Talent management has been cited by a number of firms as the key reason behind their continual success even during tough business times. Prioritising this area cushions organisation against externalities and better prepares them to take on challenges that they will face in the future.
Talent development and sustained organisational performance
CIPD (2009) claims that the relevance of training to organisational performance has taken on a totally different meaning; nowadays certain unconventional skills have found relevance in the work environment. For example, an engineer taking a coaching course may learn new skills concerning performance and productivity.
Although this may be difficult to understand at the onset, it does not imply that employees should be undermined in any way for making such choices. In the end, sustained business performance can be achieved if talent development takes on a different and unconventional meaning in a firm. Today’s business environment is rapidly changing. It has become less skill based and more service or knowledge based.
To this end, work has become dynamic and in order to keep up, companies must be ready to engage in continuous learning. In response to this dynamism, firms may ask their employees to think of certain creative courses that they may engage in order to promote creativity. Therefore, continual redefinitions of what learning involves in education will be crucial in ensuring sustainability in performance.
One critical issue that is emerging in the area of talent development is the problem of economic conditions. Given the tough business conditions, companies have started reducing budgets allocated to talent management while others have left out the strategy altogether. In fact it has been shown that the thirty eight point five billion pounds allocated to training in the United Kingdom will reduce in tough times.
However, these organisations need to realise that for economic recovery to occur then there must be a firm commitment to talent development. Furthermore, continual learning will place them at a good position when an upturn occurs. Training organisations are also better equipped in tough times because they have a chance to retain their talent and hence be sustainable in production.
Studies show that the ratio of firms that go bankrupt is 2.5 times more in firms that abandon training than those that do not so it should never be ignored. Companies cannot do without training because this essentially facilitates differentiation from other organisations and provides them with a source of competitive advantage. Some HR professionals are taking the tough times in their stride by now looking for ways of increasing value within the talent development area.
They are employing creative ways of doing so. First, some of them are substituting external coaching providers with internal ones and they are also looking for cost effectiveness in present talent development system. What this illustrates is that a high number of well performing firms are placing talent management at the top of their agenda and this translates to high return on investment thus high effectiveness (CIPD, 2008)
Learning and development is critical at the workplace because it allows the utilisation of skills. In essence, this means that a large number of employees will be more productive and this will translate to high performance.
For instance, during tough economic times when budgets are running low, skills utilisation is often done by offering people within the organisation opportunities to grow even though they may not necessarily be the ideal candidates for those positions. These persons may get an opportunity to transfer their skills so that they can do well in their new positions.
Talent management allows companies a chance of building the employees in their organisation. This means that firms need not invest too much time in focusing on recruiting talent from outside. Additionally, companies will get the opportunity to work with what they have but still focus on their business objectives if they prioritise learning and development (Pearson, 2010). It implies that efficiency in talent management translates to efficiency in business processes and hence high productivity.
For example, if a company has been endowed by well performing employees, then talent development will ensure that these individuals are retained and that they continue to contribute towards their organisation’s sustainability. On the other hand, some companies create high performers through talent management. By reviewing how individuals are performing, these organisations can ensure that they get a return on their investments and hence be profitable in tough times as well as simpler times.
Talent management often encourages employees to engage in the right behaviours. Organisations have various approaches to this. Some may carry it out by ensuring that they instate reward based pay such that pay is linked to outcome. Alternatively, some may look for better ways of doing so such as through the use of rewards provided to the stated individuals.
Talent management is crucial for survival of companies. By taking training and development needs seriously, firms will build the structures needed in order to get past business obstacles and compete effectively.
CIPD. (2009). The war on talent? Talent management under threat in uncertain times. Febrary issue, 4685
CIPD. (2008). Time to train: consulting on a new right to request time off to train employees in England. Response to Department for innovation, universities and skills
Pearson Compilation (2010). Perspectives on People at Work. Essex: Custom Publishing