Archive for October, 2007

When satisfaction uplifts sales

YouGov have published research into employee engagement and linked it to financial performance (As published in Human Resource magazine). The research shows that companies surveyed with high levels of employee engagement (above 70%) showed improvements in OI of 19% during the following year. Those with a low engagement (Less than 70%) saw their OI fall by over 32%.

In the banking sector it was discovered that for every 10% uplift in satisfaction there was an increase in sales by 4% or 5m per bank for personal accounts. It was found that a high recognition culture translates onto the botton line.

With the current problems in the UK and US Banking secors and with banks such as UBS, Barclays, HSBC reviewing their employment strategies one must wonder how their engagement and satisfaction levels will be affected and how this will translate into sales?

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There’s a Worldwide shortage of Salespeople

Some interesting statistics emerged from the conference hosted by SumTotal Systems at BAFTA in London on 3rd October 2007. Among these were that research shows that there is a world demand for salespeople. The demand is also spread over all areas of business. The research confirms BRC’s findings that salespeople are amongst the most sought after employees and the ones, if successful, that tend to survive longest in a financial downturn.

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What is The Future in The War for Talent…

The article below is a synopsis of the Keynote address given by Stephen Harvard Davis to the SumTotal Systems Users Conference held at BAFTA, London 3rd October 2007

“People are NOT your most valuable asset…The right people are”

Let me share with you two comments from Government reports earlier this year:

“The most important resource over the next twenty years will be talent: Smart, sophisticated business people who are technologically literate, globally astute and operationally agile”
US State Dep’t Report

The second comment concluded a report by stating: “CEO’s that fail to make talent management, the aquisition, groth and retention a strategic imperative NOW could find themselves and their companies casualties of an increasingly competitive and global environment”
UK Leitch Review

We can understand the shortage of global talent by focussing on just one reason, amongst others, for a shortage and what I know as the CHINDIA phenomenon.

The working population in the UK is 38 million,
in India it’s 670 million.

If we focus on relative salaries:

US $34,870
UK $33,630
China $ 8,144
India $ 520 (2006)

We can then understand why the Indian share of the global outsourcing market, currently at $13billion will grow by 2010 to $30billion and why much of this growth will be in business consultancy.

The growth in China is is equally as impressive. Harvard University estimate that by 2008 it is highly likely that China will generate intellectual property on a par with developed countries and that by 2010 will exceed it. (Other countries such as Russia, Brazil and Argentina and creating their own economic powerhouses).

Harvard University also estimate that by 2010 there will be more English speakers in China (based upon competance and understanding that English speakers in the USA.

The one thing, however, that all of these economic blocks require is talent in order to suppliment their own and maintain their level of growth. As a result they are buying in talent, particularly management and sales talent from wherever it can be found. So in this war for talent we have to accept that talent knows how valuable it is and is adept at finding a job and a lifestyle it seeks.

So in this war we need a strategy:

That’s why I get asked so often
a) How do we attract top talent to our company?
b) How do we retain it? To develop a strategy we need to start with a definition of Top Talent. Thedefinition that BRC uses is: “The top ten percent of those available in terms of qualifications, experience, attitude and determination and ho are prepared to work for the rewards offered”

This means that top talent can exist at all levels of an organisation and that it is possible to have a business filled with top talent. The one thing, however, is to avoid all of your talent being concentrated in one area.

So when is talent “at risk”

Universally it’s when top talent feels that its employers:

  • Are not engaged with the talent
  • Aren’t working for their development
  • Are not appreciated
  • See no chance of promotion
  • employment doesn’t meet personal needs

But it’s specifically after organisational change or restructure, such as new management or an M&A that head-hunters and search companies will be contacting your top people.
BRC’s research has also identified that when a business loses one person who is top talent leaves then the risk of losing more increases by 50%.

So how can we retain our talent?

The starting point is to recognise that that talent is looking for more than a pay cheque and as a result won’t all be flying off to India and China. That said we can all agree that different types of talent will look for different things which is why talent can’t all be treated in the same way with a “one fix meets all” solution. This makes it difficult for HR but in the war for talent flexibility is going to be essential.

  • Have an audit of your talent’s needs and keep them up to date
  • Audit past talent to see what they say about you as an employer
  • Identify the cost of replacement (include opportunity costs)
  • Detail the benefits of working for your organisation
  • Manage the talent’s career and development effectively
  • Train managers in managing top talent
  • Monitor and reward line managers for retaining talent
  • Identify talent for promotion
  • Have a good internal and external “E-image” to attract talent

So what are the future trends in the war for talent?

  1. The CHINDIA factor and other economic blocks will mean that Top Talent will become even scarcer in the future
  2. Talent movement is likely to become increasingly global
  3. Companies will develop talent management strategies and those that don’t (no matter what their size) will lose out to their competitors
  4. Having a process to identify, develop and retain talent will be vital for success
  5. The organisation will need to share information on talent with HR, Line Managers, Trainers.
  6. Having a good internal and external “e-image” will be vital to attract and retain top people
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