"Rethinking the Value of Talent"

"Rethinking the Value of Talent," Strateg+Business by Jeffrey Joerres and Dominique Turcq

"Classifying employees by their role in the success of your business rather than by their function can improve the effectiveness of recruiting, staff development, and deployment.

If companies managed financial assets as carelessly as they do human assets, shareholders, auditors, and regulators would come down hard on them for inefficient use of funds. Yet although it is commonly accepted that individuals are crucial to the success of organizations, many companies are unable to measure or manage their employees' contribution to corporate value.

Consequently, a strategic approach to managing the value of employees first requires a definition of the roles that must be performed on the corporate - stage. This means creating a taxonomy of jobs within the corporation that is consistent across business units, countries, and functions and is totally divorced from any of the individuals working at these jobs. As far as the organization is concerned, an employee is first and foremost expected to fulfill a function, with a number of tasks for which a number of skills are required. Some of these tasks are technical and some are related to the employee's relationships with coworkers and outside agencies.

Once the different roles have been defined, management is in a position to determine how important each is to the company's ability to create value for customers and shareholders. In theater language, it's the determination of which roles should have top billing and which can be played by character actors.

Certain jobs have a greater value impact on an organization; there is a substantial risk to financial performance or reputation if these tasks are not performed well. In some cases, but not all, these jobs merit higher compensation. Other roles carry a significant cost impact, because they require a good bit of training, development, and skill complexity to be performed adequately. These roles almost always command the highest salaries in the organization."

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