Talent Management – The Distressing Statistics

It may be hard to believe but, 67% of organizations in the industrial world find it extremely difficult to identify, develop, engage and retain their talented people. As a matter of fact, many deploy no talent management strategy at all. This is often due to insufficient time, money and expertise to internally and proactively manage this emerging priority. Most organizations actively spend thousands on carefully seeking out and identifying top talent but do nothing to continue developing that same important talent resource.

  • Poor succession planning wipes an estimated $8.4 billion from the stock market value of the top Fortune 1000 companies every year
  • Management retention is identified as a negligent error issue by nearly every independent business analysis; the cost of recruiting a middle manager alone is between 33% and 65% of their annual salary
  • 78% of organizations in the US and UK experience talent retention problems as opposed to 67% worldwide
  • Despite the challenging economy, US and UK employees are among the most likely to consider leaving their job during the next 12 months, with 53% of employees specifically stating in exit interviews that they are leaving to fulfill their career development needs elsewhere
  • Changing workforce demographics means that leadership and management skills, which are often developed as talent moves up through the lower levels in a company, are in devastatingly short supply

Successful employees are most often built through experience. Exposure to positive methods of employee motivation, crisis management and production methodologies can help new employees build the mindset of a good manager. Successful companies identify key talent within their ranks and help develop management skills through formal and informal programs designed to enhance educational or natural talent.

Independent studies have been implemented to measure how well employees are trained and developed. These studies indicated that organizations that make large investments in people typically have lower employee turnover, which is associated with higher customer satisfaction, which in turn is a driver of profitability. A second driver is manager proficiency — good managers determine if people stay or go, and this is also influenced by training and development. Further, the education and training variable is the most significant predictor of an organization's success as compared to price-to-earning ratios, price-to-book statistics, and measures of risk and volatility.

A survey of 1,000 random midlevel US companies showed that nearly every organization interviewed professed to already be aware of many these retention deficit facts in one way or another and 85% had implemented some sort of retention policy. But a fourteen month research investigation into these company policies proved that less than 8% of these retention policies were effective enough to lower the retention rate below the national average. One expert’s independent conclusion in this report was that most retention policies that are not clearly thought out, adhered to, and regularly updated and maintained, are mostly just for show and are designed to make upper management feel like they are addressing this problem without actually having to make the real necessary effort.

Successful companies are enacting a popular new procedure that has thus far proven to mitigate a significant amount of talent loss. This procedure revolves around hiring a trained talent management team. Many years ago, human resource responsibilities were delegated to personnel such as team mangers, supervisors, or executive staff as an addition to their regular duties. But as more and more human resource necessities were introduced into the corporate world, human resource departments were created and people dedicated to unique HR resources were hired to fill and operate these departments. The same thing has happened to recruiting. Many institutions used to rely on existing management personnel to bring in, interview, and hire new personnel. Now it is common practice to either directly employ a recruiting department or to hire the work out to a recruiting specialist company. Following this line of reasoning, talent retention departments are springing up in the most flourishing businesses.

These talent management departments are made up of personnel who have no agenda except to meet the needs of talented employees whenever and wherever it is possible within guidelines recommended to and set by each individual company according to specific needs. Some of their duties include:

  • Minimizing the chance of miscommunication by understanding what people are really saying, and why across all lines of business
  • Dealing with difficult people, managing tense situations, and resolving conflict
  • Making use of active listening skills and procuring lines of trust in order to improve the ability to gain helpful information that might be hidden from management staff by employees that are fearful of possible job retribution
  • Being able to facilitate, guide, and close discussions in one-on-one or group settings
  • Improving understanding and communication in all departments by giving and receiving good universal feedback
  • Using ideas submitted by individual members of a team or departments without causing other members to be defensive
  • Developing comprehensive global team building strategies that improve productivity of all teams or even entire organizations
  • Emphasizing the value of working toward common goals without devaluing individual accomplishment
  • Defining and setting up methodologies to track pertinent staff activities that attenuate growth toward employee satisfaction both in general as well as individual situations

Hiring and implementing a talent management department takes time, involves significant costs, and adds another layer of management bureaucracy to current operations that could possibly be conceived as an obstruction to progress. But statistics show that the phenomenal savings achieved by retaining critical talent is well worth the time and effort put into any measure that actually assist in helping to hold on to employees that make our business services desirable to use by our customer base, no matter what line of business we are in.

Even if it is beyond the scope of your present business resources to create a talent management department, it is extremely wise to research new methods and bring on new cutting edge procedural implementations that will help stem the tide of fiscal loss that will result as important personnel utilize revolving door practices that end up making your costly training and employee grooming efforts more beneficial to your competition than to your own company.