Achieve Talent Sustainability Through A Holistic Approach


Their employees celebrate their company’s mission, their culture, and brag about their bocce courts, bowling alley, free eyebrow shaping in their own office, and 25 complimentary cafés. “Employees are never more than 150 feet away from a well-stocked pantry.” It’s no wonder why Google keeps ranking number one in the 100 Best Companies to Work For.

Survey results point out career advancement, promotional opportunity, management, and general work environment as the top reasons people leave their organizations, other than benefits and pay. What these survey results are telling us is that people’s decision to join a company and stay with it are not just based on the experiences they have with the organization, but also what they think about the company and most importantly, how the company makes them feel.

We achieve Talent Sustainability when we attend to all three aspects of our employees’ human beings—physical, mental and emotional. 

Advancing opportunities for growth and development allows our people to experience achieving their personal goals. Having great relationships and great bosses ensures feelings of appreciation, respect, equality, and compassion. Also, when we offer an inviting working environment, we provide feelings of joy, harmony and belonging. People have positive thoughts about the organization when they are part of a great culture.

When we create positive feelings, thoughts and experiences for our employees, we are attending to our employees’ basic human needs—physical, mental and emotional. This is about treating employees as “human beings” rather than “resources.”

Here is an example of what happens when we focus on only one aspect of the human being in our talent management strategies:

Helen was a self-starter, accountable, and passionate about her work. She was very excited about an on-line job posting describing just what she was looking for. She immediately proceeded to the company’s website to learn more. Helen was very impressed by the look of the site and how user-friendly it was. However, Helen felt disappointed when she tried to find information about the culture of the company and could not find any. She selected the “Careers” option in hopes to find something that said why people should work at that company, but she did not see anything. Helen got a funny feeling in her stomach and started to think lots of what ifs… “What if I don’t like the culture?” “What if I don’t fit in?” “What if they don’t value their employees?  “It didn’t seem so…” So in the end, Helen decided not to apply for the position.

In this case, the organization invested in providing a positive experience through the website, which attended to Helen’s physical aspect, but failed to attend to Helen’s emotional and mental aspects.  The company’s website did not gain Helen’s trust, as a result, failing to create positive thoughts in Helen’s mind about the organization as a place of work. Instead, Helen created her own assumptions about the company, leading her to decide not to apply for the position. The company missed an opportunity to hire a valuable candidate by failing to follow a Holistic Approach—attending to all three human aspects of a job applicant, physical, mental and emotional.

Photo credit: yuriz

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