Engaging with leaders and directors of SMEs, I constantly hear that they are looking to hire the right people but are finding this a really difficult thing to do. This seems to be a major pain point for most companies. Retention is the next pain point.

When I ask these very same people, if there is a system in place within their organisation for talent management and talent retention, I am not surprised anymore when I am asked what do I mean "talent management” and “talent retention”. I am also frequently told that “We don’t have the budget for that”

What is missing I believe is the recognition that Talent Management and Talent Retention are two key strategic initiatives of successful organisations. First let us define Talent Management and Talent Retention.

CIPD - Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development – UK, defines Talent Management as

“the systematic attraction, identification, development, engagement, retention and deployment of those individuals who are of particular value to an organisation, either in view of their ‘high potential’ for the future or because they are fulfilling business/operation-critical roles.”

CIPD also defines Talent as

“those individuals who can make a difference to organisational performance, either through their immediate contribution or, in the longer term, by demonstrating highest levels of potential.”

To us Talent Retention is defined as
“the systematic application of remuneration strategies coupled with the appropriate development culture to ensure that talent continue to contribute to the success or the organisation.”

Here are 8 signs to help you decide that you need to invest in Talent Management and Talent Retention.

1. Certain employees are doing multiple roles while others are not being utilised.

This is a clear sign that the team has outgrown it’s initial structure and that there has been little thought to managing performance or to building teams that functional and goal specific. This could also point to the lack of training or skills development amongst members of the team so tasks can be distributed.

2. Your employees are spending an inordinate amount of time getting tasks done.

There are a number of reasons for this including the team does not have the correct equipment or resources to complete the job efficiently. Team members in a situation where they lacking in the appropriate skills, delivery deadlines and targets, proper supervision and being in a state of uncertainty are amongst the other reasons for this situation.

3.There is a high employee turnover rate.

Given that most employees take between three to six months to fully deliver to their potential any loss of staff within this six month period is a net loss to the company. Depending on the industry and the real cost of each employee to the company in six months, a fresh graduate could cost the company as much as RM 120,000.00 in terms opportunity cost. These hidden numbers are not obvious to most business owners.

4. The company is constantly making hiring mistakes.

Often when a company finds itself in this position, an intervention is required. Management needs to relook at its Operating Plan and then drill down to understand if the skills requirements are correct, the job description matches the requirements, the interviewing processes a comprehensive enough to get the right employee hired.

5.Your employees do not seem to be motivated or engaged.

While most people want to do a good job and will work hard if given the appropriate support, tools and direction, these very same people will start to disengage without if the above is not provided. Regular communication of company plans and directions is one of a few ways to address engagement challenges. Line managers have a considerable impact on the

6. Business performance is inconsistent.

While all businesses go through high and low sales periods, team participation and delivery significantly effects total output and delivery. Teams that are highly trained, equipped and motivated consistently deliver above and beyond regular teams.

Investing in Talent Management and Retention in a world where there seems to be a shortage of truly talented team members is necessary for an organisation, especially one that wishes to continue to grow and thrive.

By Rajesh Wadhwani – Paradime Solutions Sdn. Bhd.

Rajesh Dilip Wadhwani is a Technologist, Entrepreneur, Problem Solver, Certified NLP Practitioner and Facilitator with over 18 years experience in Building High Performance Teams, Business Management, Change Management and Process Enhancement. His career spans Line Management, General Management and Directorships.

A passion for Process Improvement and People Development, coupled with a BSc. in Computing Science and a MBA, has allowed Rajesh to travel the globe working on Global Projects in cross-functional leadership functions and cross-cultural environments. Rajesh is constantly looking at the best way to get things done while allowing the people involved to get the most out of their experience.

Rajesh is a certified Trainer, accredited by the Malaysian Human Resource Development Corporation and by the Singapore Workforce Development Agency through the Advanced Certificate in Training & Development (ACTA). He is a Certified NLP Practitioner and is also certified to Train the Trainer (TTT).