A Focus on Talent

Is your company adequately prepared to meet your company goals and objectives this year? In a recent article in Training magazine, this issue was discussed. Many senior leaders are concerned that they aren't hiring the right people and that the existing talent may not be ready to perform as needed.

I found it interesting that the majority of senior leaders (92%) rank hiring the right talent as important. I totally agree that hiring the right people is critical to the essence of business, but I also believe that there is a gap when it comes to retaining the people that are hired. Equal attention must be given to existing staff.

Can you recall how excited you were your first day on the job and how exhilarating you thought things would be? Do you still feel that way now? Are you doing work that truly engages you, are you sufficiently challenged to tap into all your talents, and do you feel that your opinions and ideas are valued?

The culture that organizations create has everything to do with how people feel in the organization. Time, money, and effort can be spent hiring the right person, but if the same amount of energy is not put into creating and sustain the right culture, it is like playing a slot machine—you waste a lot of money trying to get a few wins. I agree with this statement in the article: "To successfully address senior management's concerns, human resources leadership needs to embrace its strategic role as an executive partner, and define and execute a holistic human capital management strategy that builds a superior corporate culture based on performance and accountability." I would add that not only must HR be strategic and holistic, but senior and mid-level managers must be, as well.

We know that at the heart of any organization, regardless of its size or type of business, is the talent within it. I have been in many organizations and talked with people at all levels, and I can see the untapped potential that so many organizations are missing. Taking talent for granted and not providing tools and opportunities are a recipe for disaster. Most talented people just have to be given challenges that stretch their potential, a support net that helps them to bounce back from adversity, and a leader who cares. Hiring the best is step one, retaining the best is step two.

I am curious—how does your organization retain the right people? Do you think that your organization is as focused on retention as they are on hiring? Let me know!

Val Willis posted this on February 15, 2008, in Talent.
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