I’m kicking off with my thoughts on a Financial Times article (subscription required). It highlights the key challenges cited by CEOs, globally and by region, according to a survey of 1,020 respondents by the US-based Conference Board .
These findings should help focus minds on where HR competitive advantages will be won or lost as businesses look to their growth agendas.
How to retain ‘critical’ talent - number three in the list - is unsurprisingly back in the spotlight, given the signs of improved economic conditions. Attitudes towards critical talent are maturing. It’s better understood that having the right roles and a whole workforce approach to talent management are as important as focusing on star performers. Ways of working are becoming ever-more complex and ‘war for talent’-style approaches lack the sophistication needed today.
Turning to training and development: All the evidence points to the effort and resources dedicated to training and development having a high return on investment. This applies both in financial terms and improving employee engagement and productivity – so this is a rewarding focus area.
The last of the five planned approaches to addressing human capital challenges, ‘improving corporate brand and employee value propositions to attract talent’, reflects the fact that as the employment market becomes more competitive, organisations will find themselves having to work hard to attract talent. Focusing on having the right corporate brand and employee value proposition is seen as being a powerful asset in achieving this aim.
The HR function cannot assume a right to help the CEO with this human capital agenda, but I can’t remember a better opportunity for HR to play such a central role in steering businesses towards success.