One of the hallmarks of leadership is investment in the rest of the team. I say it all the time: Real leaders aren’t just out to advance themselves. They’re out to advance the members of their team. One of the foremost ways of doing that, of course, is putting some formal talent development structures in place.

Not all talent development processes are created equal, though. In working with business leaders from across the world, I’ve noticed a bent toward complexity—an instinct to make talent development more complicated than it really needs to be. This, in turn, makes it more unwieldy, less cost effective, and ultimately less efficient.

Simplifying Your Talent Management

There are ways to combat this, though—ways to bring real simplicity to your talent development process. Let me offer a few quick tips:

Streamline your onboarding process. Onboarding new employees can sometimes take weeks upon weeks. The problem is, new employees tend to have a tenuous grasp on their new role and responsibilities, which means a lot of this onboarding goes in one ear and out the other. Instead of weeks’ worth of onboarding and orientation, try a more basic Q&A session, a few weeks into the new employee’s tenure—when he or she has some sense of daily responsibilities.

Provide feedback throughout the year. Rather than limiting your feedback loop to the annual review, provide each employee with bite-sized feedback after each major milestone or project; even just a couple of sentences can be helpful. Also encourage your employees to send you their tweet-length feedback after each of these milestones. This may sound like an extra step, but actually, it’s a good, direct way to ensure that the lines of communication are always open.

Provide employees with more time to brainstorm, create, produce, and do their work. Implement 45 minute meetings, allowing employees an extra 15 minutes each hour to collect their thoughts or begin work on the next project. Have e-mail free time slots during the day—maybe a couple of hours each morning. Have at least one day a week where no meetings can be scheduled. Give team members time to really focus on the things that matter most.

Provide on-demand training resources. Make it easy for different employees to pursue professional development as their needs and their schedules allow. That’s where the ACES materials can come in handy. Get the training resources you need, when you need them, with our lineup of materials! Check the ACES page today to learn more.