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Talent Management – The dirty truth

Wikipedia: Talent Management (TM) refers to the process of developing and integrating new workers, developing and retaining current workers, and attracting highly skilled workers to work for a company.   The dirty truth: as noble and intuitive as that sounds, many companies do it very poorly.  Why?

1.  Short-term focus:  Stock performance,  executive bonuses and many spending decisions are heavily tied to quarterly earnings.  Money flows first to things that can have an immediate impact on revenue and is cut from programs (like TM) when cash is tight.

2.  Intangible nature:  The benefits of many TM initiatives are harder to quantify than other parts of the business.

3. Lack of loyalty:  Layoffs have caused most employees to feel very expendable.  In turn, employees look for back-up plans and keep their options open.  Which leads to higher turnover.   Companies become less interested in investing in people that will likely leave or be asked to leave in a short period of time.

4. Carrot versus stick employee motivation:  Carrots costs money.  Sticks are free.  It’s also easier to observe what’s wrong and try to correct it, than to praise what’s right and encourage more of it.

HR executives will always have an uphill battle to keep Talent Management initiatives funded by the Execs who run their companies.  Never give up, never surrender!

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