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Building a Healthy Organization is All About Talent


In the knowledge era, organizations have more challenges than ever before, which calls for creativity, innovation and new developments. In order to be successful, organizations need to have the best talent, which means they need to recruit the best employees, retain the best employees and keep employees performing at their best.

To make this possible, a structured talent development program is necessary.

The words “talent” and “development” have interesting origins, which highlight their importance. Talent is a old word, which started to be used in the late 13th century as an inclination, disposition, will, desire, a special natural ability and an aptitude.

Development appeared later, with two definitions - advancement through progressive stages (1836) and bringing out latent possibilities (1885). In Spanish, it has a much more interesting and compelling meaning: des-arrollar (meaning don’t throw away).

Talent is about getting the best of people through the discovery of their strengths and developing it in a gradual manner with more or less structured activities. Organizations should not waste their talent.

The first step in creating a strong organization begins with having employee selection programs in place, which provides for the appropriate definition of the jobs and selection of the best candidates with the competencies and the potential to contribute to the organization now and in the future.

A development program does not need to be costly. Organizations with modest resources can develop programs with the knowledge that they have within the organization. Strategies for talent development include:

  1. special job assignments
  2. cross-training
  3. job rotation
  4. job enrichment
  5. job shadowing
  6. mini-conferences
  7. in-house training programs
  8. mentoring
  9. coaching
  10. developing communities of practice

Learning in organizations creates a positive wave that keeps employees energized. It helps them realize that they can contribute in unlimited ways to their own development, their peers and the organization. The most important thing is to create in each member of the organization a positive disposition toward continuous learning, which includes seeing the possibilities to contribute to each other’s learning. In order to be successful, as any other initiative, employee development programs need the support of upper management, along with modeling of the behaviors and activities that they want to see in their employees.

Organizations from across the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada that have developed these practices well have been recognized with Psychologically Healthy Workplace Awards. Examples of these initiatives are:

  • brown bag lunches for personal and professional development
  • meetings to share the result of learning experiences
  • “train the trainer,” coaching and mentoring programs
  • leadership academies formal training programs
  • certification and tuition reimbursement programs

Investing in the development of your organization’s talent is one of the most important things you can do as stewards of your organizational success. Benefits to the organization include development of a cooperative environment, enhanced organizational communication, improved employee satisfaction, better organizational performance and retention of the best and brightest employees.

Photo Credit http://www.flickr.com/photos/kryzb / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Dr. Ivonne Moreno-Velázquez published on January 23, 2012 2:12 PM.

Overcoming Barriers to Part-Time Work was the previous entry in this blog.

Resilience: How Can We Make Lemonade? is the next entry in this blog.

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