Ignoring Your Greatest Asset: Lessons in Talent Management

The best thing about talent management technology is also the worst thing about talent management technology.

Much of the new talent management software allows businesses to reach more people quicker, while streamlining the process for workforce management.

But now that more candidates are coming through the funnel, the struggle is now with quality, not quantity. What I’m learning as we move forward in this new embrace of talent management automation is that we risk losing the human connection as our reach expands.

In a recent Talent Management best practice white paper, DDI made the interesting point that:

“Claiming a piece of software can provide a full talent management system is a bit like a food processor will produce a five-star meal. These tools are valuable in support of a good plan or recipe. The right tools clear the path for smoother execution and may improve the end product. But tools mean nothing without the right expertise and the right ingredients behind them. A recipe for five-star talent management includes a potent blend of content, expertise, and technology.”

One of the key factors in effective talent management is maintaining that real-world, interpersonal connectivity with both candidates and existing employees. It may sound corny, but sometimes it’s that little extra personal touch that becomes the deciding factor for someone to come on board. It’s also this same interpersonal focus that builds the loyalty and trust that keeps employees engaged and committed to the company.

In his book, “Aha Moments in Talent Management,” Mark Allen notes that he has grown tired of the People are Our Greatest Asset mantra from CEOs. He reveals the following:

“So, I’ve taken to asking a more revealing question: “Does your organization behave every day as if it truly believed people were its most valuable asset?” While I believe, most CEOs are sincere when they answer the initial question, this one elicits a wider variety of responses. Some are cautious (“Maybe not every day”), while others are a bit diplomatic and optimistic (“Perhaps not, but we’re working on it, and we’re on our way”). But last week I received a response that surprised me in its honesty and lack of qualification. After a moment’s thought, this person answered, “Definitely not.”

What does all this mean?

It means is that we can’t get so lost in the tools, technologies and corporate platitudes that sound good and make us more efficient, but fail to acknowledge the true touchpoints of success — our people.

The funny thing is, it doesn’t cost much and it’s easy to do. It just takes a little thought, dedication and consistency to make that human connection.

I would love to hear the myriad stories from people that are doing this now, as I know the effects are transformational.

So, how are you showing your people that they truly are your greatest asset?

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