Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 25 October 2015





Marriage Proposals
Government Gazette

Retaining talent for business results

The primary concern for a majority of SL organizations is the fear of its top talent leaving them for greener pastures due to the increasingly global nature of the talent war and better compensation in most cases.

Heads of business organizations promote the employee as their biggest asset and a distinct competitive advantage. Contrary to this assertion, many of their initiatives and processes to retain the best talent remain totally out of sync with the expectations of the target segment within the organization.

This is due to the organizationís inability to identify and address the root causes of the issues faced by their best talent or lack of talent-friendly policies. In the pre-internet era, a majority of the talent within the organization was safe from poaching by competitors due to the high cost of acquisition in terms of sourcing and the long duration taken to hunt for talent from outside.

Hiring of talent was also limited by cultural norms and constraints. Many of the employees were content with their job and many times were simply unaware of the opportunities available for their talent and its value.

In the globalised flat world, the sheer volume of information has shifted the balance of power in favour of employees as opposed to the employer. The employee has now become aware of global employers, their best practices in retaining talent and perception about companies and their culture through media and social networking sites.

The constraints faced by employees in changing jobs, due to lack of awareness of opportunities, no longer exist. HR managers while promoting initiatives to retain the best talent need to factor the changes. Employees rarely raise questions or complain about their organization when they get what they expect and communication lines are kept open.


They start grumbling, when in their perception, the organization recognizes other employees more than them. This happens either due to the contribution of other employees becoming more valuable for the organization due to changing business needs and the ability to deliver organizational expectations or the earlier blue-eyed boy now failing to deliver what the organization expects of him.

Of course there is a monetary aspect to it too. The problem of complaining employees is not a new phenomenon but in the internet era it has assumed different dimensions and managing them has become more complex for HR managers.

The ability of disgruntled employee to do damage to the image of the organization is much more than within the four walls of the organization, which is easy to handle, but beyond, through the wired world using blogs, Facebook and twitter.

Any amount of assertions by HR managers about talent retention and employee-oriented strategy fails to cut ice with existing talent.

Greener pastures

The primary concern for a majority of Lankan organizations is the fear of its top talent leaving them for greener pastures due to the increasingly global nature of the talent war and better compensation in most cases.

This has been largely facilitated by hiring practices shifting from the traditional newspaper to specialized job portals and lately to social networking sites thus helping job seekers looking for global opportunities.

Second, the opportunity that exists in emerging technologies to launch entrepreneurial activities with minimum seed capital also acts as a trigger for top talent to venture out. Third, senior management in many businesses is more involved in direct business issues and talent management is of low priority in their radar. Many a time, management is unable to fathom the technological upheaval which is leading to talent becoming the key ingredient for success of future businesses.

Management considers all resignations with the same yardstick. Most Lankan organizations have failed to recognize talent management issues as part of business strategy and at best consider it as a passing phenomenon in their business cycle.

The choice is yours but without talent, businesses cannot survive which we all know through experience.


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