The Highlands Company Blog

What Is a Talent Development Officer and Does Your Organization Need One?

talent development

When you hear the term “talent development” you might first think of agencies that search for gifted singers, dancers, and actors. In fact, talent development refers to the development of employee talents, which ultimately has the power to strengthen and transform an organization.

So are talent development officers even that important? Well, if you’re interested in engaging your employees and leveraging their talents to the fullest, you’ll find that a talent development officer is essential.

What Is a Talent Development Officer?

Before making any moves, a successful talent development officer considers the company’s strategic goals and is always in tune with company culture and purpose. Talent development could be considered part of Human Resources and uses tactics to attract the most suitable employees.

The talent development officer then develops and empowers employees, which therefore leads to higher productivity levels and retention rates. Ultimately, a focused effort on talent development helps to improve and then maintain the efficiency of business processes.

What Does a Talent Development Officer Do?

talent developmentA talent development officer works to develop and refine the talents of people. Talent development officers are champions at designing effective training and development programs that sets employees up for success.

Yet, talent development isn’t limited to just designing training programs. According to Dan Pontefract, the Chief Envisioner at organizational culture change consulting firm TELUS, talent development also “comes in the form of coaching, mentoring, job shadowing, wiki’s, blogs, rotations, lectures, books, articles, job aids, leadership models… the list literally goes on.”

Talent development officers hold valuable positions in an organization by helping employees thrive and ultimately, ensuring further company growth and success.

Why Do You Need a Talent Development Officer?

As a company grows, it will experience the challenges of managing an increasing number of employees, all of which have highly personalized strengths, wants, needs, and so on. Employees need to be regularly challenged, have opportunities for growth, and have a generally high level of job satisfaction.

How is it even remotely possible to achieve all of these things?

A talent development officer can do all of that and more, taking on any development-related stress. According to Martha Soehren, chief talent development officer at Comcast, by hiring a talent development officer, “the assessment, development, and succession planning fall under the oversight of a single senior leader, creating seamless care across the learning life cycle.”

By shifting the responsibilities of talent development onto the hands of an TDO, the organization as a whole immediately runs smoother. Having a designated person that is dedicated to motivating and engaging employees will not only boost employee happiness but may even be an organization’s key to success.

Many Talent Development Officers provide the Highlands Ability Battery (HAB) within their organization to foster employee engagement, retainment, and morale as well as leadership development. To find out how to get certified in the Highlands Whole Person Method, contact us.