Talent Management Practices and Corporate Strategies

Organizations which wish to attract the best of talents and retain employees across all levels must have an integrated approach to talent management.

According to latest survey findings from Accenture High Performance Report, about 85% senior executives view talent management as a major competitive differentiator for attracting and retaining skilled workforce and developing the highly talented leaders. Many Indian organizations have realized that it is the quality of people which they employ, retain and develop will ensure their business profitability and provide them a competitive advantage.

Talent management is concerned with delivering business success by understanding what an organization actually means by talent and how it can achieve the long term organizational goals. It aims at ensuring that the organizations value natural talents and understand the obstructions to an effective performance.

Talent management solution integrates the needs of the management, executives and employees into one system and unifies information across all the major HR processes like performance management, recruitment and selection, learning and development, succession planning and career development.

According to a survey report of May 2006 from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and Development Dimensions International (DDI), maximum CEO’s from across different industries globally spend their major chunk of time in recruiting, performance management, talent management, succession planning, mentoring and retention.

Talent management strategies are holistic in nature and aim at supporting such practices which improve the communication of goals and performance expectations across different levels in an organization. These strategies can be categorized into the following heads:

  • Developing the existing talent pool
  • Maximizing employee satisfaction
  • Attracting talent visibility
  • Planning in advance for succession
  • Acting upon the performance reviewed

According to a report from CIPD’s 2006 learning and development survey, managing talent is not a very easy job and various factors influence the talent management strategies and policies of an organization.

The report equally highlights that about 74% of the respondents did not have a properly conceived plan for management of talent. Some of the major strategic challenges to talent management are:

  • A rise in the trends of globalization in the labor market.
  • An increase in the virtual workplaces.
  • Diverse workforce in terms of age, race, etc.
  • Educated workforce carries independent notions about their style of work and career path.

However, for many organizations talent management is a major strategic issue and they view it as a critical factor for providing them with a competitive advantage in the competitive war for talent.

Effective management of talent requires a thorough diagnosis of the employee attitudes and also the organizational culture.

The tools which help in attracting and retaining the best of talent in an organization are pay, benefits, learning and development and a proper work environment which can be group centric or individual and the benefits can be tangible or intangible.

Pay: This is the most determining factor for retaining the talent pool in an organization which should be kept competitive.

IT and ITES majors like Wipro and Infosys implement variable pay for retaining the employees and extracting the best performance from them.

Flexible benefits are another effective tool for encouraging high performers for example Eicher Group which allows its employees to design their own compensation package which suits with their needs.

Benefits: Benefits which provide social and futuristic security to the employees can serve as a major tool for retaining the best talent pool in an organization.

For example, Infosys provides a group insurance scheme to its 13,000 employees in Bangalore and is also one of the first Indian software companies for introducing Employee Stock Option Plans (ESOP). Similarly, many other Indian organizations design and develop innovative benefit packages for retaining their talent.

Learning and Development: It enables the retention of the most competent and ambitious employees in the organization and at the same time provide a competitive advantage by building the intellectual base in an organization. For example, Wipro provides ample learning opportunities to its employees for developing their leadership potential. Wipro has designed a Life Cycle Stage Development programme, which selects the employees with the leadership potential and trains them in accordance with their level in the organization.

Organizational Culture: A healthy work environment boosts the morale and spirit of the employee and strengthens the bond of relationship between the management and the employees.

Work culture is influenced by the organizational communication system, feedback mechanism and the effective implementation of recognition and rewards. Many Indian organizations have taken innovative initiatives for maximizing employee satisfaction and improving the overall organizational productivity.

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