- a performance-oriented culture,
- low turnover (particularly in premium employee groups),
- high levels of employee satisfaction,
- a cadre of qualified replacements,
- effective investment
- in employee compensation and development, and
- the use of institutional competencies (success factors) in employee selection and performance evaluation processes.
The infrastructure of human resources systems and processes for the failed organizations
was typically an incoherent mosaic of unconnected, incomplete, missing, and inconsistent assessment, planning and development tools, and methods.
This meant that performance appraisal, assessment of potential, competency evaluation, career planning, replacement planning, development and training, compensation, and selection (the core elements of human resources management) were unlinked and largely irreconcilable. Additionally, the return on the cost of implementing these separate and distinct programs was low, time expenditure was high, credibility was low, and employee dissatisfaction was pervasive.
Additional finding indicated that, there was no commonly acknowledged, espoused, and/or utilized approach for identifying, assessing, and developing a cadre of high-talent people for meeting an organization’s current and future needs. Had the failed companies recognized the importance of the three success drivers, there still would be the issue of the availability of valid human resources processes to power them to excellence.
To optimize an organization’s ability to achieve sustained excellence, we must recognize the need for proactive talent management and have a systematic way of accomplishing the activity.
The successful organizations focused on proactively and systematically managing their human resources along these lines. The organizations that failed took a more casual, traditional approach. Successful companies either articulate or intuitively focus on three outcomes.
1. The identification, selection, development, and retention of Superkeepers.
Superkeepers are a very small group of individuals who have demonstrated superior accomplishments, have inspired others to attain superior accomplishments, and who embody the core competencies and values of the organization. Their loss or absence severely retards
organization growth because of their disproportionately powerful impact on current and future organization performance. Bill Gates once said, “Take our twenty best people away from us and I can tell you that Microsoft would be an unimportant company.”
2. The identification and development of high-quality replacements for a
small number of positions designated as key to current and future
organization success. Gaps in replacement activity for key positions are highly disruptive, costly, and distracting to the organization.
3. The classification of and investment in each employee based on his/her
actual and/or potential for adding value to the organization. The employee groups are Superkeepers, those employees who greatly exceed expectations; Keepers, those employees who exceed organization expectations; Solid Citizens, those employees who meet organization expectations; and Misfits, those employees who are below organization
expectations. Poor allocation of compensation and training and development resources can lead to unwanted turnover and morale and performance problems, particularly in Superkeeper and Keeper groups.
The talent management process will fuel organization excellence by:
1. Identifying and creating a set of career paths, development, and reward plans for Superkeepers. This will ensure that high-quality role models will enable the organization to achieve and maintain superiority.
2. Identifying key positions and ensuring that associated voids are immediately addressed and that the quality of replacements is affirmed. This will ensure that organization continuity is not disrupted because of the loss of any individual.
3. Segmenting the talent pool into each investment category (Superkeeper, Keeper, Solid Citizen, and Misfit) and managing the investment in each category appropriately.
Once an organization commits to excellence through the three outcomes stated above, it will need a carefully constructed human resources process that links together the core elements of human resources planning (the dots) and then joins them to strategies, policies, and action plans. Additionally, the process must be easily understood, credible, cost-effective, and time-efficient.