their head, and virtually all of your coworkers are lazy slackers who don’t seem to be doing much of anything.
How engaged would you be at such an organization?
On the other hand, imagine you start a job, and you can tell right away your boss is a visionary leader, and everyone you meet seems to be a borderline genius. Everyone is working incredibly hard, and folks are asking you whether you need any help or have any questions.
At the very least, the latter situation seems like a more welcoming and challenging environment, one you’d probably prefer experiencing.
Employee Engagement Starts With Talent Management
All managers should strive to keep their employees engaged. In addition to being more productive, engaged employees are also happier and healthier — and they’re less likely to look for other work.
If you’re looking to improve employee engagement at your organization, consider launching the three following talent management initiatives:
1. Form better relationships with your employees
One of the major reasons employees leave their jobs is because they don’t like their managers. If you don’t have the strongest relationships with the members of your team, consider taking a more active approach to management and spend time with them. According to Gallup, workers are 59% more likely to be engaged at work if their bosses are, too. So take your employees out to lunch, invite them out for a happy hour, and take time to recognize their efforts. You won’t regret it.
2. Don’t micromanage your team
Professionals aren’t students; they’re adults. You’ve hired them to do a job, so let them do it. No matter who works for you, it’s almost guaranteed none of them want you to look over their shoulder or hold their hand every step of the way. Let your employees be as autonomous as possible (within reason), and they’ll be more engaged.
3. Let your workers use their skills
Maybe you hired a graphic designer to create websites, infographics, and white papers. Thing is, that worker likes to write blogs, too. Rather than keeping them confined in the art department, why not let them dip their toes in the waters of editorial every now and again? Workers appreciate bosses who trust them and give them opportunities.
Enhancing your approach to talent management will almost certainly pay dividends down the road, as employee engagement spikes up.
If you’re drawing a blank as to how you can improve talent management at your organization, survey your employees to see what themes emerge — and work expediently to fix them. Your bottom line will look better than ever.