Key to Change Management
More on People Management

A Perfect Storm

Are you sailing blithely into it or are you steering well clear?

This week I came across an MIT Sloan Business Insight article (“How to Fill the Talent Gap”, September 14, 2007) that identified 5 factors coming together to create ‘a perfect storm’ for employees.  It claimed that one of the biggest dangers compounding the situation is the tendency to “waste time and resources attacking each of the issues individually” rather than with a unified plan to address hiring, training and rewarding their people.

Needless to say the article goes on to spell out a 5 point solution to the problem, identifying how business can do this; all of which make perfect sense. Yet… I have to question how useful it is to state that, “Talent Management is Everyone’s Job.”

Not that I have any problem with the statement – in fact it’s a sentiment I agree with totally – but I doubt it really gets to the core of the problem, because it leaves out the people. Let me explain by telling of my experience with my mortgage lender a few years ago. I was looking extend our home and I went in to the local branch to speak to the manager, naively thinking it would be everything was centralised and he would have to go through the same steps that I would. Seeing I had made the time to meet with him I decided to persevere and, sure enough, he picked up the phone and spoke to someone in Head Office, following the same rigmarole I had tried to avoid after earlier having spoken to an atomated voice!   

Afterwards, I learned that he was only empowered to make any decision to a value of £50K. Anything more had to be referred to higher authorities in Head Office. What a change form my father’s day, when the local bank manager was like a god!  This was when the light came on for me. No wonder employee engagement is such a problem and the service in banks is uniformly bad, because the people aren’t seen as talent: they are simply job-fillers paid to follow a process, with no discretion and no job satisfaction at all. 

There is no point talking about talent management when people are seen and treated as robots. What sort of customer experience can you expect from such people? Businessmen complain about lack of customer loyalty, but it is a problem they have brought on themselves. It is a vicious circle brought on by poor people management, compounding a sense that the customer isn’t really important.

It is not about talent management; its about people management. This is why I get so excited when I read articles like this, because the Zealise proposition addresses these fundamental issues. It fixes the causes rather than the symptoms and in doing so it automatically creates a unified approach that addresses the issues this article pointed out. It provides you with the solution that will enable you to sail well clear of any storm – perfect or otherwise! 

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