How to keep your keepers

Many organizations believe that to get a Talent Management Strategy in place, they must purchase an expensive HR system.  In fact, this belief couldn’t be more wrong.  While systems do have their place, an organisation is only going to get the maximum benefit out of it if they have implemented and embedded manual practices which can later be automated by the system.  A talent management system, no matter how sophisticated, is never going to manage people – only managers can manage people – but a system can help to streamline, automate and record transactions.

One of the key objectives of a Talent Management Strategy is to retain talented people.  In order to do so successfully, it is useful to have an understanding of the issues which are most valued by employees.  Some of these include…

Growth and development opportunities— highly skilled and motivated people value the opportunity to acquire new competencies or to expand their existing skill set as it is key to their ability to be competitive and achieve their career goals.

Good and considerate managers— the organisation’s ability to retain skilled and motivated people depends on its ability to select and train managers who are interested in their people, respectful of them, and who know how to supervise without micromanaging. A good manager is someone who has an open-door policy, who is visible outside his/her office and who established honest relationships with the team.

Recognition and reward— organisations and managers need to recognise and reward their outstanding employees.  People need to be acknowledged for their achievements, both in their personal and professional lives.  Highly skilled and motivated people want to believe that their work is valued and that they are stakeholders in the success of the organisation. Find creative ways to let people know that they are appreciated – money isn’t always the answer.

Work/Life balance— highly skilled and motivated people recognise that the needs of the organisation are their priority however, they also believe that their time off should not always be sacrificed to meet deadlines.  Generation Y places more emphasis on their social and family values and expect to work for organisations where there is no clash between their work and home lives.  They also expect their managers to agree to flexible work schedules and alternative methods of completing projects.

Organisations that are committed to keeping talented people should set out to establish a set of values which are compatible with employees’ basic beliefs and standards; develop a mission statement which is capable of recruiting, motivating and inspiring talent; and to create a vivid description of the organisation’s future in bold, passionate statements that encourages employees to make it happen.  You don’t need a system for that.

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