Written by
James Hick
ManpowerGroup Solutions

Published
07 Feb 2018

The journey to total management

07 Feb 2018 • by James Hick

Where are businesses on their total talent management journey and what challenges do they face in implementing such an approach?

For many organisations, workforce strategies, management processes, technology, and levels of engagement differ according to worker type. Yet the many benefits of breaking down the barriers between permanent and non-permanent workforces by adopting a ‘total talent management’ approach are increasingly recognised. But how close are UK organisations to achieving this vision?

We interviewed senior HR professionals in the UK to uncover where they are in their total talent management journey and the challenges they face in implementing such an approach.

When the entire workforce is united in a comprehensive talent management programme, employers can focus on attracting, engaging and retaining the right person with the right skills.

However, on the journey to this state, adopting a more inclusive approach can be undertaken with differing levels of sophistication.

The overwhelming majority (89%) of HR leaders surveyed believe that future workforce strategies will call for enterprise-wide implementation, regardless of whether workers are employed  permanently or non-permanently. However, despite this, few have actually started their journey. 

Slow progress

Just 44% of HR managers have started to implement a total talent approach within their organisation, with the majority (16%) still researching options. Only 28% have taken firm steps towards total talent management.

Interestingly, 37% haven’t yet started the journey due to a lack of general awareness around the need for or benefits of this approach. A further 20% are having discussions about total talent management, but have not yet taken action.

To understand what is holding back HR leaders, we asked them about the current challenges to adopting an inclusive approach.

Highlighted by 22%, the most prominent  challenge facing HR in implementing total talent management is that other HR issues are taking priority. Gaining support from leadership regarding the need for a total talent approach was second most cited (21%); while the third key challenge is restricted budget to implement (20%).

Adaptability attracts skilled talent

Companies that are more flexible and open to alternative ways of working will increase their ability to secure skilled talent. As organisations realign traditional workforce models and focus on the value a worker can provide, rather than their employment status, a new mindset is emerging − where employers recognise that harnessing a fully blended workforce creates real competitive edge.

Embedding such an approach requires buy-in from senior leadership, significant changes to processes and often a shift in cultural perceptions. However, the journey to total talent management is just that: a journey. While adoption and implementation takes time and effort, when this is weighed up against the numerous benefits, many forward-thinking organisations recognise they cannot afford not to set out on their journey.

ManpowerGroup Solutions