The ‘work till you drop’ culture is rife in our society. The 2017 OECD report shows that nearly 13% of British citizens work over 50 hours per week, resulting in burnout and bore-out. Because of this, there is constant change in organisations, turnover is high, and companies fail to retain their top talent.
Companies must be proactive to combat this culture. It’s important for companies to implement an agile work environment that encourages learning and development in a positive way. Encourage your workforce to work smarter, not necessarily harder. Give those that need extra challenges a push and provide support to those that are struggling, helping them to re-focus instead of burning out. Promoting a culture of personal growth and career opportunities will allow employees to discover their personal strengths, encouraging an engaged and resilient workforce.
In order to generate an engaged workforce, companies need to implement a talent management system that is focused on the growth of their employees. Organisations must move from an exclusive way at looking at their talent to an inclusive approach. Instead of talent hoarding, companies must create a talent sharing culture.
From exclusive to inclusive
Once a mind is challenged by a new role, it grows beyond its’ original shape. Inclusive talent management is an integrated approach which focusses on the skills and strengths of an organisation’s employees. By supporting employees and giving them insights on their strengths, they will feel energised and engaged. Overall, the goal is to retain employees while boosting their performance and growth.
Leaders should manage vision and purpose, building effective teams while changing their focus from overseeing to coaching and providing feedback. Encourage your managers to grow their teams and not prevent growth for fear of team members ‘out growing’ the team. Train managers to think positively about growth and reassure them that great new team members will join their team with new ideas and talents. By doing this, leaders will not only stimulate growth in their department but in the company as a whole.
The Flow theory
The Flow theory of Csikszentmihalyi, or what some might call the secret to happiness, is a concept developed by Hungarian psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. Flow is an optimal psychological state that people experience when they do an activity that is appropriately challenging to their own skill level. This often results in total immersion and concentration in the task at hand, leading to a state of deep learning and a high level of work satisfaction. However, too many challenges can create a stressful working environment which may lead to burnout, while a lack of challenges may lead to a bore-out. Only the employee will know what brings him or her into flow but it’s important for a company to help them find the right balance between challenge and skills, allowing the employee to fully immersive them self in their work.
Build a sustainable talent management system
Everybody has talents and that is what makes a person unique. People who can use and develop their talents at work are more efficient, engaged and productive. Building upon an employee’s strengths and creating a strength-based culture will allow teams to learn quickly and be more successful in their work. This creates a connected company enabling people to work smarter and live better. Although talents are often natural, they still need to be developed. For example, professional pianists often have a natural talent from the start, but they still need to practice in order to progress in their career. Departments must identify their employee’s talents, grow them and share them with the rest of the company in order to generate overall business success.
Instead of hoarding your talent, move towards a talent sharing culture. Companies need to share their talent in order to thrive, and by creating an inclusive talent management culture, they can encourage their employees to discover their own strengths, resulting in a happier and more engaged workforce. There is certainly a correlation between an engaged workforce and retaining talent. If a company can develop an agile work environment that encourages learning and development, they will stay ahead of the game and win the war on talent.