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Talent Management: Building Functional Expertise

The two-part case study:

1. There are many ways to build functional expertise within an organization. Select one of the key roles in building functional expertise, and prepare a two-year plan to build functional expertise of a newly hired manager.

2. Analyze how operational objectives, their relationship to talent management, and the metrics could be applied to evaluate future talent management practices.

The solution explains, in part one, how a newly hired manager must make it a priority to conduct an inventory of all employees' knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs). This process sets the "baseline" of talent currently available. The manager can then look at the future organizational needs, in comparison to current KSAs, and define any skills gap. This will showcase what skills are lacking and provide insight into training needed. Part two of the solution explains the critical importance of investing in one's employees. Doing so helps ensure that the organization is always ready with an employee population with the requisite "KSA" for current - and future jobs.

Solution Preview

1. For a newly hired manager, the first and most crucial phase of developing a plan to build functional expertise is to take inventory of knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) of all employees. This may be done through observation by the manager of what employees can do. The manager may witness a group of employees with the same job, such as pulling customer orders and packing in a secure manner, performing in completely different ways. One employee may have the spacial aptitude to fit the most items, into the smallest packages, saving the organization shipping costs. This reflects a functional expertise that perhaps could be explained to others through training sessions. Another venue for obtaining a KSA inventory is to have employees fill out a form and/or other type of documentation with their work history. Depending on the number of employees, the "inventory phase" should take weeks or maybe months. ...

Solution Summary

This two-part case study defines several ways a newly hired manager can build functional expertise within their direct reports; along with analyzing operational objectives and how they align to talent management. The solution is over 550 words and includes two references, one for each part of the case study.

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