Snipped from the Star
Wednesday January 28, 2009
Short-term talent management crucial for firms’ survival
By LAALITHA HUNT
PETALING JAYA: Many companies in Malaysia are redeploying staff to different roles in their efforts to manage talent in a slower economy.
With the current situation, human resource (HR) managers are required to review and reassign employees to locations and business lines where there is the greatest need.
Organisations are also more flexible in expanding responsibilities and adding new roles to existing employees.
Talent2 International Ltd director for South Asia Leigh Howard said successful organisations would retain good staff through the tough times to ensure they could scale up their businesses when the market turned.
“There’s no doubt that successful talent management in the short term would be essential for long-term business survival,” he told StarBiz in an email.
He added that HR managers played an important role as they were at the centre of the decision-making process, providing businesses with critical information and paths of action to deal with the impending downturn.
“Retrenchment is the last resort as this exercise is never easy and need to be managed properly to avoid costly mistakes,” Howard said.
According to Hewitt Associates senior consultant Taranjeet Singh, besides strategic hiring, companies may choose to scale down salary increments.
“Salary increment ranges may be reduced from about 8% to 4%, going forward,” he said.
Watson Wyatt (M) Sdn Bhd said a slowdown was not going to reverse the long-term imbalance in the supply and demand for talented employees.
Its country manager Vivek Nath said: “Skilled employees will continue to have many career options and employers cannot afford to relax their focus on retaining key staff.”
He said in current times, organisations’ priorities should include retaining high-potential employees via competitive compensation and benefit structure.
“It is also important to engage and motivate existing high-performing employees to buy their long-term loyalty,” he said.
Besides special recognition programmes, employees should also be offered training opportunities to upgrade their skills, Vivek said.
Taranjeet said the more progressive organisations would choose to re-assess employees’ capabilities as well as skills requirement and provide training opportunities as means of sustainable development during economic uncertainty.
One of the ways was through the Human Resource Development Fund, where employers would provide financial assistance to staff to pursue masters or doctoral degrees.
Howard concurred that employees who might be affected must be prepared to be flexible and pick up new skills to ensure that they remain employable.
He added that there were vast opportunities in Malaysia to pursue further education as there were over 200 educational institutions.
Employees must also be prepared to work in a different industry from what they are used to in case of layoffs, according to another consultant.
“This is where retraining is important, so that the retrenched workers can be equipped to take on new jobs,” the consultant said.
On funding for retraining purposes, Perbadanan Sumber Manusia Bhd has allocated RM5mil in the last Budget.
sensei says "The best of us can find happiness in misery".. it's always best that we know what we are good at and what do we need to improve on...