Much like the next large-scale war is likely to be over securing water, the organisational war will be fought over attracting and retaining precious talent.
In today’s frenetic drive for market share, coupled with the need to build high performance organisations, unconventional talent management and career strategies need to be adopted in order for organisations to survive and ‘win’ the war for precious talent.
The notion of recruiting the ‘best’ is flawed. It not only short-circuits any competitive advantage but also enslaves, rather than enlightens and empowers employees, especially if one lacks a clear vision of what these success factors are. If everyone is striving for exactly the same outcomes, we’ll lose out on diversity and visionary alternatives.
It is clear that employing people from a range of backgrounds can add significant value to organisations. Diverse workforces are proven to bring better staff retention rates and a better understanding of emerging markets.
Research has also revealed that employees are attaching greater value to the quality of flexibility in the workplace. Microsoft conducted a study in 2011 into employees’ attitudes regarding flexible working. The results showed that more than 50% of the respondents had family and caring responsibilities. 75% confirmed that their lives would be improved if they could work flexibly.
“Careers are no longer so formal and rigid, with employees not merely focusing on remuneration in environments lacking engagement or satisfaction,” says Francois Wilbers, Work Dynamics MD. “Since people are also trying to avoid prominent factors such as disequilibrium, undefined and disorder, the emphasis has shifted to an environment creating greater flexibility in career paths and continued training – this allows organisations to keep abreast of change and ultimately stay competitive.”
The following factors characterise a transformed workforce:
- Highly skilled
- Highly virtual
- Vastly diverse
“Currently, much is invested in selecting and retaining employees rather than concentrating on deployment and development,” says Francois. “This knee-jerk strategy is not sustainable. Organisations need to re-think how they manage talent. In deploying and developing talent, one secures the hearts and minds of employees, building enthusiasm and commitment which translates into superior performance at both individual and organisational levels.”
Here are some questions to answer when defining an organisation’s talent management strategy:
- Are you proactively predicting resourcing mobility?
- Which key skills and competencies do you need in your organisation?
- Did you conduct an audit to identify the current talent situation?
- Who are the high flyers in your organisation and which skills do you need to retain?
- Have successors to critical positions in your company been identified?
- How can you create capacity in your organisation?
- Do you have flexible and anticipatory talent sourcing strategies in place?
- Is your reward and remuneration strategy competitive in the market place?
There is little doubt that, in an age of knowledge workers, the organisations that manage to attract and retain talent will be the ones that survive and grow into the future.