Staffing Management

How Do We Put Logic Behind Talent Management?

By Staff Report

Dec. 18, 2014

Dear Theory:

This is an excellent question. Of course, every organization is different, but if there is a single universal factor that most affects talent management and engagement, it is weak managers. They are the primary cause of low productivity, low innovation, low engagement and high turnover.

In my experience, the next most powerful impact factors are rapid learning and giving employees the opportunity to “do the best work of your life." Firms like Apple are highly successful despite a relatively harsh and secretive management approach, simply because the work itself is important and exciting.

Having unclear career paths also negatively affects engagement and thus performance, but here, too, there are anomalies. Firms like Google and Apple are notorious for having imprecise career paths, yet they remain productive and innovative.

It’s also true that the performance appraisal processes is mentioned as being too subjective, but this is true at almost every firm (except in rare cases in which managers rely on metrics and data, rather than their own assessment opinions). The Gallup organization has a list of productivity factors (i.e., the 12 questions) that have been developed over many years. I find it to be quite accurate.

SOURCE: Dr. John Sullivan, professor of management, San Francisco State University

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