Cadleen Désir is the head of Déclic, a company that specializes in educational intervention with children aged 0 to 12 years old. Recently, she adopted a talent management method based on the enhancement of the strengths of each team member. Within a year, she has seen a 40% bump in productivity, and has recorded a much higher growth than in previous years.
“My team has become more creative and more productive. Everyone does more and does it better! It seems that every effort multiplies,” states the entrepreneur.
Building on strengths
Désir runs two children in development clinics and a mobile team that moves within child care settings and schools. There are thirty health professionals working at Déclic, including psycho-educators, speech therapists, psychologists and occupational therapists. Instead of encouraging them to work on their weaknesses, the entrepreneur focuses on their talents.
“Managing talent is very different from traditional management. In many companies, we measure employee performance against stated objectives, and employees are asked to improve weaknesses. With talent management, the focus is instead on the strengths of the employee, on what they like, what they naturally and effortlessly do well," says Désir.
A structured method
Once a new employee has been integrated into the company and now expresses a desire to progress, Désir has them pass a StrengthsFinder psychometric test in order to identify their main strengths. Then, through meetings and coaching with their manager, the employee comes to better understand their talents, how to use them in the work setting and pitfalls to avoid – because every quality has its downside if misused.
“For example, a person with empathy perceives and understands the need of the customer, but can forget their own needs through this excess of generosity,” states the Director and Founder of Déclic. “My employees learn about their strengths and those of other team members. Eventually, it just comes naturally: each works through their talents and those of their colleagues.”
Benefits and challenges
Cadleen Désir sees many benefits to this particular management method. She grows a deep trust with her employees, develops their cooperative spirit, and improves the consistency of their actions and focus on goals.
Talent is not all. It must be channeled towards the achievement of company objectives. To this end, the entrepreneur uses the Gazelles Growth Method to align her team on priorities.
Désir is convinced that talent management could benefit any business. However, managers have to be very flexible, be prepared for a major transformation and be available to support their employees in this process.
“Managing talent led me to review job descriptions and change our ways of working. The discovery of talents often brings with it deep revelations. Managers must be prepared to seize the opportunity to support and coach their employees.”