The Power of the Talent Grid: Optimizing Team Talents for Success

by Talent Plus

December 18, 2023SelectionBlog

In today’s competitive landscape, organizations are constantly looking for ways to maximize their team’s potential and drive success. How can we grow sales? Reduce medicine errors? Implement a new online system?

One powerful tool to leverage your team is Talent Plus’ Talent Grid. It helps leaders understand and maximize their team’s talents as a whole — based on scientifically predictive data. 

“It’s about exposing what people do best,” says Fran Westfall, Talent Plus director of client success.

In this blog, we explore the Talent Grid, its benefits, and how leaders can utilize it to achieve their goals.

A Talent Grid is a tool that helps leaders identify and recognize the unique talents of each team member in one combined, holistic view. By understanding the top five talent themes of individual team members, leaders can align these strengths to specific goals and action steps, creating a cohesive and high-performing team.

Increased Sales

Recognizing and leveraging each team member’s top talents contributes to significant revenue growth. One of our retail clients increased sales by about 11% over a three-month period thanks to using the Talent Grid. When people are using their talents at work, they work smarter, faster and more enthusiastically.

Enhanced Engagement

Regularly acknowledging and leveraging team members’ strengths fosters a sense of engagement and motivation. This proactive approach ensures individuals feel valued and supported while improving overall team performance and retention. 

In fact, our research indicates that team members who are developed and able to maximize their talents at work are more engaged, leading to turnover rates of only 6% compared with 21% for those who are not engaged.

Goal Achievement

The Talent Grid helps break down overall goals into manageable components. By aligning each team member’s talents to specific action steps, leaders can track progress and ensure that everyone contributes effectively to achieving the team’s desired outcomes.

Team and Role-Specific Insights

Leverage role and team-specific insights all from one view. The content in a Talent Grid is generated based on our years of studying and identifying excellence in specific roles and industries. Team members’ individual data is aggregated to show the overall talent intensity for the team, so it can change based on who is coming to and leaving the team.

Imagine a hotel that aims to increase its service standard from a four to a five. 

The team leader can use a Talent Grid to identify each team member’s top talents and ask them how they can contribute to this goal. Janet, with her strength in relationships, can focus on enhancing customer interactions and ensuring exceptional service delivery. Tom, with his strength in influence, can help get buy-in from another collaborating department.

According to Westfall, “Utilizing those areas of strength helps us reengage and reimagine how we’re going accomplish our goals.” 

A Talent Grid can be used to develop individuals and the team as a whole. Here’s our recommended process.

Start with a Talent Online® Assessment (TOA®)

Ask team members to complete their own individual Talent Online Assessment. These assessments are not generic; they are tailored to specific roles, such as operational manager or professional associate. This way, the data you receive about your team’s talents will be the most helpful to the core functions of your business and team. 

Identify Individual Talents with a Talent Card®

After completing their assessments, team members receive their Talent Cards. Encourage them to reflect on their top five talents and understand how their strengths can contribute to the team’s goals. In your one-on-ones, extend that conversation to help them envision how they can best use their talents at work. Talent themes might include achiever, focus or positivity. They encompass:

  • What inspires people
  • How they work
  • How they relate to others
  • How they influence others
  • How they apply learning to the workplace

Combine the Talents of the Team Into One View

Next, view each individual’s top five talents in one combined grid view. Seeing all the top talents of the team in one comprehensive view helps to identify the team’s overall talents, ranked by color in terms of intensity with the deepest blue reflecting the most intense theme. Hover over the theme name to see the talent description. Then have a collective conversation with the team to share how their talents interact together.

Align Individual Talents to Team Goals

Once the team’s talents are identified, break down overall goals into manageable components and assign specific action steps and timelines to each team member. This way, you can ensure everyone contributes effectively to achieving the desired outcomes.

“What is the initiative?” says Mark Epp, Talent Plus management consultant director. “Who’s going to do what within that team to contribute to that initiative? And when are they going to actually achieve that piece of the puzzle?”

Coach and Develop

Conduct regular check-ins after 30, 60 and 90 days to track progress toward each goal and provide support to the team. If you have a more compressed timeline, check in after one, two and three weeks. Assess individual contributions, offer guidance and identify opportunities for further development or collaboration.

“Ask: How are you doing?” advises Epp. “How are you doing in terms of getting this work done this month, aligning what you need to be able to contribute back to the overall team so this initiative’s momentum continues to drive forward?”

Most often, if you use a strengths-based approach, the answer will be “I’m doing great. I’ve already achieved what I needed to early.” Then you can move on to what team members can contribute to the next step.

Fill the Gaps

Finally, use a Talent Grid to identify missing talent themes. If the grid shows the team is less intense in needed areas, like focus, you’ll know what responsibilities to take on to best support your team’s success. Or use these insights to select new hires who possess your team’s less intense talents.

The Talent Grid is a powerful tool that enables leaders to optimize their team’s talents and drive success. By recognizing and leveraging individual strengths, organizations can increase sales, enhance engagement and achieve their goals. Through ongoing evaluation and support, leaders can ensure that each individual’s talents are effectively utilized within the context of the larger team, leading to a high-performing and cohesive group effort.

Remember, the Talent Grid is not a one-time exercise but an ongoing process that requires intentional focus and regular reinforcement. Harness the power of the Talent Grid to unlock your team’s full potential and achieve remarkable results.