Not Talent, Not Resources; Simply Human Beings.


We used to refer to employees as “resources,” but then we realized that they really didn’t belong to the company. When we noticed an increasing demand for employees with the talents and skills our business required, and realized that we needed to hold on to those that had those skills, we decided to call employees “talent.” Why do we have a tendency to call employees by what we get from them? It is time that we treat employees as what they really are, human beings. Have you noticed the hundreds of online articles conveying the importance of humanization in all different industries? Marketing organizations are finding ways to connect emotionally with customers through electronic devices. Sales strategies that treated customers as living transactions are being replaced by strategies that treat customers as living hearts. And, many global consulting services firms are offering ways to help organizations connect with their employees on a more personal level.

In this age when the importance of human connectedness has surfaced, people are searching for an opportunity to have this experience, to feel humans, and as such, be able to coexist. We seek this experience everywhere we are— schools, churches, and yes… in our jobs.

Because it is human nature to belong, we seek to be part of a welcoming community in every place we interact with other people, including our place of work. “Human communities are only as healthy as our conceptions of human nature.” Talent management leaders, who not only understand this theory but also take action to change the way they approach talent, will succeed at attracting and sustaining people. As a result, their businesses will have what it takes to meet their customer demand. Those that don’t will lack the talented individuals, that make a business run.

This blog is an effort to change our conceptions of the criteria that we as human beings look to satisfy in the places we chose to work, and a guide to help organizations meet those criteria through a sustainable approach.

Photo credit: dcdebs


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