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Taking stock of talent - How unlocking hidden talents can benefit businesses

Unlock the hidden talent in your team.

Many of us have untapped skills that we don’t use in our jobs. But given the chance, we would love to find a way to utilise them, and might even feel frustrated when we can’t.

That’s the upshot of a recent study about hidden talent in UK companies - 40 percent of respondents say they have skills their organisation could use, but doesn’t. Of those, 45 percent admit they’d consider leaving their job.

However, only 10 percent of those who did feel fulfilled in their present job would consider quitting. The study suggests that by unlocking hidden potential, companies can boost employee satisfaction, and in the process, reduce staff turnover and bolster growth.

In her book Untapped Talent: Unleashing the Power of the Hidden Workforce, organisational change expert Dani Monroe gives a thorough analysis of this issue and suggests a number of helpful tips to tackle it, including:

Taking stock of the talent you have.

Ask yourself if any of your team members could perform better than they already do. Are you overlooking any hidden skills?

Asking employees about their general interests.

Pastimes often hint at extra skills. An employee who does community work, for example, might make a better team leader in the future than an introvert who masters maths but falls short on managing people.

Challenging staff with new roles.

A chance to try their hand in a new field of work often re-energises employees eager to learn and develop professionally.

Engaging in discussion.

Involve employees of different levels in strategic discussions about the future of your company. Think together.

At a time when top talent is hard to find (three in ten vacancies are hard to fill), companies are starting to look at how they can tap into the skills within their own talent pool before diving into the wider market. It not only has the potential to save them valuable time and money in recruitment, it can go a long way to boosting staff morale which, in the face of a skills shortage, can be priceless.

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