Let’s talk talent….

Just last week I had the opportunity to participate in a live webinar with Beverly Kaye, renowned author and employee engagement expert. The title of the webinar was “Let’s talk talent.” As always she led a great, energizing discussion that demonstrated the need to build organizational talent.

According to Kaye, today’s employees want exciting work and challenge, career growth, learning and development; a great boss and to work with good people. Here are some talent challenges that employers and leaders are facing:

  • Only 26% of the US working population is engaged (loyal and productive), 55% are not engaged (just putting in time), and 19% are actively disengaged. These disengaged workers cost employers an average of $13,000 apiece in yearly productivity losses. (Gallup)
  • Only 41% of employees are satisfied in their career; 53% are satisfied with their long-term opportunities for development and advancement, and 56% have trust in management (Sibson study)
  • 80% of turnover is related to an unsatisfactory relationship with the boss (Saratoga Institute)
  • The cost of replacing talented workers can easily average one to two times their annual salary – not including indirect costs of lost knowledge, declining morale, and rising inefficiencies (Saratoga, Sasha Corp.)
  • One half of U.S. workers will be eligible to retire in the next decade (Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Higher education is no different in terms of talent challenges. In fact, we are anticipating significant turnover in key leadership positions. The American Council on Education has found that 58% of today’s college presidents are over the age of 61. If just half of these presidents choose to retire in the next five years, a quarter of college presidencies—approximately 1,000 positions—will become vacant.

So how do we deal with these talent challenges?

Over the next month, we’ll be focusing on our next leadership competency “Building Organizational Talent” and will look at practical things that leaders can do to attract, retain, and engage talented employees.

Within MnSCU, “Building Organizational Talent” is defined in the following ways:

  • Makes sound hiring decisions
  • Provides a strong orientation
  • Sets clear expectations
  • Provides ongoing feedback
  • Effectively coaches both good and poor performance
  • Partners with each employee in conducting meaningful performance evaluations
  • Helps each individual develop professionally
  • Holds each individual accountable for performance
  • Takes responsibility for their own professional development

Stay tuned for some great resources over the month of July and join the dialogue as we explore this topic together.

Anita Rios



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