The past few years of global instability have had a sizable impact on the collective workforce, leading to widespread employee unrest and apathy. This is perhaps why we have seen such a nosedive in employee loyalty. By Vincent Belliveau (pictured), Chief International Officer, Cornerstone

Research has revealed that 47% of employees are still open to other job offers even after accepting a position, and half of respondents had accepted a job offer within the last 12 months, only to back out prior to starting. High churn rates and the process of recruiting new employees is time intensive and expensive, and so many business leaders are looking for ways to turn this around. 

To do so, companies must evaluate the current employee experience and rethink their talent management strategies. However, knowing where to begin can be immensely challenging. It’s crucial for HR and business leaders to get clarity over the different aspects of talent management – from learning and development (L&D), to career mobility, and performance management – and to have a clear, holistic strategy to drive positive changes. 

Talent management challenges differ globally, and organisations cannot assume that a particular strategy is applicable in every region. So, how are different areas of the world faring? And which aspects of talent management need the greatest degree of attention? 

Diversity & inclusion must be prioritised 

Recent research has revealed that employees in EMEA rated their companies’ success in developing and ensuring diversity and inclusion (D&I) at just 37% – significantly lower than NAM at 72%, and APAC at 59%. However, while the EMEA region is certainly lagging behind, it’s clear that D&I needs more focus on a global level. Many employees have high expectations of their organisations when it comes to social matters, particularly the younger generations, and overlooking this could lead to alienating staff. Moreover, organisations should be striving to be welcoming to everyone.  

Companies can improve their D&I strategy in several ways – from rolling out learning content and initiatives, to encouraging open discourse with employees. Also key is ensuring career paths are equally available to all – research has found that women were 50% more likely than men to say they do not have visibility into internal career opportunities. This is something which must change. Skills development will also be crucial in tackling D&I gaps – after all, nothing changes until someone learns something new. True transformation requires new skills and abilities to drive the change. 

The skills confidence gap persists 

This brings us onto skills more broadly, another crucial area of a talent management strategy. Recent research has revealed that, globally, there is a 30% skills confidence gap between employees and organisations that has persisted for the last three years. This gap illustrates that, whilst employers believe they are delivering skills to their employees effectively, employees do not share the same confidence in their employer’s ability to develop their skills. This incongruity between what employees want from their talent management, and what they feel their organisations are providing, is concerning. Why? Because if areas like learning and progression aren’t prioritised, the workforce will vote with their feet. 

There is an inherent link between organisational success and growth, as well as developing workforce skillsets. As such, companies must invest in resources and provide assistance to help employees close skills gaps, improve their performance, and navigate their respective career paths. However, currently, less than half of businesses in the UK, France, and Germany view performance management as a collaborative process – which risks upholding the skills confidence gap. Skills development and performance management should not be a one-way-street. Businesses must prioritise 1-1 communication, frequent check-ins, investment into modern skills and career development tools, and an open discourse about skills development – including in areas that interest employees on an individual level.  

Approaching skills development and performance management in this way will provide workers with a sense of belonging. Feeling valued by their employer could be significant in their choice to remain in their current roles. 

AI remains untapped 

Technology is personalising and revolutionising talent management, and this will only continue as we move further into the age of artificial intelligence (AI). HR leaders recognise this, with 76% believing that organisational success will plateau if AI isn’t implemented in the next 12 to 24 months. Yet, in the UK, France, and Germany, less than 35% of organisations are leveraging employee-centric tools and technologies to streamline talent processes. 

Whilst there are concerns around AI implementation – from ethical concerns around bias, to fears that it will hamper employee productivity – taking a balanced approach can drastically improve talent management and the employee experience. AI’s timesaving benefits allows employees to focus on the parts of their roles they enjoy most, and gives HR practitioners more time to concentrate on the welfare of the wider workforce. AI can also play a key role in skills and careers, matching workers to tailored internal career pathways, and allowing businesses to spot organisational skills gaps and understand where to pull from to fill them. 

Embracing AI will undoubtedly reshape the future of talent management, and those that get ahead of this trend will be the ones leading the charge. 

A global effort leads to global success

Globally, employee loyalty has slackened – but it’s never too late to turn the tide. Organisations should take a holistic approach to improving talent management and determine tangible ways to enhance the many aspects of the employee experience, one step at a time. Doing so will allow them to reap the rewards of their investment into their workforces.