Talent Management

I read an interesting review on a blog about employee engagement and five ways to influence it. I liked the fact that the author re-visited the meaning of the term employee engagement, as this helps us to comprehend other questions or challenges that arise in this field. Here is a summary of what I have learned from this blog post.

In order to accomplish the organizational objectives, it is essential that employees feel engaged in the organization; however, it is often a challenge. The author gives us five meanings of employee engagement which she has received from other HR and business colleagues.

–          When an employee feels valued for what she/he does

–          When a Supervisor shows that she/he is committed to the development of the employee

–          When an employee is appreciated for excellent work done for something that is not a part of her/her job

–          According to Lisa Rosendhal it meant, “people choosing to come to work and give it their best.”

–          According to Paul Hebert views it was, “the PROACTIVE application of the knowledge, skills, and abilities,” of the employees.”

Another blogger also commented on the importance of making employees feel that they are an integral part of the organization’s mission. This feeling would increase the importance of their work; spark passion for their job and thereby increase employee engagement. In addition to this, one of the comments also highlighted the relevance of ‘employee recognition programs’ that encourage employee engagement.

The five ways in which employee engagement can be encouraged are as follows:

–          An environment where innovation is encouraged

–          Challenging or stretch assignments are given to the employees

–          People are recognized for their work daily

–          Making employees feel connected to the mission of the organization

–          Being honest and interacting with integrity in the organization.

The author also tells us that employee engagement should not be reduced to an annual survey, but should be an ongoing cycle in the organization.




Blog Post: http://hrringleader.com/2010/10/28/5-ways-to-influence-a-culture-of-engagement/

Image Source: My Own

Free Clipart: http://www.clker.com/search/stickman/1


I came across The Iceberg Model of Workplace Dynamics while I was reading the ‘Unfolding Leadership’ blog by Dan Oestreich.   Here is a summary of my learning of the model.

The Iceberg Model of Workplace Dynamics which was developed by Stanley N. Herman of TRW Systems in 1970.












The model is divided into two halves and helps us understand workplace dynamics or organizational culture. The upper half represents the visible or formal aspects of an organization such as systems, structures, policies, technologies of an organization. The lower half below the water line represents the hidden or informal aspects of an organization such as attitudes, beliefs, values, and perceptions etc. which stand for the real world interactions from which an organization is also made of.

The author very much emphasizes on the importance of having a balance between these two aspects of organizational culture. In an over-managed organization where the upper half dominates the lower half there are problems of paper bureaucracies, systems, a policy for everything and a parent-child management.

In contrast, in an over led organization; people ignore the water-line and try to succeed solely on effective relationships, intelligence or entrepreneurial spirit. In doing so, they also overlook the systems and processes of the organization.  None of the two scenarios in their extremes are effective for an organization.

In an organization the formal and the informal aspects both need each other.  And as the author so well wrote it, “Order and opportunism, policy and good judgment, goals and passions, strategic plans and a sense of belonging – head to heart”.

In conclusion, he says that when the alignment between the two halves is there, people in an organization perform. I encourage you to read this post and explore the blog, as the author highlights an example from his personal experience.


1.  http://www.unfoldingleadership.com/blog/?p=61

2. Image: http://www.unfoldingleadership.com/blog/?p=61

Reward Strategies 2008

Ann Bares annually conducts a survey on compensation plans in her market and the following results are the top three reward strategies identified for the year 2008.

The Number 1 reward strategy for the third year consecutively is; “the variable pay, incentives, bonuses etc”. The variable pay plans are said to be the megatrend for employee rewards.

The second winning reward strategy is; “keeping pay competitive”. It was said that it is important to keep the compensation structures and market plan programs competitive, keeping in mind that there is still a war for talent especially for employees with critical skills & experience.

Finally, the third winning reward strategy was; “the hiring bonus (this included the sign on bonuses and the employee referral bonuses)”.


One of her favorite questions in the compensation plans survey is; “What compensation strategies and tactics did your organization find most successful in attracting, retaining and motivating employees over the past year?”


Cf: http://compforce.typepad.com/compensation_force/2008/09/top-three-rewar.html

Image: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/480130

Introduction Talent Management

I have a very personal connection to the topic of talent management and you will find me writing a lot on it. I also keep up with the latest happenings and trends in this field. Before I get into the details of this topic as always I would like to begin with a definition and a brief explanation of this term.

Before an organization identifies who its talented people are, it should have a clear definition of what it means by ‘Talent’. Different organizations define what talent means to them differently. An example here is:

Definition Talent: Talent signals an ability to learn and develop in the face of new challenges. Talent is about future potential rather than past track record. So talent tends to be measured in terms of having certain attributes, such as a willingness to take risks and learn from mistakes, a reasonable (but not too high) level of ambition and competitiveness, the ability to focus on ‘big picture’ issues, and an awareness of their own strengths, limitations and impact on others…’ (1)

So what is Talent Management? The following two definitions help us comprehend this term:

Definition Talent Management: ‘Talent management is the process of ensuring that the organization attracts, retains, motivates and develops the talented people it needs.’ (2)


Definition Talent Management: ‘A conscious, deliberate approach undertaken to attract, develop and retain people with the aptitude and abilities to meet current and future organizational needs. Talent management involves individual and organizational development in response to a changing and complex operating environment. It includes the creation and maintenance of a supportive, people oriented organization culture.’(3)

It’s important to note that some organizations associate the term talent or talent management only to key performing individuals. However, it is essential to remember that each one of us has some talent potential and hence it should not be restricted to the very few. Nevertheless, it is highly likely that more attention is going to be paid to employees with high potential or exceptional skills.

Several talent management processes need to be in place on a strategic level in order ensure its success. Such processes/strategies include talent identification, recruitment & assessment, competency management, performance management, career development, learning management, compensation, succession planning etc.

Talent management has a number of benefits to offer such as employee engagement, retention, aligning to strategic goals in order to indentify the future leadership of the organization, increased productivity, culture of excellence and much more.


1. Yeung, R., (Nov 2004): Finders keepers, in: Accountancy, Vol. 134, No. 1335, pp. 42-43

2. Armstrong, M., (2001): A Handbook of Human Resource Management Practice, 8th edn, London & Sterling, Kogan Page

3. http://derekstockley.com.au/newsletters-05/020-talent-management.html