Monday, April 19, 2010

Funding Cutbacks Curb Achievement

Some of the new barometers for Training and Development in 2010 are starting to show signs of improvement. It sounds like we can expect to see old times again for training and development shortly. But I still feel that businesses sense the pressure of the economy. In my travels, I have not heard that many companies have opened up their training budgets. The economy certainly plays a major part of the decision making process to fund employee training. Most companies have reduced their workforce while also reducing or eliminating resources that provide learning opportunities like meetings, courses, etc.

Funding these programs and realizing the fact that training and development can often makes the difference between companies who are the industry leaders and others who are on a lower tier of success.

What has all this reduction in training and learning opportunities done for your workforce? The 2009-2010 U.S. Strategic Rewards Survey reported that employee engagement levels for key personnel dropped almost 25% as a result of restructuring, and employee benefit cutbacks, including professional development and training, indicating a significant slump in employee morale and productivity!

In most of the companies, a reduction in the workforce usually elevates the workload of the remaining staff while adding stress and frustration to those having to put in the extra time. Companies are put in position where they must start focusing on their key employees and start developing a Talent Management process that will enable them to retain their top producers and hopefully develop their high potentials. It certainly is a vicious cycle that creates a revolving door to top talent when the economy comes back.

Are you prepared for the exodus?

Leadership in business today needs to focus on their current staff and analyze their talent needs for the future. Funding for training compared to losing a key employee to the competition is nominal. The same is true compared to losing a high potential staff member that will be needed in the future. It is important that companies realize that people are applying for a position that leads to a better future and they feel it is the company’s responsibility to provide the opportunity for a career. Talent management is key to the future of all businesses and the funding for people development should never take a backseat to anything else.

Richard Hohmann
Senior Consultant
Innovative Leadership Business Consultation
Phone: 609.390.2830

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Talent Development

We changed the name of the personnel department to Talent Management Group so now let’s change the term we now call Succession Planning to Talent Development Group or Talent Management Development. It is our job, at Innovative Leadership, that we wake companies up to the fact that there is a shortfall in the skills of our newly appointed managers or our hires with management potential.

Talent Management Development, as we now call Succession Planning, is an overall process that focuses on the commitment to productivity, performance, and passion with the overall effectiveness of the organization and peopled development as the defined outcome.

Let’s look at the facts:
• One in five C Level members are eligible for retirement right now
• Almost 50% of the US Government workforce is eligible to retire now
• 55% of today’s registered nurses can be expected to retire within three to fifteen years

The statistics coupled with the fact that a January 2006 study by Manpower finds that 44% of employers are experiencing difficulty today finding employees with the right skills. These facts along with the ever-changing demands of a highly competitive marketplace will not solve our problems or satisfy our needs. We need to focus on the development of people not the replacement of bodies. This is the only way a company will be able to sustain growth and be competitive.

Some of the tell tale signs for needing a Talent Development Process are:
• Workers complain that promotions are made unfairly
• The time it takes to fill positions is too long
• Company does not know when the key employees plan to depart
• Key employees leaving at a faster rate than the average performer

It is important that Talent Management and Development processes start now. Do not wait to start developing this process, START TODAY! Here are my highly recommend steps:

1. Create a vision and expectation from your leadership team regarding people development.
2. Develop competency models that will focus on the core skill set that will lead to the success of the individual and the effectiveness of the company.
3. Make sure that you have a Performance Management System in place that focuses on performance and development, not just one.
4. Implement a Performance Coaching or Mentoring Program to foster individual growth and development coupled with shared knowledge
5. Use a variety of assessment tools designed for individual and organizational development coupled with the use of competency and leadership modeling.
6. Implement the use of a Developmental Plan (or Achievement Plan as I like to call it) and incorporate it as the most important aspect of the Performance Appraisal Process.
7. Formalize a plan that uses quarterly developmental counseling sessions with the individual and their manager and his manager
8. Create a Talent Management Pool based on strengths or the individual and the potential of the individual.
9. Monitor the Talent Development Process to make sure the pool is growing or the flow of talent achieving higher positions and reaching their goals
10. Make Talent Management part of your annual Strategic Planning process with analysis and progress noted no less than semi-annually.

I really believe that our under-estimation of this Talent Management Process will be the downfall of many a small to mid-size company. Don’t over-look your need for talent and it’s the talent in the management and leadership positions that will make the difference.

Article written by Richard J. Hohmann Jr., Senior Business and Management Consultant for Innovative Leadership, a performance improvement company that integrates business consultation, training and development, and coaching with Leadership and Strategic/Forward Thinking to enhance organizational effectiveness and people development. Richard is a member of the Collaboration Team for Leadership Management International and a strategic partner with the accounting firm of Fitzpatrick, Bongiovanni, & Kelly, PC.For more information visit