The War For Talent

development of people Jun 02, 2023

Attracting and Retaining the Best Talent.

Last Sunday I read a fascinating article in the Sunday Times by Jamie Nimmo titled “The War for Talent”. 

It was a strange title and I am not sure who the combatants are. Companies in all industries need the best talent and the only way of getting them is through attraction. Maybe the war is between immoral tactics and moral tactics but in reality, it is between the old mindset and a new mindset.

The old mindset believes that pay is the ultimate weapon in a company's arsenal regarding recruitment. Yes, they also think about benefits and perks, but the old mindset thinks, “if I pay enough, people will do what I want them to”.

The new mindset has evolved from this old-fashioned command and control culture of paying more to get allegiance. They have learned that true allegiance is not bought but earned.

In reality, these two mindsets coexist in every organisation, which is the ‘war for talent’. The battles are for each new hire. Will money or something else get you the best new hire possible?

The question is, therefore, “How can you turn your organisation into a talent magnet?”

Work as we know it has a bad reputation for many. Just go to Glassdoor and read the employee reviews. Whilst there may be many different reasons for this poor reputation, at a fundamental level, people are disengaged at work because of the conditions of work. They impede the natural human values that work should fulfil. We call these values the "Natural Law of People".

If the conditions at work call forth the four elements of Participation, Contribution,Making a difference and Appreciation, extraordinary results are produced.

Pay is part of the process, yet genuine appreciation has more power. Appreciation and "fair" remuneration almost guarantee participation, contribution, retention and, importantly, attraction. 

BUT, if the organisation's purpose no longer matches the purpose of the contributor’s desire to make a difference, "watch out"! When the influence of a shared purpose is absent, that absence rapidly diminishes the desire to contribute or stay.

The questions organisations of all sizes must answer are what they believe “fair remuneration” looks like and “how do we organise for the values of the Natural Law of People!”

In our new book,  Michael McMaster and I set out the fundamental ideas for designing an organisation so that the Natural Law of People flourishes. It is the fastest and most effective way to increase performance and return on capital invested. 

And with the fallout from the pandemic causing questions about workers' performance, working from home, engagement and the lack of talent, understanding how the Natural law of people works is now vital.

Businesses need to establish the right conditions for their people to make their best contribution - to enable The Natural Law of People.

Participate refers to playing the game. That is, being bound by rules of the game, sharing intention and measuring your performance compared to others. It is about participating in the social interaction from which positive human connection emerges.

Contribute refers to your expression of your skills, talents, passions, energy and knowledge. Contribution is voluntarily given and can be counted on by others. Your unique contribution is how you combine your knowledge and the information available to you into intelligence that you can share.

Make a difference refers to having a goal (or goals) larger than yourself, which extends your boundaries of behaviour. It refers to recognising that this is a social activity that benefits you and others. The greatest contribution in this area is the social improvement in the condition of others.

Appreciate refers to you and others in relationship to each other. To express appreciation in real ways creates the satisfaction of being recognised for what you do—actually for who you are. Expressions of appreciation themselves contribute to a mood for more. There is no limit to who one can be appreciative of—there is no specific direction of travel for appreciation; it has no hierarchy. There is only the authentic expression of someone who is looking, seeing, caring and contributing.

Our new book was published in February and is available on Amazon here: The Power of Management


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