Talent Management: Issues and Strategies (Summary)
- Talent Management: Issues and Strategies
- by Dr. Chandrakanta Sahoo & B Venkata Prasad
- in Journal of Business and Management
Today we are living in a society characterized by volatility and uncertainty. In fact the dynamic and fast-changing nature of today’s world is best described by the term VUCA, which stands for Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity. This VUCA world has pushed Human Resources in a different direction; one in which there has been a gradual but clearly observed power shift from the hands of employers to employees – who are better described as knowledge workers in present-day business.
Corporate houses in developed countries are focusing on improving the productivity and organizational performance of an array of jobs. Research evidence shows that workers who perform interaction work are vital to the competitive success of business and countries alike. Interaction work is complex, and involves more than routine production or transaction work that can be automated. Interaction jobs are the most rapidly growing employment category in developed countries. These jobs are going to play vital roles in business sustainability in the wake of rapid global competition, emerging skill shortages and changing demographics. This trend is driving companies to use their most highly paid talent more effectively. It therefore follows that corporate strategists need to involve HR in strategic business perspectives to engage the limited human resources available to optimize organizational excellence.
A changing world
In this respect, leading companies from a variety of industries such as aviation, business services, financial services, health care and high-tech manufacturing were closely analyzed. It was found that companies operating in these industries are trying to explore ways to revamp and perform interaction work effectively. The overall goal is to enjoy productivity gains, greater flexibility in responding to opportunities, and better access to scarce talent. To help effective workforce management, existing HR policies need to be re-thought and re-evaluated. The following two approaches are being adopted to do this.
Break jobs down: Companies are focusing on putting their best paid workers on the most value-creating activities by relieving them of routine work as a means to manage the scarce talent. HR functions are now being broken down into further specialized disciplines such as compensation, recruiting, and benefits administration. This generates opportunities for domain specialists to bring expertise to companies which generalists lack, often at a far lower cost. In this way strategists can take optimum advantage of specialists who have extensive experience in performing certain specialized functions such as hiring and training employees, and developing long-term workforce strategies. Breaking jobs down into more specialized tasks helps companies economize on scarce talent, thereby enabling those tasks to be performed more efficiently and effectively.
Go virtual: Another significant practice is organizational structural transformation. Many organizations prefer to use a virtual organizational structure to manage cost and time. The idea is to perform work anywhere. By using technology, this also impacts execution of the training program. Most corporate houses prefer to deliver training content electronically. Social media is also helping to bring together employees, members of remote teams and their managers into a network, allowing connections to be quickly established. Generation Y professionals prefer virtual work as they want flexible lifestyles from the beginning of their careers. A new generation of workers is preferring to work and manage operations remotely, and conduct their socializing and collaborations online.
The negative impact of employee disengagement
People are unengaged or disengaged because of improper utilization of their capabilities due to the lack of an adequate, transparent and systematic mechanism. Research shows that most business problems are people problems due to improper and inadequate planning to engage employees. This leads to poor productivity, job dissatisfaction, career plateauing, high employee turnover and job burn-out.
The positive impact of employee engagement
Engaged employees often display a deep, positive emotional connection with their work and are likely to display attentiveness and mental absorption in their tasks. Highly engaged employees normally demonstrate high levels of commitment and a strong connection to work. They tend to move beyond their core responsibilities and consistently remain more productive, profitable, safer, healthier and less likely to leave their employers. Unfortunately, only 30% of the global workforce is estimated to be engaged.
Studies reveal that a caring manager is one of the drivers for employee engagement. A manager’s ability to build strong relationships with employees can help them perform at the highest possible level. Engagement is an outcome. People prefer to be engaged if they have sufficient opportunities and motivation to use their talent and enjoy the workplace.
An organization’s HR department gets its strength from proactive management who endorse the development of appropriate, transparent and systematic policies and procedures to optimize the use of knowledge resources. This is important in order to remain competitive in today’s ever-changing world. In a knowledge economy, where business is largely dependent on technology, strategists need to be very careful about the job requirement and employee profile assessment. They should study job requirements carefully, and hire and nourish those employees who can drive the business forwards. And to optimize time and cost, they could consider adopting a virtual organizational structure to improve organizational performance.
About the authors:
Dr. Chandrakanta Sahoo is a professor at the Bhubaneswar Institute of Management and Information Technology, India.
Venkata Prasad is a professor at the Sanskrithi School of Business, India.