We believe talent management is the systematic alignment of organizational and employee-based human capital strategies that result in organizational success. By focusing on performance and capacity, our clients are able to attract, develop, reward and retain the right employees.
In most large enterprises, the human resources (HR) function has the latitude to operate with great discretion, serving as an advocate of employee interests while supporting management initiatives.
However, HR leaders and practitioners often work under competing priorities. What benchmarks should they use to assess the maturity and robustness of their current HCM processes? How should they begin to set realistic targets for improvement?
To help answer these and other related questions, the Center for Innovation in Human Capital Management (CIHCM) — a collaborative research initiative of TECHVINE PARTNERS and some of its clients — recently completed a research on “A Strategic Framework for Implementation of Human Capital Management in the US,” Our research team’s findings point to the creation of a new integrated Human Capital Management Framework and highlight the importance of three critical elements necessary to transform the principles of HCM into an operational vision in any organization:
With limited resources and management time available to direct to any one HCM project, developing a holistic and strategic perspective across an integrated set of HCM initiatives requires long-term executive commitment.
Organizational leaders and HR managers at all levels must make four critical commitments in order to implement sustainable, long-term HCM Vision:
Recognize and manage employees as critical assets
Strategically plan and manage staffing and skills
Prioritize and plan human capital costs for sustained investment and
Openly engage employees through communication and collaboration channels.
Support for HCM Vision must start at the top, with clear intent to create a new, people-centric culture where investment in people is of paramount concern to leaders across departments and divisions.
Tangible Management Tools
Effective HCM embraces an integrated approach that requires concepts and practices that are tested and proven.
Practical management tools are required to help HR leaders diagnose problems quickly, then prioritize and implement reforms along an HCM maturity model in an environment that has many and, at times, conflicting sources of priorities.
There are “four commitments” to make the HCM foundation strong enough to support an organization’s HCM Vision.
The commitment to recognize and manage employees as critical assets is grounded in the understanding that human resources are an organization’s most important assets.
Strategic workforce planning and utilization are integrated into all functional components of HCM. To keep current with (as well as anticipate) the demands of a high-change work environment, supervisors, managers, human capital officers and executives should strive to understand and address the implications of future strategic workforce needs through ongoing dialogue with employees.
Given limited organizational resources, any kind of management reform entails difficult personnel decisions.
By prioritizing and planning human capital costs for sustained investment, HR leaders will be positioned to take a holistic approach that supports fair decision making about whom to hire, promote, retrain, retain or remove while achieving cost-efficiency.
The fourth commitment — openly engaging employees through communication and collaboration channels — is central to achieving effective HCM.
By incorporating feedback from active, two-way communication, HR leaders at all levels will be able to clarify line of sight and improve policies and procedures. The result: a more productive work environment and culture.
The development and implementation of a more people-centric HCM strategy is a multi-phased effort that requires management time, patience and expertise.
At each point in this process, HR executives should evaluate their own work as well as that of their teams to confirm that the right level of commitment is being made to each of these four areas.
(HCM – Framework)
The HCM Framework is a practical tool designed with HCM guidance in mind. It incorporates the HCM guidance for Strategic Human Capital Management.
The overall structure of the HCM Framework provides managers with a multidimensional perspective of their organization’s HCM practices viewed through three different filters:
Tier - 1 : HCM Components
Tier - 2 : HCM Steps
Tier - 3 : HCM Maturity Levels
Tier I : HCM Components
The HCM - Framework begins with the basic components typically associated with HCM. For instance, “recruitment and hiring” includes efforts related to attracting, selecting and successfully hiring candidates. Alternatively, “retention” involves the actions that an organization takes to help make sure that high-performing employees remain in their positions and/or progress into new positions with the organization.
|Recruitment and Hiring||Includes efforts related to attraction, selection and formal acceptance of new employees.|
|Retention||Includes efforts that help make sure high-performing employees remain with the organization. High-performing employees are treated as assets vital to the organization’s success.|
|Staff Development||Includes efforts aimed at providing employees with the necessary skills to meet their job responsibilities.|
|Workforce Planning||Efforts related to aligning HCM with the organization’s mission.|
|Performance Management||How an organization identifies employee responsibilities, aligns the responsibilities with organizational performance, and monitors performance to reward high performance and to address low performance effectively.|
|Information Sharing||How an organization verifies that knowledge is collectively distributed and utilized by employees. Practices help to ensure that this knowledge contributes to employee performance.|
|Personnel Transaction Support||Efforts typically identified within a human resource office. Efforts include payroll, benefits, separation and other processing activities.|
Tier II : HCM Steps
Any new program —focused on human capital or not — needs to go through a systematic evolution before it reaches the point of implementation. The HCM Framework identifies 12 distinct steps for implementing an HCM Strategy. These steps are grouped into three categories:
HCM Strategy focuses on the high-level, overall orientation and drivers of an organization. Five aspects (mission, values, vision, strategy, and goals and objectives) powerfully influence the focus and direction of any human capital reform initiative or program. Each one is essential to the organizational phases of strategic HCM.
HCM Implementation steps reflect how an organization introduces, supports and monitors a particular HR program’s effectiveness in four different ways: policies, infrastructure, organizational ability and organizational commitment.
HCM Results are the ultimate effect that a particular HCM program achieves in an organization. And results manifest themselves in three different venues: work environment and culture, organizational output, and mission performance and outcome.
Tier III: HCM Maturity Levels
There are four stages of maturity through which an organization should move over time as HCM initiatives are implemented. Each stage is a benchmark that enables HR practitioners to assess organizations’ performance levels along the various HCM components and steps.
The maturity filter helps HCM leaders determine where improvements can have the greatest effect. For instance, the “people-averse” level does not suggest poor treatment of employees, but instead sends the message that HCM strategic initiatives are not tied into the overall organizational mission or supported by sufficient investment. “People-aware” recognizes that there is organizational awareness of the need to invest in human capital, but also realizes that the right skills may be missing if the enterprise decides to move ahead on that kind of investment. At the “people-aligned” level, intent begins to speak with action as strategies are defined and HCM leadership understands that organizational success is grounded in strategic investments in the workforce.
A Practical Approach to Talent Leadership
Developing an integrated talent acquisition and retention strategy is key to talent management leadership. Today’s top talent is not just focused on financial rewards but a variety of factors.
There are three practical steps to assess and tackle employee turnover in any organization.
Retaining critical talent is the most pressing issue of most organizations. However, very few organizations conduct a detailed analysis on what it takes to retain such talent. Very few organizations take the steps to assess the cost of turnover.
Key questions to ask for a cost / benefit analysis include the following:
- Who is leaving ?
- What is the impact ?
- Where is it occurring?
- When is it occurring?
Why are employees leaving?
It is not always financial reasons why people are leaving organizations.
A broader definition of ‘Total Rewards’ is required. It is the monetary and non-monetary return provided to employees in exchange of their time, talent, efforts and results.
Aligning ‘Total Rewards’ with your organizations’ culture and values is critical to retaining key talent..
Solutions must be based on root –cause analysis. A thorough selection process, aligned with organizational values, vastly improves retention by hiring the best-fit candidates at the front end of the process. Quick fixes and silver bullets do not exist.
The following questions will serve as a guide to help focus on your talent retention initiatives:
What is the value proposition needed to enable retention and how big of a gap is there with the current offering?
How realistic, viable and timely are the solutions that would enable retention?
What are the benefits associated with planning for the loss of talent on an ongoing basis versus fixing the issues that create turnover?
This approach will help you attract and retain the best talent for better results and faster growth.