Global Talent Management Leader: Lynn Schmidt

Hosted by Chris Dyer, the CEO of PeopleG2 – TalentTalk Radio features engaging conversation with CEOs, thought leaders and HR executives.  TalentTalk connects professionals who care about talent-related issues.  From global talent management leaders to local HR professionals, talent related issues are an important factor that can influence the organizational culture.

Today’s guest is Lynn Schmidt, a global talent management leader. To hear the entire show, click here.

LYNN SCHMIDT global talent management

Lynn Schmidt is a global talent management leader, working in Fortune 500 companies for more than two decades across the areas of strategic planning, succession management, diversity and coaching, to name a few. An expert in analytics, Schmidt has also been able to show how development can drive success within an organization.

Strong leadership is extremely important to the success of any organization. “Implementing talent management initiatives is important. It’s important to apply leadership development programs across the organization. There are core skills and messages that need to be constant, especially in regard to succession planning,” says Schmidt.

However, challenges that result from operating in large and complex organizations include leaders who question HR initiatives and their impact. Thus, HR needs to “speak the language of the business.” Schmidt explains, “The internal clients are there to drive revenues…They have to bring in enough revenue to cover operating expenses. That means HR needs to thoroughly communicate an initiative and then show the value and benefit of it.”

Organizational initiatives may be more difficult to see, but focusing on individual employees brings more instant gratification. “You see an immediate change in behaviors; people are thankful. You talk to individuals week to week and see their progress. It can be observed,” says Schmidt.

Analyze This

Schmidt authored a book, Integrated Talent Management Scorecards. Integrated talent management scorecards can be helpful anytime you are aiming to improve performance, and it begins by collecting data. According to Schmidt, “Integrating various talent management functions is necessary to achieve success versus working on various goals individually.”  She and her co-author created three levels of scorecards: the Organizational (Macro) Scorecard, the Functional Scorecard and the Initiative (Micro) Scorecard. She believes analytics are critical, yet lacking in the skill set of many HR professionals. 

A part of analytics involves aligning business objectives with both performance and learning objectives, and then evaluate from there. “HR needs to focus on building analytics skills, especially in making the scorecard process successful. The business world is not a controlled study. You have to create measures and ways to collect data consistently,” explains Schmidt.

Leaders Who Coach

A coach could be a manager or leader who can help an individual move forward. Schmidt discovered “five key competencies” all coaches should possess:

  1. Establishing trust,
  2. Being nonjudgmental,
  3. Creating awareness of what took place or what went wrong,
  4. Designing actions going forward, and
  5. Managing progress. 

Competencies & Communication

A key HR challenge is to communicate in a way that gets everyone on the same page, which is more difficult when the organization is large.  “Talent managers can facilitate this by taking competencies and integrating them across all functions, then making sure the functions are highlighting those competencies.  As you hire, you should be looking for people who ‘fit’ and then rewarding them for accomplishments. Also key is being willing to invest time and focus on leadership development,” shares Schmidt.

Yet, leadership development that puts everyone through the same training program is not as effective as putting managers through individual plans with some commonalities. It is more meaningful to tailor the training program to the individual. 

To this end, retaining talent can be successfully aided by coaching and leading people to climb the ladder or move laterally. Employee engagement and buy-in is thus reinforced with communication with your people. Let them in on what’s happening and why decisions are being made. Schmidt says, “Keep employees informed to include the larger employee base. Involve people in contributing with their ideas; those have been foundational principles forever, regardless of generation.”

What are You Reading?

Schmidt is reading Wildby Cheryl Strayed and Mistakes I Made At Work: 25 Influential Women Reflect on What They Got Out of Getting it Wrongby Jessica Bacal.

How Can People Connect with You?

Via LinkedIn.

Tune into the show next week, and remember, do what you love….and show the world how talented you can be, today.

Date: March 10, 2015