I'm not normally one of those people who slams HR. Not this time, though. I can forgive a lot, but there's a special place in hell for the HR person who ruined my kid's introduction to the workplace.
Surviving the recession requires creativity, flexibility and making the most of the talent in your workplace. So it's a shame that so many managers prefer rules, bureaucracy and silo working.
Getting to the top can be hard enough for any women. But it's made all the harder because many talent management programmes are inherently biased against them.
There's no mystery or silver bullet to assessing the value and potential of your organisation's human assets. It's simply a case of how interested you are to find out and how much you care.
With the news full of yet more job losses, it's not surprising that worries about job security are having a significant impact on productivity, engagement and the general working environment.
Reducing your workforce is never a pleasant task. But failing to take account of the needs of those left behind can turn an already difficult situation into a disaster.
Instead of making the sort of mass job cuts that characterised previous recessions, many organizations are now taking a more intelligent approach to cutting their costs.
In the current climate, you might have thought that organisations would focus on containing costs and managing employees out of the door. In fact the opposite is the case.
HR pros might love the phrase 'human capital', but most of their colleagues think it's just another piece of jargon which undermines HR's chances of getting the high-level management support it needs.
With businesses facing a critical shortage of experienced managers, now's the time for HR finally to stop being an 'outrider' and become a valued, strategic business partner.
If, like me, the phrase 'Our people are our most important asset...' makes you cringe because you know just how empty, meaningless and normally downright untrue it is, then bookmark (or frame) this post from Roberta Matuson's excellent new blog, Generation Integration.
HR may tell you that effective talent management is about managing your top talent. But in a rapidly-changing working world, that's about as wrong an approach as you can get.
HR is still thought of as a 'necessary evil' in many organisations. But its hardly a surprise when just a fifth are considered to be any good at what are meant to be their basic tasks.
Why do organizations have so much trouble hanging onto talented people? At the heart of the problem is the fact that talent and their managers are often competitors who are each striving to climb the same ladder to higher levels of the organization.
CEOs believe most of their problems boil down to a lack of good people. But don't expect them to trust their HR departments to do anything about it.
With skilled workers increasing happy to cross continents to find work, how to manage talent shortages across the globe is set to be the key challenge facing HR for years to come.
A global shortage of skilled workers is severely hampering the ability of companies to grow and expand and could, in time, become an even greater threat than the financial credit crunch.
The chronic shortage of skilled workers is now the number one concern for American HR managers, causing them even more sleepless nights than the ever-rising cost of healthcare.
Organisations throughout the developed world face two key challenges. How do they keep their best, most experienced and knowledgeable people? And how can they make better use of those who are considering retirement?
If you are unhappy with someone's performance then you need to do something about it. Ignoring the problem isn't going to make it go away.
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