Understanding the Value of Talent Management

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“People are our greatest asset.”

This phrase appears frequently in press conference statements to the media from high level executives and in motivational speeches directed at the business community. But what does this well intentioned, feel-good statement actually mean when put into practice in the workplace?

One key factor in creating a work environment reflective of this mindset is proper management of the talent base at your organization. A recent survey of 102 Northeast Ohio organizations on this topic found that just under two-thirds of respondents (63%) do not have an official definition of “top or key talent” at their organization.

Despite an apparent lack of formalized definitions, particularly among smaller organizations (under 200 employees), the same percent of this sample (63%) indicate that they have identified individuals as top or key talent within their organization. Although these two pieces of data are somewhat contradictory at first glance, what is clear from the survey is that a solid majority of participating organizations understand that they do have a group of extraordinary employees at the top of their talent pool.

This assertion is further underscored by about half of all participants who were able to go one step further and articulate what competencies or characteristics are used at their organization to identify employees as top or key talent. Interestingly, more general characteristics such as leadership (37%), innovation and creativity (31%), and communication and teamwork (29%) fill the top three slots for identification of top or key talent, while more traditional, results oriented metrics such as overall performance and job expertise or skills were slightly less common, both at 27%.

In general, manufacturers appear to be less focused on leadership and employee development skills and more focused on overall performance than non-manufacturers and non-profits. For example, the most common characteristic, leadership (37%), is reported by only 27% of manufacturers, but by 50% and 40% of non-manufacturers and non-profits, respectively. However, overall performance is used by 42% of manufacturers- well over the 27% average.

View ERC's Talent Management Survey Results

This report summarizes the results of ERC’s survey of organizations in Northeast Ohio on practices related to talent management including employee engagement, defining & retaining top/key talent, succession planning, and training & development.

View the Results

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