At our 2013 ReThink Conference – an annual summit focused on best practices in global Human Capital Management – we had the pleasure of interviewing Jim Collins, author of the international bestseller Good to Great. Among his many valuable insights was his emphasis on the fact that when all is said and done, it’s people who really make the difference and distinguish great companies from good ones.
The key is to align your talent with the opportunities and roles that fit their passions, their natural abilities and what makes them significant within the organization. Effective human capital management is dependent on hiring and retaining employees who share the same values as your organization and can then excel at building or participating in winning teams – growing from good to great. But, as Jim points out, managing talent – attracting and keeping enough of the right people in an organization – is a journey, not a sprint.
In his interview, Jim shared three specific challenges that can hamper a company’s journey from good to great:
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Today’s hard-working employees often struggle, they have real pain at times on the job, and most of them are working their butts off to succeed. As leaders, it’s our job to help them power through it all and to stay highly engaged.
If we want employees that give 100% effort at work, and who then go home and shout from the rooftops, “My Company is a great place to work,” we need to do a better job of listening to our people. Unfortunately, not everything we hear has equal importance. Drilling down to the core of what our people really need to succeed is a big job, and it’s why so many companies invest in employee engagement studies each year. The problem is, too many of these studies trivialize our people’s careers and struggles.