Benefits all round from good talent management

2008

Hot on the heals of a British study suggesting that firms with a comprehensive approach to people management enjoy higher profits per employee and greater productivity, more evidence has emerged that good talent management can also improve how employees feel about the capabilities of their manager, their job satisfaction and their intent to stay with their organization.

Research from the Kenexa Research Institute (KRI) has examined workers' views of their organizations' dedication to talent management and its effect on employee engagement.

The report is based on the analysis of data drawn from a representative sample of workers surveyed in 2007 through WorkTrends, KRI's annual survey of worker opinions. The survey included staff from Brazil, China, Germany, India, the United Kingdom and the United States.

It confirms what academics and practitioners have been saying for years, namely that policies such as career path programs, goal development and monitoring, regular feedback sessions with managers, tracking progress have a demonstrable effect on employee execution and motivation

But it also found that across all six countries, organizations with a focus on talent management have employees who are more engaged and more satisfied with their jobs and companies overall.

Having a strong talent management culture also favorably impacts how workers rate their pride in their organizations and willingness to recommend them as places to work.

Additionally, if employees have favorable views of their organizations' talent management practices, they are more likely to have confidence in the future of the organizations.

Employees who believe in their companies' talent management efforts also have more favorable opinions of their management, the research found. These employees believe their managers effectively manage the workload and that senior management demonstrates employees are important to the success of the company.

They also are more likely to feel a sense of job security, be satisfied with on-the-job training, feel that performance is evaluated fairly and experience greater feelings of personal accomplishment.

But despite the raft of evidence pointing to the benefits of good talent management, the study revealed a flip side. Put simply, the majority of organizations simply aren't doing enough to engage and motivate their people, with just a quarter of employees a across the six counties believing that their employer provide strong guidance in terms of goal setting, managerial feedback and career development.

This figure hides some wide variations, however, with half of those in the United States suggesting their organizations invest in and regularly practice talent management compared to only around one in 10 of those in Germany and China.

"People have a fundamental need to know how they are doing and what the future holds for them," said Jack Wiley, executive director at the Kenexa Research Institute.

"It's simply part of who we are. Organizations that understand this and have the process in place to make it happen have an advantage over their competitors.

"Not only are they going to outperform their competitors, but they are building a more engaged and committed workforce. Those who don't get it are the ones constantly scrambling for talent and spending a lot more on recruitment and training. Their customers also know this and are less loyal, as a result," he added.

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Older Comments

Your original hypothesis is also true. Recent research indicates that CEOs have little or no confidence in their HR leader / organization to truly help the business execute strategy and succeed largely because the majority of HR professionals lack business acumen and run the HR department with little to no meaningful quantitative measurement and analysis. They simply do not understand or speak the language of business - numbers. This is starting to change. Leading companies are developing an expertise in talent measurment and are using workforce analytics to drive their talent management practices. These companies see a competitive advantage as a result. It makes sense. Analytics provide evidence and decison making without evidence is just guessing. All HR practitioners need to act on this immediately. If you uncomfortable with numbers HR is no longer a profession for you.

Joanne Bintliff-Ritchie USA