Talent management Talent management

Many organisations focus on financial compensation as a sole or main motivator. Geoff Spratt, CEO of Human Minds, explains how talent management is more likely to retain performers and ensure business success.

There isn’t a company in the world that doesn’t want to be successful and, once there, the priority is to remain successful. From the people perspective of the business, that’s as much about retaining the talent within the organisation as it is attracting and hiring talent from outside. Those individuals who constitute the upper quartile of top performers within the organisation are critical to maintaining that success and, subsequently, contribute to an ever increasing pressure on the organisation to ensure that they are retained.

Retention of talent within an organisation is multi faceted and many organisations fail to recognise this – focusing on financial compensation as a sole or main contributor to why individuals choose to leave or stay. This is rarely the case.

Successful retention strategies are ones which are able to identify the components of employee satisfaction and engagement from all angles and ensure that they are addressed.

The stakes of attrition within a business are high. In addition to the replacement and hiring costs of seeking new employees, losing talent from the organisation begins to erode expertise. Businesses and organisations who lead the pack understand the need to address this.

Following some key principles will help retain talent:

• Ensure that you have a performance management process that objectively measures employee performance. Recognising the top performers is key to identifying your best talent, giving you the opportunity to follow up with programmes for coaching and mentoring these individuals to assist in their development. Likewise, it tells your employees that you take performance seriously and recognise the difference between those who perform well and those who do not.

• Remember competencies – the softer side of performance measurement, looking at how things are achieved as opposed to just what is achieved. This really helps to identify individuals that live the core values of the organisation.

• Targeted training is essential in closing the skills gap and providing the niche development opportunities that the business needs.

• More people leave a business as a result of some professional relationship issue. Ensure that your organisation has the mechanics to deal with this – grievance procedures are one route to addressing issues as well as identifying the areas where problems occur.

• Make sure that the mission statement and values are not confined to the meeting room or reception wall. The message they deliver should be enough to fire up the enthusiasm of your people and provide them an organisation that has a strong positive cultural identity.

• Succession planning processes and transparent opportunities go hand in hand with a robust performance management system. These highlight potential opportunities for those who have the skills, abilities and attitude to take the organisation to the next level.

• Nobody wants to compromise a comfortable work-life balance in the long term. Ensure that your working practices reflect the opportunity for your employees to create this balance, and make any violation of this an exception to the rule.

Geoff Spratt, CEO, Human Minds

• Finally, maximise the opportunity of employee recognition. The process should be fair, transparent and open to all, reflecting contributions from top performers and corporate value exhibitors that go that extra mile.

A recent statistic from an employment and salary trends survey conducted by Gulf Talent indicates that there are currently more expatriate employees that want to remain in the UAE than there are GCC-based expatriates who want to relocate here. That in itself should switch on the light for organisations to start looking at their retention practices, to ensure that this ratio stays this way, and makes organisations less dependent on bringing in external talent.


A member of CIPD and an MA HRM graduate, Geoff Spratt has made developing people and organisations his quest in life, and states: “I just kind of fell into HR, and couldn’t find the exit!” From operational HR, through to strategic HR in a multinational role, Geoff now applies his talents as CEO for Human Minds.

Rushika Bhatia Editor

Rushika Bhatia is one of the region’s leading commentators on business and current affairs issues. She is the Editor of SME Advisor magazine - the flagship title of CPI Business. She is passionate about infographics – with special emphasis on data, research and statistics. Rushika has a Bachelor’s Degree from Indiana University, USA and is also CIMA qualified.

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