Talent, Performance, Training and Development

This Chapter considers how getting the right people into the right positions is a central focus of human resource management as it stimulates and facilitate long-term organisational success. Essentially, if firms want to remain competitive then they need to be able to attract, develop and retain good staff.

The concept of talent management is explored in outline, considering the essential elements of identifying, attracting, engaging, deploying and retaining those considered to be of particular value to an organisation.

The management of talent is a critical enabler if people are to effectively contribute to strategic goals and outcomes and the Chapter touches on how strategic human resource management approaches view staff from a more holistic human capital perspective. The importance of aligning individual goals to corporate strategy is discussed, along with the need to create a unifying mission, vision and aligned objectives.

In considering the dynamics of the competitive modern business environment, the importance of staff retention to the strategic positioning of a company is noted. Those organisations committed to the training and development of their existing staff are far more likely to retain the internal talent they need to remain competitive. Importantly, the Chapter also highlights the importance and impact of structured training and development interventions to the effective sharing of tacit knowledge across a business.

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Whilst the potential limitations of internal recruitment are noted, the advantages of building a corporate culture supporting the identification and advancement of internal talent are discussed. Creating a culture that supports the corporate agility needed to maintain competitive positioning is shown to be critical, along with the requirement to embed supporting mechanisms such as performance appraisals and performance and development agreements. The importance of linking employee effectiveness to corporate goals and objectives through performance management is also reviewed.

The Chapter also raises the issue of objective setting mechanisms and how they can be used to support both personal and organisational training and development activities. The need to established goals that provide ‘stretch’ (i.e. striking the balance between being achievable and ambitious) is outlined. The need to also consider how to maintain the flexibility needed to support creativity and innovation whilst still delivering against the business objectives set is also noted. This introduces the challenges and opportunities presented by cultural dynamics and the need to create effective informal communications and feedback mechanisms to continually confirm and reinforce the organisation’s commitment to continuous learning and development.

Ultimately, the Chapter recognises that effective talent identification mechanisms require a culture that openly demonstrates and celebrates the value of people as a corporate asset. This introduces a further challenge in terms of maintaining a focus on delivering against current objectives without losing sight of the work needed to create and sustain future capabilities. The potential value of strategic workforce planning models to maintaining this balance between strategic and operational talent management requirements is also outlined. Organisational culture must also be flexible enough to adapt to any changing employee value propositions and associated staff perceptions.


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