Successful organizations do not stop at attracting and retaining talented employees as part of their ingenious human resources management initiatives and organization development interventions.

In fact, attracting and retaining talent is just the beginning in their complex process of building and supporting a highly structured talent pipeline with overall effectiveness.

When we talk about managing talent, is important to differentiate the roles played by individuals in the different layers of the business structure. We could classify talent in five well defined categories in order to fully understand its scope and complexity:

Leadership Management (Senior Management)
Tactical Management (Business Strategists)
Operations Management (Business Group General Managers and/or Department Heads)
Relationship Management (Corporate Planning, Legal Compliance and HR/OD managers)
Front Line Management (Middle Managers and the employees they manage)

For these 5 well defined categories the following 7 principles guide each of them consistently:

*Sense of Purpose: When an individual joins an organization his or her main interest focuses on serving the purpose of that organization. (its vision and mission justifying its existence)

*Sense of Belonging: Every individual employed by an organization expects to find his or her place and become and integral part of the entire business structure. (A team player)

*Sense of Accomplishment: Considering that one of the conditions for a person to be hired by a company is to have completed many years of formal education and have mastered the necessary set of skills and competencies, which are relevant to their career path, we can safely say that employees at all levels are driven by accomplishing new levels of recognition.

*Sense of Expectancy: It is human nature to expect something we need and want in exchange for our labor, time and overall contributions. (Competitive compensation, benefits and more.)

*Sense of Value: Every individual is more or less aware of his or her self-worth, this could be assessed based on each individual personal and professional background, proven experience, relevant practical knowledge, mastery of functional skills and competencies and productivity.

*Sense of Progress: This is a very important aspect and probably the most underestimated principle by the majority of working environments. Companies wrongly believe that once they have found an employee that seems to be “a perfect fit” for any given position, they don’t have to do anything with that employee in terms of training and development, simply because they consider this employee to be a perfect match for that specific position and doesn’t need to move anywhere else within the organization. The fact is that every single employee would like to be challenged, given the proper and timely training and development support and the opportunity to further his or her professional career and experience personal growth in a continuous, systematic, consistent and effective manner.

*Sense of Security: This implies not only job security or the assurance of working in a safe environment, neither the assurance of having a stable income and essential benefits or the promise that the employer will stay in business for the long-term, but the confidence that the company will do not only things right but what is right for its employees. However, the million dollar question here is: How committed is the organization to its employees, and how the leadership of the company delivers that commitment?


1)When a business organization doesn’t have a well defined purpose that reflects in one hand a clear lack of high level leadership and management practices and in the other hand a lack of purpose from the part of the employees. After all, nobody wants to get involve with and embrace a risky enterprise. Therefore, a sense of purpose translates into a sense of direction.

2)When an organization doesn’t have a clear, consistent and effective inclusion policy employees feel that they don’t belong there. By enforcing diversity and inclusion the company can capitalize on its capital human resources. Therefore, the need to belong someplace translates into inclusion, pride and ultimately ownership. They own who they are, what they know and what they do. Companies don’t own employees -they own productivity. After all said and done, if employees no produce companies can’t survive and thrive.

3)Each individual regardless of his or her level of educational background, work history, set of marketable skill and competencies and subject matter knowledge and expertise have the same needs, wants, objectives and expectations anywhere in the world. They want to feel a sense of accomplishment every single day during their productive life cycle. We all know that if we are not accomplishing something at any given time then we are not doing the right thing or in other words, what we should be doing in order to accomplish something meaningful.

4)Usually companies expect a lot from their employees but in some cases there are not clear expectations neither written nor spoken, in both scenarios employees perceived these maladies as unrealistic expectations, which translates into lower expectations, tension and conflicts of interest for all parties involved. If a company expects 100% quality performance and productivity from its workforce then it should be prepare to meet employees’ expectations 100% too. Employees expect not only monetary compensation, they also expect respect, consideration, honesty, personal and professional growth opportunities within the company, recognition for their individual and collective accomplishments, participation, cooperation and collaboration in every aspect of the business.

5)When expectations are not met, neither companies nor employees enjoy a healthy and productive working relationship.
Organizations constantly struggle in their efforts to realistically measure their ROI, (Return on Investment), top management in collaboration with the human resources management function employ cutting age technologies and innovative business gurus to determine basically the contribution value of each employee. However, the value of an employee is usually determined by the leading companies in every industry or sometimes by responding to how much it will cost to hire and employee for a specific job. In both cases, the answer is always wrong, companies hardly know exactly how much are they getting for their investment in each person they employ.

Companies should focus more on human value and employee potential for development than anything else. After all, every company is unique and employees too, therefore, companies should assess and develop effective professional career paths in conjunction with each individual employee and continuously add value to that employee by providing alternative tools and venues for talent development. Using the reasoning of the computer: “What goes in…comes out“. Every employee should add value to their overall contributions and to themselves.

6)Employers and employees want to make qualitative and quantitative progress, when progress is made we could say that it has been a good and productive day, quarter or year. However, when progress is not tangible and significant, job satisfaction suffers, job turnover increases, performance is questionable and progress is insufficient.

Progress shouldn’t be measured just in terms of monetary rewards or certificates of achievement. Progress should be a significant, positive and meaningful change and improvement in the company’s cash flow and the employee’s personal and professional life. When employees move forward, companies move forward too. We have to stop thinking that companies should be solely concern about productivity and profitability, without the workforce contributions companies can’t exist, period. When companies contribute to the progress of their workforce then and only then they can say that they are meeting their corporate responsibility because they have a rich and healthy workforce sustaining their competitiveness in the marketplace. By creating a transparent balance between the companies’ progress objectives and expectations and the objectives and expectations of their workforce, both parties can build a strong mutually beneficial working relationship. A relationship that capitalizes in human resources rather than profitability alone. Let’s never forget that progress is an essential part of life!

7)When companies pay close attention to building and supporting safe, secure and functional working environments their employees feel naturally comfortable, protected, stimulated and ultimately productive and appreciated. Employers can reap the benefits of stating and enforcing the direction of the company by engaging all employees in the decision-making process. Thus ensuring that employees feel confident about the company‘s purpose, the senior management’s leadership and the individual and collective effort. In short, the sense of security begins and ends in the core of the organization. Confidence translates into trust.

Every company should incorporate these 7 essencial considerations into their senior leadership development program.

Author's Bio: 

Nelson Leon - Director of HRM and Organizational Development with AHRD in New York. He has more than 10 years of progressive experience in the Human Resources Management and Organizational Development function. He is also a subject matter expert in effective business communication, senior leadership development, diversitiy management, intercultural training, relocation preparation, language training programs, facilitation/coaching skills, curriculum design and delivery, talent development, succession planning, translation and website localization.