An "A-player" is a top performer who has a measurable impact on your business and whose traits and competencies are desirable in other employers. An A-player has the talent "DNA" you want to replicate to create organizational success.
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Most companies assume A-players are few and far between, that this type talent only comprises a small minority of the workforce. But what if that weren't true? What if you could build, coach, and train even more A-players in your organization? What if you could turn C-players into B-players and B-players into A-players?
The fact is, it is possible to foster more A-player talent at your organization. Let's take a look at how:
1. Identify Your Talent
The crucial first step to producing more A-players is to map out who your A-, B-, and C- players currently are. One of the simplest ways to do this is to develop lists of competencies based on employees' roles, employees' goals, and the company culture. After all, it's tough to be competent in your job if no one has painted a picture of what, exactly, competency is!
For each A-player you already have, build profiles based on their performance, competencies, skills, and personality traits. You'll use these profiles as sourcing resources and as reference points for building paths for your B- and C-players.
2. Use Competency Models to Set Goals
Once you've mapped out your competency models, use them to set relevant goals for the company's departments, teams, and individuals. Assigning and aligning the right goals will give employees concrete steps they can take to contribute to organizational success. To further improve retention and engagement, as well as uncover your employees' motivations, be sure to build personal goals into each employee's plan.
3. Build the Systems
Knowing what motivates your top talent is important, but it isn't enough. Companies need the correct systems and processes in place to recruit, motivate, grow, and retain A-players. When implementing these systems and processes, you are working toward what we call "talent success."
How Process Drives Talent Success
You create talent success by consistently deploying more A-players in service of your company's goals than your competitors do. To do this, you'll need a framework that enables HR and talent management teams to benchmark the organization's talent and align said talent with the company's mission, vision, and goals.
There are nine foundational areas of talent management, which you'll need to consider when aligning your workforce with your company's goals:
Mission and vision
Goals and alignment
The key to reaching talent success is applying best practices to improve HR processes in each of the aforementioned areas.
The Right Solutions for Talent Success
There are many talent management solutions on the market that don't integrate their solutions or silo them into laborious processes. Organizations aiming for talent success must adopt solutions that promote transparency and collaboration. Recruiters, hiring managers, onboarding coordinators, and performance admins should be able to access shared data across a unified platform.
People are your single largest investment. Hiring and growing A-players can lead your company to become 400 percent more productive. Many managers struggle to attract, retain, and foster top talent, but the talent success approach can help change this.
A version of this article originally appeared on the ClearCompany blog.
Sara Pollock is head of the marketing department at ClearCompany.