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
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
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.
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
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
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.