In a guest post from April of 2010, 6 Reasons Why Talent Management is a Strategic Imperative, Sean Conrad of Halogen explains:
Today’s business climate is forcing a shift in the role HR plays. Instead of providing administrative support, HR is becoming a strategic manager of the organization’s greatest asset – its people. Driven by this shift, the industry is seeing more companies implement integrated talent management processes.
So why has talent management become a strategic imperative for companies?
From there, he goes on to highlight 6 reason why, at that time, he believed that there was renewed focus on Talent Management.
Fast forward 25 months, and Conrad highlights the issues and perils associated with a lack of employee engagement in his post, Employee Engagement & Retention, in which, he writes:
Leaders who want brilliant results from their teams need to make employees feel it’s their company too. How? By making employees part of the decision-making process.
Collaboration is an essential ingredient for creating accountability and ownership. At first, it may take longer to come to a decision when pooling a large sea of minds. But implementing decisions in a comprehensive way unfolds much more quickly when everyone is involved from the beginning and is clear on the objectives.
Look Back Over Two Years- What’s Changed?
I think most HR leaders would agree with Conrad’s original post about the need for investment in and attention to talent management, particularly given the culture of job loss and growing unemployment in the spring of 2010 when it was written. Over the past two years, I’ve spoken with a number of directors and executive leaders in human resources, and very, very few had the time or resources to focus on strategic talent management. More commonly, leaders in this space were focused on maintaining organizational viability amidst workforce reductions, slashed budgets, and epically low levels of employee engagement.
Here we are two years later, and while the economy has turned – slow job growth has replaced job losses, decreasing unemployment (while still too slow) has replaced spiking unemployment rates- many companies still lack the resources, talent, and time to focus on not just developing their talent management/employee engagement strategy but on implementing change. In today’s environment, there is much more reason to believe that the next two years will be substantially different from the past two. Even with slow growth, employers can expect that to feel the effects of the talent deficit in key roles, the loss of key personnel to delayed retirement, and the latent effects of disengaged employees. In the past two years, what has your organization done to mitigate these impending risks?
Look Ahead Two Years- What Will Change
As companies recalibrate their long term strategy to achieve business goals despite the changing economy, it is evident that talent management and employee engagement are key. Flexible, engaged, employees who take ownership in their company are most likely to support organizational initiatives and changing priorities. The hard questions facing executive leaders across all roles is how to manage the short term costs associated with with these areas to position their organizations for long term success. HR leaders play a critical role in these decisions, and must be able to assemble detailed projections and strategic initiatives; and communicate the importance, value, cost, and return associated with the investments required (and the costs and risks associated with failure to make these investments) to support strategic talent management and employee engagement.