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Talent: Ticking Or Sick?

May 19, 2009

How effectively is your organization attracting and retaining talent? What are some of the critical success factors, especially with regard to staff in shared service centers or outsourced service providers?

Last week I attended the Shared Services & Outsourcing Network Conference in Budapest and this was a topic addressed by one of the presenters. He tackled the subject by asking : “What makes people tick? And what makes them sick?”

I found the presentation interesting not only because of the areas he highlighted, but more specifically because I wanted to test their alignment with our thinking at IACCM as we work with corporate members to assist in their talent development and retention.

What Makes Them Sick?

When you look at the average hires for shared services and outsourced service centers, approximately 80% are college graduates and a majority are tri-lingual. So they are the type of people who need to be stretched. Things that ‘make them sick’ are:

  1. Boring and repetitive job content.
  2. Lack of career development opportunities.
  3. Frustrated aspirations to raise their skills.
  4. Gaps between brand image and reality.

These highly qualified individuals have aspirations and want to be connected to an organization in which they feel pride.  Work / life balance is important – in part because free time is time to invest in further training and skill development. Companies must also meet their promises – to employees, customers, suppliers and society at large, to generate  a sense of pride and ownership.

What Makes Them Tick?

  1. An inclusive and stretching culture that makes each individual feel that they have the chance to influence their environment and the company.
  2. A distinctive working environment.
  3. Visible commitment to the attraction and development of talent.

At a more specific level, the following were identified as ‘must-haves’ for talent attraction and retention:

  • Documented capability framework
  • Robust method for gap analysis
  • Clear methods and indicators to spot talent
  • Differentiated approaches that appeal to talent
  • Multiple career path options that allow individual growth
  • A commonly used ‘retention toolkit’ that supports Reward, Recognize, Engage

One of the key areas is to ensure that job role requirements are visible so that people can plan to develop their career by understanding and filling identified gaps.

IACCM’s Contribution

So where does IACCM fit in all of this? Of course, as a professional association, there are limits to what we can provide. But there are some important contributions that we make, allowing management to focus on the more internal elements of their program. This doubtless explains the Association’s continued growth and the positive feedback to our training and development programs:

  • We are global. Our membership spans 106 countries and our programs are accessible anywhere in the world. They are also designed for a multi-national audience and respect cultural and business variations. They are based on the principle that good practices and good ideas have no boundaries.
  • Our credentials are also global. Individuals can see value in what we offer because it is transportable. They are benchmarked against a worldwide professional community and with that comes confidence and respect for them and their qualifications.
  • We offer on-line capability frameworks which enable comprehensive gap analysis. Our framework builds from globally recognized skill requirements and then benchmarks individuals against their team and against an external peer group. They receive personal development plans that are objective and which highlight both positive and negative gaps.
  • We provide inclusive training materials that generate an inter-active learning community. Training has always been best when it is collaborative. It is even better when it is multi-faceted. Students in the IACCM Managed Learning program are not only receiving, but they are also giving. By working as part of a multi-talented, variable experience group, everyone has something to contribute – ideas, questions, know-how. It allows students to feel they are indeed contributing to their environment and their company.
  • Our comprehensive, points-based assessments look holistically at individuals and their achievements. By creating a rounded picture of academic achievement, on the job performance and social / professional contribution, we support the identification and recognition of talent.

IACCM programs appear to be far ahead of competition. They are effective and they are low-cost. We are fortunate because we came of age at the same time as the new generation of workers and we use the technologies that excite them. We understand their world because we were created by it. And we are committed to making them tick!

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