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Talent Management & Employee Retention MU0008 Set-1

Talent Management & Employee Retention MU0008 Set-1

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Published by: Sudha Amit Thakur on Oct 29, 2010
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Master of Business Administration-MBA Semester IV Subject Code – MU0008 Talent Management and Employee Retention
Assignment Set- 1
Question1: Explain the talent Management imperative Answer 1: Competent businesses are adept at hiring and firing workers. Great businesses however are skilled at developing and deploying talent in ways that continuously grow their experience, stretch their abilities and enable their achievements. Creating work environments that promote people agility across jobs and organizational boundaries is the next imperative for companies seeking competitive advantage through their talent. It is surprising how few companies develop and move their talent around the organization. They know how to recruit stars, fire failures and replace leavers – but few seem to know how to provide one of the most important factors in retaining talent – opportunities to achieve, move and grow – within the company. Ever hire a star only to see them leave in frustration 9-18 months later because they felt stuck? Or experience shock when an outstanding performer leaves your company after 5 years because they were ‘too valuable’ in their current job to be allowed to move to a different position or department? So instead, they moved to a different company. There are many organizational and cultural reasons why companies constrain talent. Performance obsessed managers are often reluctant to give up the people resources they feel are needed to achieve ever more challengingly goals and performance objectives. This short sighted behavior is reinforced by management and incentive systems that reward business results but not development of people. HR and line managers often lack the tools and information to understand and manage the supply and demand of people and skills dynamically. Thus they are likely to be slow and reactive in responding to shifts in skill requirements and opportunities to grow new competencies. They may also be prone to rely on traditional hiring and firing processes as a means of matching skills demand and supply rather than more complex retraining and redeployment of existing resources. Some leading edge companies however are beginning to tackle the talent agility challenge. For example, in “Cisco Systems: Developing a Human Capital Strategy”, California Management Review, Winter 2005, http://www.haas.berkeley.edu/News/cmr/contents.html, Jennifer Chatman, Charles O’Reilly and Victoria Chang describe how this Silicon Valley legend has refocused its approach to talent from external acquisition to internal development and deployment. For years Cisco was the poster child for how to identify, attract and hire talent. But beneath the surface, it was buying talent

Sudha Yadav - MBA-IV (HRD) 510920557

through acquisition and keeping it through high-priced equity stakes distributed to employees. Not much talent management acumen was required. But when the company’s marketplace and stock price tanked, Cisco had to learn a different set of skills for attracting and keeping talent. It also realized that it needed to better utilize the talent it already had. According to CEO John Chambers, “We made progress in developing employees, but in our industry, I want the majority of us not to be in the same job – or even the same function – three to five years from now. I want us to create an environment of continuous learning and challenge, that will allow us to move from one business unit to another in engineering, or from sales to customer advocacy, or from financial to IT.” Companies like Cisco that compete in dynamic industries, where technologies, products and markets are in a continuous state of change must learn how to develop and redeploy their talent in an agile manner. The company recast its Pathfinder software application originally developed to support external recruiting and used it to create an internal job matching system. Pathfinder’s corresponding online database, I-Profiler, allows employees to voluntarily enter their resumes for consideration. The profiles capture employees’ work and educational experience, skills, and technical qualifications and detail their career aspirations for development discussions with their managers. Line managers have access to each of their employees’ profiles to assess existing skills on their teams. But these moves represented only part of the solution. The company also chartered Cisco University to lead a company-wide cross-functional effort to create a ‘development culture’ within the organization. The university does not operate as a centralized place to go for learning, but as a set of distributed capabilities for everyone to tap across the organization. This learning and development capability is built upon the ‘3E Model’: -Experience through assignments, on-the-job learning, and traditional learning -Exposure developed through on-line learning, mentoring, shadowing, periodic forums and talent reviews -Education through a series of customized and focused programs that include significant teaching and involvement of senior Cisco executives as well as outside faculty The impetus for shifting Cisco’s talent management strategy came from the top of the organization. John Chambers asked in a company meeting prior to starting these initiatives, “How many people think we are good at moving resources (people) and retraining? (No hands were raised). It’s not even in our vocabulary. But we’ve got to get dramatically better at moving resources around the company. Our top leadership….I keep moving them around. We’ve got to learn how to retrain people effectively as a part of our culture, to keep up with the market transitions.” This is good advice for any

Sudha Yadav - MBA-IV (HRD) 510920557

company. How good is your organization at moving and retraining staff to anticipate and respond to changes in your business? Not very good you say? If so, it’s time for a change. Because companies that find ways to grow and move their talent within their organizational boundaries will not only substantially reduce recruiting and termination costs but will better attract and keep top talent as well. Indeed, those companies that can master talent agility will have a leg up on their competition in both the quality of their people and their performance. Question 2: Describe Pre -Employment testing Answer 2: Employers often use tests and other selection procedures to screen applicants for hire. The types of tests and selection procedures utilized include cognitive tests, personality tests, medical examinations, credit checks, and background checks. Companies can legally use these tests, as long as they don't use to them to discriminate based on race, color, sex, national origin, religion, disability, or age (40 or older). Employment tests must be validated for the jobs they are being used to hire for and for the purposes for which they are being used. Online Pre-Employment Tests Depending on the type of test, employment testing can be conducted online or in the employer's office. Online employment tests are often used for preemployment testing and assessment. Utilizing online testing eliminates the need for the candidate to visit the company's office or for the company to have to administer the test. Types of Employment Tests Personality Tests Personality tests assess the degree to which a person has certain traits or dispositions or predict the likelihood that a person will engage in certain conduct. Talent Assessment Tests Talent assessments, also called pre-employment tests or career tests, are used to help an employer identify candidates that will be a good fit for jobs. Talent assessments help predict a new hire’s performance and retainability. Pre-Employment Physical Exams Employers may require a pre-employment physical examination to determine the suitability of an individual for a job. Drug Tests There are several types of drugs tests that candidates for employment may

Sudha Yadav - MBA-IV (HRD) 510920557

be asked to take. The types of drug tests which show the presence of drugs or alcohol include urine drug screen, hair drug or alcohol testing, saliva drug screen, and sweat drug screen. Cognitive Tests Cognitive tests measure a candidate's reasoning, memory, perceptual speed and accuracy, and skills in arithmetic and reading comprehension, as well as knowledge of a particular function or job. Emotional Intelligence Testing Emotional intelligence (EI) is the ability of an individual to understand his or her own emotions and the emotions of others. Testing job applicants for their emotional intelligence (in the form of psychological-based tests) is a growing employment trend. Physical Ability Tests Physical ability tests measure the physical ability of an applicant to perform a particular task or the strength of specific muscle groups, as well as strength and stamina in general. Sample Job Tasks Sample job tasks, including performance tests, simulations, work samples, and realistic job previews, assess a candidate's performance and aptitude on particular tasks. Background and Credit Checks Criminal background checks provide information on arrest and conviction history. Credit checks provide information on credit and financial history. English Proficiency Tests English proficiency tests determine the candidate's English fluency. Lie Detector Tests The Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA) prohibits most private employers from using lie detector tests, either for pre-employment screening or during the course of employment. 1. Manager Retention Practices Our research consistently validated the reality that the manager plays a significant role in influencing the employee's commitment level and retention. There are a number of manager retention practices which will increase the probability that an employee will remain committed to an organization over time. These retention practices represent the manager's actual behaviors on the job. This often has little to do with the amount of classroom training they have received. Furthermore, the best retention practices are not the same as the standard menu for good organizational management. Most organizations

Sudha Yadav - MBA-IV (HRD) 510920557

ask their managers to place productivity as the highest priority, underscored by the pressures to fulfill "our obligations to our investors." Good retention practices focus not only on what the employee is contributing to the company, but also focus on how the manager can create a climate so that the employee is retained and committed on a long term basis. While enlightened leaders balance the needs of the organization with the needs of the employee, the truth is that these leaders are rare. Though managers play a very crucial role in retention, they do not control all of the factors that can affect attrition. Therefore, the second component represents the organization's responsibility in the retention equation. 2. Organizational Retention Systems There are a number of organizational systems and processes that influence retention. Some of them are evident, such as the equity of pay scales. Other systems are less obvious, and their impact on retention is often unrecognized. For example, there is evidence that an organization's recruiting systems and processes can significantly impact retention ratios. These systems support the Manager Retention Practices, but they also increase the likelihood that employees are committed on a long term basis and are performing at their best. 3. Measurement and Accountability Closely linked to the other components, this component ensures that retention becomes an on-going priority. Many organizations do not even know what their attrition rates are. And those that do often lack enough data to pinpoint where the problem is most severe, or to uncover the specific causes of attrition. For example, those organizations that measure attrition sometimes do not track it by length of service. The tenure patterns of the departing employees can reveal valuable information concerning the potential causes for attrition. Additionally, many organizations do not track attrition by occupational group other than by "manager" or "no manager." This simple segmentation is often a crude one that does not provide the organization the refined information it needs

Question 3: Apex is a firm facing high attrition rate. The Management is highly concerned about the attrition. They are investing on the candidates by training them and after some time employees are leaving the organization. There are costs associated with hiring besides talent crunch. Mr. Ravi the HR Manager has given the responsibility to design strategies for retention. Suggest few components and strategies to achieve retention Answer 3: The implications for employers should be clear. It is now more important than ever to retain the team members an organization currently has and to choose the right team members when hiring decisions are made. The following is a short list of useful tips and hints to help increase

Sudha Yadav - MBA-IV (HRD) 510920557

levels of employee retention in your organization. Put them to work for you!  Get the right people on the bus - in his book, Good to Great, Jim Collins talks about the importance of having the right talent on the organizational bus. Hiring individuals who are truly fit to succeed in the position for hire will dramatically increase the chances of that employee being satisfied with his or her work and remaining with the company for an extended period of time. By far, we have found this to be the biggest predictor of future employee retention.  Communication, communication, communication - communication has become so heavily stressed in the workplace that it almost seems cliche. However communication couldn't be more important in the effort to retain employees. Be sure that team members know their roles, job description, and responsibilities within the organization. Communicate any new company policies or initiatives to all employees to be sure that everyone is on the same page. Nobody wants to feel that they are being left out of the loop.  Include employees in decision making - it is incredibly important to include team members in the decision making process, especially when decisions will effect an individual's department or work team. This can help to create a culture of employee involvement and will generate new ideas and perspectives that top management might never have thought of.  Allow team members to share their knowledge with others - the highest percentage of information retention occurs when one shares that information with others. Having team members share what they have learned at a recent conference or training workshop will not only increase the amount of information they will retain, but also lets a team member know that he is a valuable member of the organization. Facilitating knowledge sharing through an employee mentoring program can be equally beneficial for the team member being mentored as well as the mentor.  Shorten the feedback loop - do not wait for an annual performance evaluation to come due to give feedback on how an employee is performing. Most team members enjoy frequent feedback about how they are performing. Shortening the feedback loop will help to keep performance levels high and will reinforce positive behavior. Feedback does not necessarily need to be scheduled or highly structured; simply stopping by a team member's desk and letting them know they are doing a good job on a current project can do wonders for morale and help to increase retention.  Offer a competitive compensation package - any team member wants to feel that he or she is being paid appropriately and fairly for the work he or she does. Be sure to research what other companies and organizations are offering in terms of salary and benefits. It is also important to research what the regional and national compensation averages are for that particular

Sudha Yadav - MBA-IV (HRD) 510920557

position. You can be sure that if your compensation package is not competitive, team members will find this out and look for employers who are willing to offer more competitive compensation packages.  Balance work and personal life - family is incredibly important to team members. When work begins to put a significant strain on one's family no amount of money will keep an employee around. Stress the importance of balancing work and one's personal life. Small gestures such as allowing a team member to take an extended lunch once a week to watch his son's baseball game will likely be repaid with loyalty and extended employment with an organization.  Provide opportunities for growth and development - offer opportunities for team members to acquire new skills and knowledge useful to the organization. If an employee appears to be bored or burned out in a current position offer to train this individual in another facet of the organization where he or she would be a good fit. Nobody wants to feel stuck in their position will no possibility for advancement or new opportunities.  Recognize team members for their hard work and let them know they are appreciated - this can be one of the single greatest factors affecting employee retention. Everybody, in all levels of an organization, wants to know that their efforts are appreciated and recognized. This can be as simple or as extravagant as a supervisor may desire. Often time a short e-mail or quickly stopping by a team member's desk and saying "thanks" can do wonder for morale. Other options might include a mention in the company newsletter for outstanding performance or gift certificates to a restaurant or movie theatre - the possibilities are endless.  Clearly define what is expected of team members - nothing can be more frustrating or discouraging for an employee than the lack of a clear understanding of what is expected of him on the job. In a performance driven workplace a lack of clarity regarding job duties and expectations can cause fear and anxiety among employees who are unclear of what is expected of them. Even worse outright anger can occur when a team member receives a negative performance evaluation based on expectations and job duties that he or she was unaware of or unclear about.  The quality of supervision and mentorship - it has been said so often that it is almost cliche, but people leave people, not their jobs. Supervisors play the largest role in a team member's development and ultimate success within an organization. All employees want to have supervisors who are respectful, courteous, and friendly - that is a given. But more importantly team members want supervisors who set clear performance expectations, deliver timely feedback on performance, live up to their word and promises, and provide an environment where the employee can grow and succeed. Failure by supervisors and management to provide this can cause an employee to start looking for greener pastures.

Sudha Yadav - MBA-IV (HRD) 510920557

 Fair and equitable treatment of all employees - one of the surest ways to create animosity and resentment in an organization is to allow favoritism and preferential treatment of individual team members. The socalled "good ole' boys club" can create a noxious organization culture and foster resentment among team members. This culture will only get worse and can create a devastating exodus of valued team members. Be sure to treat all employees equally and avoid favoritism at all costs.

Sudha Yadav - MBA-IV (HRD) 510920557

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