"Jiffy Lube has invested more in training every year since 2008, because when you stop investing in your people, you stop investing in your business. Because we are a 100 percent people business, training is an area where we can't afford to spend one dime less."
—Stu Crum, president of Jiffy Lube International

The articles in this month's issue of T+D highlight the need for a strong integrated talent management strategy that focuses on the life cycle of an employee. Implementation of that strategy is not easy, but it can "reap great benefits if done well," writes Lisa J. Downs in her article. Although no one can agree on what integrated talent management includes, all would agree that taking care of employees from the moment they are hired until the moment they leave is crucial to the success of the business and to employee engagement.

A successful talent management initiative seeks to change how employees view their careers and redefines what talent strategy means for the organization. Downs's article highlights a talent management strategy that PEMCO Mutual Insurance instituted in its workplace. As part of the strategy, PEMCO created transparency in its succession program, allowing employees to have open conversations with their managers about possibly taking the boss's job someday. Transparency has helped employees to trust their colleagues, bosses, and organization.

The article by Laurel Goulet, Jonathan Jefferson, and Paul Szwed focuses on leadership development and the role it plays in all employees' work. "Leadership development shouldn't be exclusive to high-level staff," the authors write. "Rather, all employees should possess an understanding about leadership from many perspectives."

"Talent management is about getting the right people in the right jobs doing the right things with the right people at the right time for the right company goals and objectives," according to the authors."

Does your talent management strategy include career development for an employee, or is it a focused strategy on assessing an employee's skill level and onboarding the employee to reach peak levels of performance? The most important thing a workplace learning and performance professional can do to manage talent is define what integrated talent management means to the organization and then devise a strategy to implement the processes.

The competition for great talent is tough, and keeping that great talent is even tougher. It is critical that learning professionals empower peak performers and grow the next generation of leaders.

Paula Ketter
Editor, T+D
pketter@astd.org