The idea that talent is important to the success of organisations has been with us for over 20 years. It arose out of the knowledge management concept, which recognised that organisations today depend much more on the knowledge inside people’s heads than on physical plant and equipment.
But the talent management push has tended to idealise and give favourable treatment to a small number of ‘stars’ in the organisation. What has been overlooked is the enormous power that can be unleashed when the organisation recognises everyone as a contributor to the organisation’s purpose, and values their contribution.
What has also been overlooked is the alienating effect of showering all the benefits on a chosen few. We all know that many large-scale global surveys of employee engagement have found time and again that only about one in every six employees is highly engaged. What a cost to the organisation!
Talent management that is inclusive
So, the first challenge of talent management is how to provide the opportunities for those employees who are outstanding and will be future leaders without alienating everyone else. It is a challenge that leaders must take up, by articulating the message of inclusion, and demonstrating that everyone’s contribution is valued, not just those who are naturally high performers.
Talent management that fulfils the promise
The second challenge for organisations is to fulfil the promise that talent management offers.
Talent management is the means of integrating all the HR activities of attracting talented people into the organisation, identifying the future leaders and high performers, and offering development opportunities for all that are appropriate to their capacities and ambition. The aim has to be retention and engagement of all solid performers, both the high performers and the reliable contributors.
Why talent management efforts fail
Typically, talent management is ineffective because of a combination of different elements:
- absence of objectivity
- lack of transparency
- rewarding ‘politically savvy’ operators
- non-integrated approach, so lots of money is spent but no one knows if it had any positive benefits for the business
- favoured employees get the support rather than the really creative people
- no links between talent and evolving business needs
- lack of leadership attention.
Build an effective strategy
Through our consultancy services, we help you to build an effective talent management strategy, one that will develop both the potential of individual contributors and a culture where people support innovation and excellence.
We take a holistic, whole-of-organisation perspective, looking at both systems and culture. We help you to design a talent strategy that will is applicable to your particular situation. And our approach includes measures for outcomes, so that you will know that your investments have added value to the business.