Is the importance of talent management important (enough) to leaders?

by Saba Software | Posted | Performance Management

Is the importance of talent management important (enough) to leaders?

From time-to-time we invite Halogen employees who work closely with our customers to share their insights on how talent management best practices can help HR address the trends and challenges facing organizations today. I’m excited to share this post authored by Kelly Murphy, Strategic Clients Manager at Halogen Software.

In this post Kelly discusses the importance of talent management, and shares why leaders need to make it a priority if they want to build world class workforces.

“How important is it?” That was the question my mother would ask whenever I complained about having to put what seemed like a lot of effort into something.

I always think of that when I hear people complain that their leaders aren’t supporting their talent management programs. It makes me stop and ask: How do organizations perceive the importance of talent management?

Maybe the answer depends on who you are in the organization.

To the individual employee, it’s very important. We all want to know what our objectives are, what we need to do to be successful and what the next steps are in our careers. We want to be coached and developed. And we want to be recognized and rewarded for our contributions.

But what happens when we become managers and leaders? Is giving these things to your employees as important to you? Come on, be honest. There’s always the “what’s in it for me” factor.

Is talent management less important to the C-suite?

It would seem that the importance of talent management starts to diminish as we move up the organization.

In a recent article in Forbes magazine, Susan Adams wrote about a study done as a joint project between the Center for Leadership Development and Research at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, Stanford’s Rock Center for Corporate Governance and The Miles Group, a consulting firm in New York that focuses on C-suites and corporate boards.

Adams states that the study found that attention given to talent development and mentoring by CEOs and boards is at rock bottom.

Susan also said,

“I agree with the study’s authors that in the ideal world, CEOs would care about people management and they would be grooming successors to step in should something go awry. But I also understand boards’ and bosses’ preoccupation with the bottom line.”

Is it true then, that the higher you go on the leadership ladder, the larger the ratio gets between the importance on the bottom line and the importance of talent management?

The business value of talent management

Leigh Bailey, CEO and Founder of The Bailey Group, believes that the CEO’s vision and talent development go hand in hand and that “successful CEOs keep their eyes on the view from the mountaintop while at the same time remaining firmly rooted in the day-to-day realities on the ground of their organizations.” She writes that “Today’s CEOs must be just as attentive to the way people work and excel within their organizations as they are to market expectations.”

And PwC’s 2012 Annual Global CEO Survey showed that developing a strong leadership pipeline was the highest priority for CEOs, and remains a key priority in 2013. How can you address that without a strong focus on talent management?

It’s been proven that companies with great managers and leaders who coach, communicate with, and develop their employees, have top performers who out-produce an average employee by 2.5 to 10 times, that they can see up to 26% increase in revenue/employee and up 22% increase in shareholder return.

Kris Dunn — CHRO at Kinetix, founder of HR Capitalist and Fistful of Talent, and a regular contributor to the Halogen blog — thinks we need to get our managers and leaders to become career agents for their employees. Kris says:

“Managers who are truly agents for their employees’ careers have a way at measuring performance goals by getting employees to do cool things towards that goal — that they then can market internally and externally to the broader world.”

Aligning employees’ objectives to the organization’s, providing immediate and continuous feedback, measuring success and developing skill gaps is a brilliant way to manage your bottom line.

Let’s face it, leaders don’t lead departments, divisions, regions or companies, they lead people. So as a leader, you decide… If building a world class workforce is what’s needed to reach your organization’s strategic goals… How important is talent management?

You can learn more about the strategic business value of talent management by reading some of the resources we have available in our center of excellence called The business case for talent management.

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Talent Management Strategy Template

Get a comprehensive template that walks you through all the steps needed to create an effective HR talent management strategy that supports your organization’s strategy.

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Talent Management Strategy Template

Get a comprehensive template that walks you through all the steps needed to create an effective HR talent management strategy that supports your organization’s strategy.

Download Now

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