4 tips on how to retain and develop talent by Gyan Nagpal

Marijn Deurloo

5-QUESTIONS-THAT-LEADERS-WHO-WANT-TO-ATTRACT-AND-RETAIN-EXISTING-TALENT-SHOULD-ASK-THEMSELVES-gyanThe Emerging Markets HR Summit 2015 will take place on November 11-13, 2015 in London and covers the latest trends on HR and the global economy. During the event, CEO of PeopleLENS Global Associates and bestselling author of Talent Economics Gyan Nagpal will give a one-day master class on ‘The Building Blocks of Emerging Markets Talent Strategy’. In this post, he shares 4 tips on how to retain and develop talent:

1) Open the doors

We must drop the mind-set of scarcity. Several companies report that they struggle to find talent. As I explained in the Neil Armstrong example (see the first blog above) – the numbers tell us this isn’t a problem of availability of talent. It is in fact a problem of employers providing limited entry points and limited internal mobility for talent.

2) Think beyond Full Time Employees
Open up to what I call the Open Talent Economy. I believe every business has a unique talent recipe. A perfect blend of internal and external capability which can survive market volatility. This hedges against the binging and purging of headcount with every market shift, which is unfortunately very common today. One way of really appreciating the Open Talent Economy is through deep diagnosis (studying and understanding). Every organisation exists in a unique talent ecosystem, which depends on factors like geographical footprint, industry, rate of innovation, revenue streams and technology changes within our business.

Every organisation exists in a unique talent ecosystem, which depends on multiple factors. Source: Hollandse Hoogte.
Every organisation exists in a unique talent ecosystem, which depends on multiple factors. Source: Hollandse Hoogte.

3) Refocus people management
Our current management toolkit comes from the industrial age and its factory shop-floor realities, and includes artefacts such as overseeing work, driving performance and motivating via monetary incentives. The shift to a knowledge economy has proven devastating for management. Workers dealing with complex cognitive tasks seek coaches rather than supervisors and managers.

Moreover, the nature of intellectual work makes it difficult to supervise and control in the short term. That’s why managers are increasingly struggling to integrate effort across the network of alliances, outsourcing relationships, joint ventures or partnerships that form the footprint of modern business. Today’s management shouldn’t be about overseeing an ever shrinking base of internal headcount. Instead, it is more about curating capability or contribution across a network of sources.

Source: David Rozing, Hollandse Hoogte. Today's workers seek coaches rather than supervisors and managers.
Source: David Rozing, Hollandse Hoogte. Today’s workers seek coaches rather than supervisors and managers.


4) Generate “Flow”

In “Talent Economics,” I described a “flow organization” – an organization where everyone has the space, time and support to sharpen the axe. The first step to generating flow is through an atmosphere where employees feel comfortable sharing their ideas. This takes courage. It also takes a genuine invitation, and we must teach managers to coach and champion employee genius. The more examples you showcase, the greater flow you generate. The best talent values this, with many reporting professional development and learning on par with compensation as a career driver. In high-flow cultures, employees don’t turn up just for a paycheck or to fulfill a routine need. They turn up bright-eyed because they have an idea in play.

Join the Emerging Markets HR Summit

Do not miss the opportunity to join Gyan Nagpal’s one-day Masterclass at the Emerging Markets HR Summit to build talent foresight. The course covers practical tools, which are customisable across emerging and developed markets. Other leading HR keynote speakers at the Emerging Markets HR Summit are from Coca-Cola, Essar Group, ING and many more.

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