The Financial Pyschology of Talent Management


Talent management is an undisputed reality that leading organisations integrate into their human resource management strategies. However, what does talent management really consist of? At the turn of the 21st century, an HR manager’s primary focus was on attracting the best available talent to their organisations, and this trend has now been countered by another reality of managing an organisation’s talent. In fact, nowadays the greatest challenge for any HR manager isn’t to attract the appropriate talented candidates, but to retain talent within the organisation. Forward-looking organisations remain successful because they constantly strive to implement those solutions that will attract and retain the best talent available whilst competition is still catching up.

As we progress further through the digital era, according to Reuters the largest generation in history is slowly but surely taking over the workforce. Generation Y employees are smart, educated and agile, socially networked and digitally savvy. Having grown up at the same pace as technology advancements, these employees seek stable careers that do not exist anymore as a result of the recent global economic recession that the world is still struggling to leave behind. All of this puts additional pressure on organisations wanting to retain and develop their human capital, with the rate of technological change consistently changing the business environment.

Managing an organisation’s talent means that the organisation is seeking to form successful, long-term relationships with its’ employees. In so doing, a successful organisation would pay attention to the small details that can make or break such relationships. Forbes magazine (2012) listed ten main reasons on why talented employees leave the organisation, and all ten reasons focus upon the failure by management to use available talent within the business opportunities available to the organisation.

Why does Talent leave the organisation?

  • You failed to unleash their passions
  • You failed to challenge their intellect
  • You failed to engage their creativity
  • You failed to develop their skills
  • You failed to give them a voice
  • You failed to care
  • You failed to lead
  • You failed to recognise their contributions
  • You failed to increase their responsibility
  • You failed to keep your commitment

Financial and business implications

The financial and business implications of managing talent hence do not simply imply providing adequate work conditions and working environment to employees, or rewarding performance through career development, but more importantly making the best use of the organisation’s available talent so that employees can grow with the organisation. Talent management’s emphasis has developed from providing performing employees with rewarding careers to integrating performing employees into the business strategies and operations, providing them with the necessary tools to develop the organisation even further. Hence the psychological aspects of assisting, motivating, retaining and developing employees may be met by organisations that seek to offer challenging and rewarding careers. This will in turn stimulate employee engagement, employee development and more importantly, employee retention.

Steve Jobs once stated in an interview that “you have to have a lot of passion for what you are doing, because otherwise any rational person would just give up” He also stated that successful persons are those that love what they are doing  and hence persevere in what they are doing. In this same interview, he also stated that successful organisations need to be formed by teams of great people, and the financial psychology of managing such teams can be seen through the perseverance and engagement that high performing employees strive to achieve even higher standards of performance.  Will Smith states that “greatness exists in all of us”, and is not limited to anyone in particular. He explains that he did not grow up with the sense that where he was where he was going to be but with the mentality that where he was didn’t matter because he was focused on becoming something greater. This is the secret of success, the winning psychology of making talent Management strategically and financially successful.

Talent management

Talent management hence focuses upon giving employees the opportunity to develop themselves, giving them the occasion to achieve, harnessing their creativity and innovation and believing in employees’ abilities and strengths.  Successful people have to be able to believe in themselves, and organisations that want to avail themselves of their available human capital have to believe in these employees.  The financial psychology of managing talent focuses upon believing in employees, giving them the resources to make the best use of their abilities, monitor achievements and focus upon success. This will spur motivation amongst employees, which will subsequently nurture confidence, can-do attitudes and help to develop the organisation’s talent even further.

“Sometimes the most ordinary things could be made extraordinary, simply by doing them with the right people” Elizabeth Green

Robert Delia is a recognised human resources specialist with over 20 years’ direct working experience in different industries, as well as possessing considerable local and international lecturing experience in strategy, human resources, finance, marketing and general management.