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What makes a Successful corporation?

Corporate Human Resources Critical Challenges - Now and Beyond...

Today’s successful corporations, to remain on top of the competition, must dedicate itself to ensuring its future success by continuing to focus on its needs for senior management leadership talent and development of its human assets.

In a recent research study, the AMA found that many organizations do not spend enough energy or resources on the Human Resources challenges impacting their business to ensure their long-term viability.

Given the ongoing need for talent that organizations have to drive their business, organizations will need to be prepared for attrition in two key groups high-performers and those who will soon be eligible to retire. The reality for most organizations is that they simply do not have the internal bench strength of talent to achieve or sustain high-market performance.

The following HR challenges and issues need to be addressed to remain competitive in the market place:

1. Succession Planning at the Senior Level and Below

Succession Planning is the foundation of management continuity and ongoing corporate success. Many organizations just focus on top management positions, if that, with limited back-ups provided for these senior level positions, while little emphasis is given to the lower level managerial positions, or identified high potentials for these roles and the necessary competencies to fill these positions.

In addition, there is a limited assessment process in place to predict back-up success as well as the definitive interpersonal skills and personal behaviors required for these positions.

2. Leadership Development

Effective leadership development requires the company to identify the required competencies and key behaviors that support the corporate culture and long-term business strategy.

Initial individual assessment is essential plus development planning to ensure the correct learning experiences are in place to develop needed skills and correct identified gaps.

3. Knowledge Retention and Transfer

So many companies have no way of documenting the knowledge, skills experiences or abilities of their key personnel to transfer to others upon leaving the company for greener pastures or upon retirement.

This pragmatic knowledge and information can be such a powerful asset and tool if it is used to develop others and then to others down the line.

4. Coaching and Mentoring

Coaching and Mentoring is an effective means of improving employee morale, increasing productivity and helping the employee do a better job. For many companies they feel they can’t take the time to do this.

Coaching and Mentoring is a basic management function. The manager who has the most direct contact with employee, is responsible for directing and controlling the employee. Coaching and Mentoring helps better understand the employee. The role of a manager is to get things done through his employees and to develop the employee to their fullest potential.

Coaching and Mentoring managers and employees is an essential process for any successful high performing company in the market place. So get organized to make it happen in an efficient and effective way!

5. Measuring and Rewarding Employee's Proper Behavior

Many organizations don’t make explicit the behaviors that are required of their employees to support its culture, which causes confusion. Most of these are unspoken nor is feedback ever provided to the employee in terms of what is appropriate or not.

Proper behavior is taken for granted and never rewarded. As a starting point reviewing the company’s values and mission statements can identify behaviors.

6. Dealing with and Managing Organization Change

All organizations must deal with change in the market place however, many companies don’t know how to plan and organize for it.

Managers must be involved in the corporate change strategy as well as educated in the change management process so that they can coach and communicate to their employees what organization changes need to take place.

7. Measuring and Rewarding Organization Results

Metrics is the name of business today, be it an ROA or ROI on the total business, measuring the value of human resources, overall market share etc. It is important to benchmark where you are today in critical business areas so that you can track progress and make improvement. In addition you must reward those managers and employees who enhance operations as well as the bottom line.

8. Identifying Talent Shortages in Critical Job Areas

Manpower planning and forecasting is the bedrock of ensuring the long-term viability of the business. More attention must be focused on identifying the critical position holes (both managerial and technical) that will need to be filed over at least a 3-5 year period. These estimates must be based on corporate strategic business plan and overall costs estimated with them.

9. Strengthening Internal Communications

Many companies don’t communicate effectively or frequently with their employee workforce leaving them in dark about the overall business strategy and financial results needed or achieved.

Employees need to know the challenges being faced by the company by awareness sessions presented by management including discussion and feedback with suggestions for improvement.

Successful organizations have “open communications” policies and believe employee feedback is like a “gift and present” and must be encouraged and supported by its managers at all levels

Organizations to Sustain Market Performance Must:

  • Build deeper and broader pools of highly targeted talent

Only 27% of top companies have competent successors ready to fill executive-level roles and even fewer (18%) are prepared with successor candidates for critical roles that extend beyond the executive level down into the company.

  • Improve leadership development skills with a focus on better interactions and communications.

Thirty-four percent of top companies indicate they are effective at developing leaders, but are getting worse at it and don’t consistently make it happen.

  • Fully understand what supports the organization's strategy and culture and then reward it.

Thirty-four percent of top companies are effective at measuring and rewarding results but only 25% are effective at doing the same with behaviors. The proper behaviors of executives and middle managers have a very high correlation to market performance.

  • Contrast this to the struggle that lower-performing organizations, that continue to be paralyzed by inability to execute strategy is due to the following reasons:

  • The total lack of alignment among strategy, goals, supply and demands of the employee workforce.

Only 12% of these companies indicate effectiveness at strategy execution. Only 8% of these lower performers are effective at internal communications.

  • The general lack of organizational flexibility and adaptability that results from a combination of insufficient and/or ineffective longer-term planning.

Only 13% of low-performing companies indicate they are effective at strategic workforce planning.

  • Leaders who are unwilling or unable to adapt to the changing needs of the workforce and markets they serve.

A mere 11% of these companies indicate effectiveness in leadership development.

Effective Talent Management – The Name of the Game is to Ensure Corporate Success

Summary - Ensuring Sustainability For The Long-Term

  • Never lose sight of what your organization needs in order to grow and sustain success in the longer term.

  • Build strong pipelines of talent that target critical roles, skills, and competencies.

  • Ensure knowledge retention and transfer around those roles, skills, and competencies.

  • Make sure senior management has more frequent and purposeful awareness interaction and communication sessions with employees.

  • Measure and reward desired behaviors and results.

About the Expert

Dr. Karl Larson brings to his clients over 40 years of professional experience from the fields of international consulting, corporate management, retained executive search, executive outplacement and higher education. For many years he owned and operated his own international consulting firm with offices in Houston, New York, Los Angeles, Manila, Singapore and Sydney. He has had extensive living periods while serving clients in the United Kingdom, France, Australia, Holland, the Philippines, the Balkans-Macedonia, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.

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