5 Things you need to know about managing talent

Talent management is defined as the anticipation of required human capital for an organisation and the planning required to meet such needs. An often heard sentiment among employers in Singapore is that it is becoming increasingly difficult for organisations to recruit and retain top talent.

Here are 5 things any aspiring HR Manager needs to know about talent management.

1. Understanding Your Employees

HR Managers play an important role in ensuring that their respective organisations are able to move with the times and remain relevant. For example, an employee with more than 2 decades of work experience will most likely have a different mindset and set of motivations when compared to a fresh graduate with little to no work experience.

One of the top reasons why organisations fail to retain top talent is the refusal or inability to understand the needs of their employees, which results in employees becoming unmotivated and disengaged. This is mainly due to the unwillingness of the organisation to adopt new management principles and approaches.Consequently, such organisations find themselves unable to attract and retain new talent and in the long term, the organisation suffers from a lack of new talent and ideas. By understanding and engaging employees on an individual basis, HR Managers will be able to identify the strengths and skills of employees and from here utilize their abilities to benefit the organisation. Thus, to be effective, HR professionals need to understand the strengths and weaknesses of each distinct group of employees and learn how to engage with them to bring out the best.

2. Maintaining a Healthy Culture

Firing or terminating a staff member is often an unpleasant and difficult affair for both parties. Employers are faced with the stress of finding and training a replacement whereas the terminated staff member is faced with the prospect of unemployment.

However unpleasant or difficult, when all other options have been exhausted, terminating an uncooperative and toxic employee may be for the greater good of the organisation as opined by certain parties. In certain situations, terminating troublesome employees can help maintain a healthy working environment.

An employee may be a top technical performer with all the right credentials but if he/she is simply not able to work well in a team, this upsets the balance of the workplace and causes disharmony and unhappiness. Tales of abusive behavior and harassment is not uncommon in some workplaces and in some instances, these cases have even been covered up due reasons like the employee’s technical proficiency or connections. However, on the long term, this can adversely affect the organisation’s ability to retain talented staff. Unhappy employees are less productive and are more likely to leave the organisation at the first opportunity.

HR Managers need to adopt a zero-tolerance policy for abusive behavior or bullying and harassment of any sort. Studies have shown that a happy workplace culture is able to not only boost employee productivity and reduce absenteeism, but also improve the quality of work produced which in the long term will go a long way in helping an organisation attract and retain quality talent.

3. Aligning Goals Together

An employee that has been engaged is more likely to be satisfied and happy. Happy employees are more productive at work and will have a stronger sense of loyalty towards the organisation. Oftentimes, employees feel demotivated and aimless as they feel that their jobs have stagnated, and thus are no longer motivated to further improve themselves due to a lack of engagement from the organisation. Employees should not be treated as just workers, but also as assets who are able to drive value within the organisation.

HR professionals need to work closely with the management team to ensure that employees are given clearly defined goals and briefed on how their goals are aligned with that of the organisation’s. When employees are able to visualize how their efforts and goals affect the organisation in a real way, there is an increased sense of belonging and commitment which will go a long way in engaging the employees of the organisation.

4. Training As a Form of Motivation

Ancaro Imparo or “I am always learning” is the motto of Monash University, as quoted by Sir John Monash. In order for an organisation to remain competitive and relevant, both the organisation and its employees need to be constantly improving and updating their skill sets. Growing employees alongside the organisation through a combination of classroom and on-the-job training will bring about massive improvements in how the organisation and its employees perform.

Providing employees with additional training is beneficial to both parties as the organisation benefits from being able to access a large pool of skilled staff, whereas the skills and knowledge picked up during training will prove to be very useful for career progression and improve the employee’s marketability. Another benefit of training is how employees will be more confident and skilled, which in turn improves motivation and job proficiency.

5. Referral Programs

One of the simplest ways to attract top talent to your company is via employee referral programs. As the adage goes, “Birds Of a Feather Flock Together”, it should come as little to no surprise that friends and former college mates of top performing employees are also as likely to perform at the same level.

This makes investing in a solid referral program a good prospect for organisations as they will be able to recruit top quality talent while at the same time, reward their best employees with incentives like cash bonuses. Hence, it comes as no surprise that many organisations have focused much effort and resources into growing their employee referral programs. Attracting and retaining top talent is becoming increasingly difficult in this competitive world, but with these tips, HR managers can be better prepared to deal with tomorrow’s challenges.

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