The TALENT Strategy for Managing Talent
Today, organizations are plagued by serious talent crunch. Everyone talks of the need to spot talent, acquiring talent, nurturing them, retaining them and managing them – the whole gamut of activities connected with ‘winning the war for talent. One finds a paradoxical situation involving on the one hand, large scale unemployment and, on the other, availability of abundance of job opportunities. Why this is happening? This is because many of the jobs need the right skill sets, and there is a widening mismatch between available labour and the required right kind of skilled labour.
The TALENT Strategy
In the above context, a TALENT strategy is explained below for managing talent.
The TALENT strategy consists of a six step approach, the six letters in the word talent
representing each of these steps.
T – The letter T stands for Tact. Employees should be handled in a tactful way. This is based on creating an appropriate balance between encouraging them and also avoiding situations which will demotivate them. Communication within the organization also assumes great importance in this context. As someone said, ‘the art of communication is the language of leadership.’ Effective and regular communication within the organization will keep the employees motivated, since they would know what is all happening within the organization.
A – This stands for Alertness. The chief of the organization,and particularly the HR Division, should always be alert to happenings within the organization and organizations outside. By alertness is meant to keep a watch on divisiveness which needs particular attention to eradicate such tendencies amongst various categories of employees. It is also important to ensure awareness of what is happening in other organizations and the particular industry in which the organization is engaged which will have an impact.
L – This stands for Leadership. Employees should be identified for appropriate training programs, including training for leadership. Those with great potential should be identified and imparted special training, including global assignments. Continuous training across the organization is most essential in terms of updating employee skills, in view of the rapid and continuous developments in technology and it’s applications.
E – This letter stands for Empowerment. Empowerment means giving power to the employees to act on their own, take risks, the freedom to commit mistakes and learn through such mistakes. An empowered employee can be expected to perform better. This should be ensured through proper delegation, so that employees feel their worth.
N – This stands for needs, expectations and aspirations of employees. It is very important to understand these needs of employees and design appropriate policies for rewards and recognitions and keeping them motivated always, so that their expectations and aspirations are sustained.
T – The letter T stands for ‘thrill.’ Finally, if you want all your talents to be retained, the organization should create some ‘thrill’ for the employees through it’s unique culture which will make the bond between the employees and the organization solid and strong, and which will make them feel ‘ there is something in this company’ for me to stay on. This by itself, coupled with a well-aligned reward-recognition-retention program will go a long way in ensuring that the talent pool grows within the organization. In a recent article in HBR, titled ‘Re-invent Your Company Through Culture’, Fred Hassan says, ‘In today’s era of accelerating – and even lurching – change, culture can still lead to unexpectedly strong performance. The good news is that while it requires time, commitment and a strong CEO leader, a high performance culture can be built into almost any business. And serial success can follow.’ This amply illustrates the role that culture plays.
As can be seen, it is a simple strategy for winning the war for talent, provided all the elements in this strategy are given due importance and aggressively followed.