11/4/10: Top Talent Development Posts this Week

November 4, 2010 by Wally Bock

Every week, I review blogs that cover talent development to find the very best talent development posts. This week, you’ll find pointers to pieces about challenging high performers, HR’s worst nightmares, dysfunctional characters at the talent review meeting, hanging on to your star employees, and hiring for attitude.

From Talented Apps: Do you challenge your high performer(s)?

“The other day, my son’s teacher mentioned that GATE (Gifted and Talented) students tend to perform better when they are challenged. When a child is a high-performer, the teacher must set the bar high. In fact, a challenging environment boosts their energy to excel further.”

Wally’s Comment: I have no science to support this, but I think that interesting, challenging work that results in lots of learning is the best thing you can give high performers to keep them happy, productive, and on board.

From Sean Conrad at Halogen Software: Retention and Workplace Zombies are HR’s Biggest Nightmares

“Halloween is right around the corner, so it’s a natural time to swap nightmare and horror stories. Each year, our team conducts a survey on HR’s Horror Stories, which looks at some of the scariest stories from folks in HR. The survey is accompanied this year by videos of horror stories from HR pros (including TLNT’s Lance Haun) that you don’t want to miss, as well as a Halloween costume contest which you can enter up until November 5th. The survey found that across the board, HR is most concerned with retention issues and the employee that scares them the most are Zombies, you know, the employee who shows up in body but checked out long ago!”

Wally’s Comment: I know that Halloween has come and gone, but you should read this post anyway. You’ll learn that HR people think the retention issue is really, really scary. And you’ll learn some other things, too.

From Great Leadership: 10 Dysfunctional Characters at a Talent Review Meeting

“It’s a deceptively simple and straightforward process. However, what can make it messy are the different dysfunctional characters (or behaviors) that can show up at the meeting. Here’s my list, based on my experience from facilitating hundreds of talent review meetings (I’ve alternated genders).”

Wally’s Comment: To quote the great American philosopher Homer Simpson: “Doh. It’s funny because it’s true!”

From Fortune: How to keep your star employees

“Some 27% of employees deemed “high potential” said they plan to leave within the year, according to a recent survey by the Corporate Executive Board. That rate of dissatisfaction is rising “precipitously” as the economy stabilizes, says Jean Martin, executive director of the CEB’s Corporate Leadership Council, up from just 10% in 2006 and increasing at twice the rate of the general employee population. “

Wally’s Comment: This is a good read about things you should probably be doing anyway. Read this post with the “challenge” post in mind.

From HR Observations: “Hire Attitude vs. Aptitude”: A Lesson from Disney

“I have long been a proponent of hiring someone for their attitude toward the job rather than hiring just based on their aptitude for the job. Certainly for many positions there has to be a baseline of skills that must be met for a candidate to be qualified for the job. As I said to a friend the other day being an engineer is not just based on having a good work attitude. But, regardless of the skill level needed, it is still important to hire someone who has an “attitude” that matches the attitude or culture of the organization. In my experience people who are cultural mismatches don’t last long in an organization, regardless of their job skill level. Professional sports teams probably provide the most visible examples. As a Braves fan one big standout was Gary Sheffield. He didn’t mesh with the team and quickly moved on to the Yankees. In all he played for eight major league teams, so “meshing” with the team may not have been his strong point.”

Wally’s Comment: I can imagine a song, set to the tune of “Ebony and Ivory.” “Attitude and aptitude … together in my workforce, oh Lord, why can’t we …”

OK, let’s be serious. There’s way too many companies hiring based solely on the job description and hoping that the attitude and culture parts will come out right. Mike Haberman has some thoughts about how to put it all together and make it work in your real world.

Wally Bock is a coach, a writer and President of Three Star Leadership.

Posted in Talent Management

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  1. Namita Panigrahi says:

    Thanks Wally for highlighting my blog and your comment on that.I personally have experienced this dealing with many high performers and they definitely feel motivated and excited when they are challenged.

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