The war on talent
McKinsey consultants started it with a book of the same title. By focusing on what it seemed like a universal problem of scarce talent, and a subsequent call to arms in a battle to acquire it, they skilfully managed to distract the attention from a problem significantly greater: hosting talent. The military analogy (that management loves with narratives such as ‘win-win’, or ‘kill the competition’, for example) implied that talent is ‘outside’ and therefore there is a war to ‘get it’. Undoubtedly true in some occasions, organizations have today a greater problem with retention, engagement, and, as I said, hosting that talent. The war on talent is global, the skills gap is widening and employees are demanding more from their employers.
Organizations need to adopt a strategic approach to talent management. They must create workplaces where employees feel value, challenged and supported. They also need to invest in developing their employee’s skills and knowledge so that they can stay ahead of the curve.
The wrong capital
‘Talent management’ ( a sub-industry in its own rights) focuses too much on Human Capital, with emphasis on skills (and with emphasis on people ‘who have done it before’). However, in today’s world, social and emotional capital are just as important.
- Social Capital refers to the quality and quantity of an individual’s relationships. Employees with strong social capital are better able to collaborate, solve problems, and build consensus.
- Emotional capital refers to an individual’s ability to manage their own emotions and the emotions of others. Employees with high emotional capital are more resilient, adaptable, and effective leaders.
The best talent management programs focus on developing all three types of capital: human, social, and emotional.
You’ll be surprised how many people can’t seriously articulate what this means to their organization. The narrower the definition, the bigger the problem. Once you have a clear definition of talent, you can develop programs and initiatives to attract, retain, and develop talented employees
It is vital to move beyond conventional boundaries and develop a nuanced understanding of talent management to foster a thriving workplace.