There is a conundrum in many organisations that management will eventually come across. This conundrum is known as the corporate dilemma of training.
What is the corporate dilemma of training?
The dilemma comes about when management realises that there are skills gaps between what the organisation may require of the employee and what the employee can actually do. The question then becomes whether or not it’s worth it to train the employee? Training them guarantees that they’ll become attractive to other organisations but not training them still leaves a skills gap.
The dilemma is well summed up in the diagram below:
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At first glance, this seems to be the biggest catch 22 any organisation could face, but it doesn’t have to be.
Let’s look at the bigger picture first, your business strategy, then we’ll zoom in and show you why this is not a catch 22 by looking at why developing a talent management strategy that informs your business strategy helps us solve this problem.
First, the bigger picture: Your business strategy
For any business to stand a chance at success, it should have a defined business strategy.
A well-formulated business strategy will provide the overall direction that an organisation should take to reach its goals. This involves specifying the organisation's objectives, developing policies, procedures and plans to achieve those objectives and then allocating resources for implementing those plans.
If we use the analogy of a map, your business strategy looks at where your organisation is, where it wants to be and then determines which is the best road to get there.
Now let’s zoom in: Your talent management
Back to the analogy of a map, if business strategy determines your departure and end point and decides on the best route, then your talent management strategy is the vehicle that will get you there.
But what is talent management?
Talent management is a holistic approach to recruiting, hiring, developing and ultimately retaining talented and skilled employees to set up the organisation to be competitive.
Talent management plays a vital role in your business strategy because it manages the most important asset of your organisation, its people.
A big struggle for many organisations is that they put a disproportionate amount of effort into attracting and recruiting employees but spend a little or no time in retaining and developing the talent they already have. Making sure that talented employees remain a part of the organisation is one challenge that talent management helps solve.
Talent management changes the conversation from “Is this employee a good fit for this role?” to “Is this employee not only a good fit for this role but also for the organisation and for future roles and functions?”.
It looks not only at an employees current performance but goes further and considers their future potential.
Let’s look at the benefits that organisations who invest in talent management experience.
Attract top talent: Talent management gives organisations the opportunity to attract the most talented employees available in the market through their employer brand and this contributes to the improvement of the organisations’ business performance and results.
Employee engagement: Talent management helps organisations keep their employees engaged which gives them more reason to remain in the organisation for the long term.
Business continuity: Talent management allows organisations the ability to formulate succession plans for business-critical and highly specialised roles. This means that the organisation will always have someone to cover or fill in for critical roles should someone fall ill or there is an unexpected resignation.
Increased employee performance: Talent management affords organisations the ability to assess individual employee strengths and weaknesses to determine which employees will be best suited for which jobs, leading to higher performance and lower turnover.
Improved business performance: Talent management helps employees feel engaged and motivated. It also gives them the skills to perform their jobs, allowing them to work in the direction of the organisation’s business strategy, which increases the overall performance of the organisation.
Let’s circle back to the beginning and see if we now have an answer to our corporate dilemma. When we started, we were trying to figure out if it’s worth it to train our employees at the risk they may leave or if it’s better to not train them, almost ensuring that they won’t go anywhere as they would be unattractive to the job market place.
We also highlighted the advantages of talent management and showed the benefits enjoyed by organisations who invest in it.
The answer to the dilemma given the two choices?
It is always better for employees to receive training.
As the war for talent rages on, organisations that forego talent management processes are bound to see an increase in employee turnover, a decrease in employee engagement, lower customer satisfaction and as a result poorer organisational performance.
An organisation that embraces talent management will always have the upper hand over one that doesn’t. People will always be the predominant source of competitive advantage and thus need a talent management strategy that informs business strategy in order for your organisation to be competitive.
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