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Design your talent management strategy and don’t lose top talent: Part 2

Natalie Maroun
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In a previous article, I talked about how the future of talent management depends on leaders effectively targeting, nurturing and advancing top talent in their organisations. I also discussed that organisations will be successful if they understand how important a diverse workforce is and suggested that sponsorship is the basis of developing and keeping top talent. In this article I will talk about how important being visible, as a leader, is in your organisation as is motivating your employees to be the best they can be.

Being visible as a leader is possibly one of the most important factors in leadership. Research done by the Centre for Talent Innovation (CTI) shows that performance, hard work and sponsors get top talent recognised and promoted, but 'leadership potential' isn't enough to leverage men and women into the executive suite.

Leadership roles are given to those who also look and act the part, who manifest 'executive presence', which is done by people watching and modelling the behaviour of their leaders. Yet paradoxically, in South Africa the system conspires against itself because our top executives and leaders are generally hidden away on the top floor of a building or behind a private elevator. How do you model what you can't see?

It's time for leaders to come out from behind those closed doors, be seen, take an active role in their talent management strategies and become the role models that are so essential for an effective talent management strategy and leadership development.

How to create ecstatic employees

For over 20 years, the taught and accepted business model for both employee and customer satisfaction was based on a bell curve. The traditional thinking was that in any company at least a small group - let's say 20% of people - are unhappy at work, the majority of people are happy but not ecstatic, and the balance of the group, again approximately 20%, are ecstatic.

If one ran a similar curve based on customer satisfaction it'd reflect the same profile, and until recently

this was the accepted norm for both customer and employee engagement and loyalty. But how can this be healthy?

Within the traditional bell curve model, an organisation runs the risk of at least 80% (20 % unhappy + 60% happy-ish) of employees or customers defecting as soon as they find a better alternative while only the small 20% are genuine advocates of the brand or the company. Surely a better distribution would be to have 80% of your people fully engaged and passionate about their work or 80% of customers who are avid fans to your brand?

In 2014, this is definitely what we need to work towards. We want to create more active company or brand

allies and build a reciprocal 'I've got your back' culture in an organisation where all workers - regardless of their religious denomination, sexual preference, race and culture and gender difference – feel accepted, valued and comfortable being who they are. Leaders who are active allies, are far more likely to retain diverse talent.


Natalie Maroun is the group managing director at LRMG. She dreams of propelling all organisations to great heights and believes that to reach optimal effectiveness, organisations need to empower, inspire and uplift their people. This means everything Natalie does is aimed at awakening her dream so that organisations can achieve so much more than they ever imagined. She threads experience through all her strategic consulting solutions and leads a dream team of carefully selected consultants who're aligned and committed. Natalie delivers management consulting experiences that are creatively and strategically different, leaving an indelible mark on her clients' organisations.



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