Talent Management - A Strategic HR Initiative Gaining Global Competative Advantage


Prof. Pushpalatha.V
Professor & Head-MBA
SJB Institute of Technology
BGS Health & Education City
Uttarahalli Main Road, Bangalore-60


Present business world is characterized with competition &  volatile economy, prudent organizations are continually looking for innovative ways to enhance shareholder value and improve bottom-line results. They have crafted a variety of strategies & executed to win the business game plans to  achieve the goals, successful organizations increasingly recognize that survival and growth in the current marketplace cannot occur without an effective talent-retention strategy. The ability to retain high-caliber employees will be a key differentiator between those organizations that profit and those that fail. "Good to Great" author Jim Collins argues that the most critical driver of growth for a great company is the ability to hire and retain the right people.

An effective HR strategy is vital in adding value to the business. Human resource departments that employ successful HR strategies can achieve corporate and strategic goals, through motivating and engaging staff and building on the talent, knowledge and experience of the workforce

In this dynamic business environment with the continuous increasing competition and countries becoming global retaining the talent has become HR strategic initiative   in   attracting, managing & retaining the talent  human resources in an organization. A strong retention strategy of an organization has the potential to become Prudent organization with competitive workforce. Attracting talented people, motivating and retaining them in  an organization has become a strategic role of HR Managers. Outstanding business performance is driven by retaining the brains because of  continuous learning that enhances employee engagement.

In most of the IT industries where attrition rate is very high need to craft the strategies for talent retention. It is the need of the hour to consider the employees as an asset to the organization. Controlling attrition rate is vital in learning organization for long term sound health and to have an competitive advantage. Organization need to respond & adapt to the existing changing environment.   They need to nurture & facilitate  the employees with brains  in order to gain competitive advantage

What is talent management?

Talent management is a key components to effective succession planning  & to make sure that everyone at all levels works to the top of their potential.

Talent management can be defined as the implementation of integrated strategies to improve processes for recruiting, developing and retaining people with the required skills and aptitude to meet current and future organizational needs.

Focus of Talent management

  • LQ    Learning Quotient  (Capacity to learn)
  • CQ    Conceptual Quotient (Capacity to think)
  • RQ    Relationship Quotient (Capacity to relate)
  • AQ    Action Quotient (Capacity to act )
  • The individuals values help in discriminating amongst alternatives and act as the bedrock for decisions

    (LQ+ CQ+RQ+AQ) X Values = Talent

Why talent management is a key to organizational performance?

Retaining the best employees ensures customer satisfaction. Satisfied customers be it internal customer or external customers ensures the profitability of the business. A well crafted strategies for acquisition & retaining the talent can redress the organizational issues such as training time and investment, lost knowledge etc., Talent leaving is harmful to an organization's productivity because cost of attrition is very high.

Talent retention is one of the primary measures of the sound health of any organization. If they are   losing critical staff members, HR Managers Exit interviews with departing employees provide valuable information to find out various restrainers  that made the  employee to take  a decision of leaving the organization & also some of the drivers that made the employee feel good about their stay during their employment  in the organization. And also, the strategic HR business leaders to craft suitable strategies to retain the brains in an organization.

HR Manager's strategic initiative managing & retaining  the talent.

HR Managers being a business partner leading from the front   today must juggle the tasks of monitoring current performance, managing incremental innovation, and leading learning organization for continuous change efforts. A clear understanding of the  restrainers & drivers of performance, innovation and change is required to manage human capital in today's competitive environment.

Managers must align Human Resource strategy with the overall business strategy. As human capital plays a vital role in helping organizations achieve competitive advantage in the knowledge-based economy, the human resource function is increasingly being called upon to assume a more strategic orientation to drive success. One of the key success factor is to retain the pool of talent & managing narrating them for individual growth & organizations growth as well.

How to manage the talent war?

The war for talent exists, organizations need to address the workforce gaps and their future potential to remain competitive

There are certain issues in  managing the  talent in the organistion that  need to be addressed by the HR Managers:

    The very challenge is to find out knowledge workers and the leaders to lead them.
    To find out the gap between the needs and reality.
    Whether to buy the talent externally or to grow the talent internally?
    How to grow the talent & retain the talent?

Talent Retention Strategies

Reward System:

Reward employees according to their performance. This will keep them motivated.  It could be monetary or non monetary rewards.  Appreciate the talent : Managers need to have a heart  & art of  appreciation. Employees at work place need to be recognized & rewarded for their performance.  Considering  their effort, the day  in and day out challenging tasks and sacrifices  made by them to achieve the end results. Appreciate the employees in  public for their good work & criticize them in private for their weakness.  . Thank them for all the times they rearranged their schedules, the canceled personal and family plans This helps in retaining the talent in the organization

Social Programmes:  Employees are social beings. Establish regular social programs for your employees like quarterly dinner, or party, yearly retreats, recognition day or family day, etc., This type of social gathering brings bondage between employer, employee & among the employees as well.

Employee Welfare Programmes:  Apart from statutory welfare programmes which is manadatory to the employees, prudent companies role out certain non statutory welfare programmes to reach the employee families. One such welfare programme in Gillette under the theme "WE CARE FOR YOU" had a tremendous impact on the employees.  As per the strategic calendar of the company, vocaltional training /skill development programmes conducted for employee housewives, This has helped the homemakers to earn small income during their leisure and support their families.  Under Meritorious children scheme,  Students of merit were identified & their education was taken care by the company.  The outcome of such programes boost the morale of employees and loyalty towards the organization.  This is also worked as a magic to retain the competent employees in the company.

Employee Development Programmes:  Develop & Drive for performance.  Training programmes and self development schemes for  continuing education .  There are many online training programmes & continuing education, Give your employees the chance to enroll on any of these to enhance their job knowledge and skills, or even learn new competencies. This is a worthy investment. Additional knowledge and skills would mean lesser people for you because if they can multi-task, you don't need to hire additional helps.

Employee engagement: "An engaged employee" is the one who is committed, fully involved in, and enthusiastic & passionate about their work, colleagues and organization. It is a modernised version of job satisfaction. Employees perform best to their ability when are fully engaged with the purpose of their work.  At Macro level in an organization  people only deliver their best when they are engaged with the purpose, vision and values of the organization they work with. They look at their work as a part of a larger whole.

Many HR professionals, Organizational leaders  need to strategically think & find the ways to engage the employees, so that they contribute towards organizational excellence.

Managers need to treat the employees  as a source of unique knowledge with something valuable to contribute to the company. Facilitate the employees they need to do their jobs.

Managers need to Clearly communicate what is expected of employees- about the company vision, mission & objectives. 


Freedom to experiment: Failure as a Primary Vehicle for Success, Freedom to fail means a freedom to explore, venture, experiment and succeed. Failure is the stepping stone for success, It provides a great learning opportunity and it is a life blood of success. 

If you allow your employees to innovate,  the freedom to experiment, than giver them freedom to fail. provide platform for creative & innovative ideas to experiment.

"I have not failed 700 times. I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work."
Thomas Edison.

The more you fail, the more you succeed. You learn from taking action, from your mistakes. And also getting feedback to take corrective actions in order to prevent failures.

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Source: E-mail August 30, 2011


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