In today's guest blog post, Susan Popoola explores this topic - which is just one of the themes explored in her new book,
Consequences: Diverse to Mosaic Britain.
Susan is an HR Specialist at Conning Towers.
She has previously written a post for XpertHR on tackling HR's image problem.
You can follow Susan on Twitter and connect with her via LinkedIn.
Susan Popoola: Why it's time to take a strategic approach to skills
Talent management in the workplace is important because diverse, mutually respectful, happy teams with shared values perform best.
This is beneficial for organisations at an individual level, but there is also an economic imperative for effective talent management.
In 10 years' time, presuming the economy has recovered, will Britain keep its current position in the global economy if we have not become more strategic in our approach to the management and utilisation of talent?
There is a need for businesses to create and implement strategies that ensure the effective and efficient development and engagement of the local and global talent offered by all within communities.
At a basic level there is a need for a clear, strategic understanding of where British industry plans to go within the next 5, 10 and even 20 years.
Businesses both large and small need to understand where they fit within that plan and what their subsequent strategy to deliver and achieve results is.
When we talk about strategy, more often than not, we tend to focus on the operational and financial elements of the business but we tend to play little attention to the people side of things until there is a more immediate need.
The shape of the economy and the global talent market that is developing means that this must now change.
We must start thinking about skills from a more strategic perspective.
I advocate a skills or competency framework approach which highlights both the immediate and future resource requirements of an organisation from a skills basis.
Such an approach would mean that industry could broadcast skills requirements such that the education system could be best positioned to prepare individuals with the flexibility to meet actual and potential needs.
This would enable:
- The Government to have a more strategic, pragmatic view on immigration so that it is aligned to the country's needs rather than simply pandering to those who are simply and plainly against immigration with a big full stop.
- Better planning for jobs that may be best outsourced, with processes to prepare and redeploy individuals who might otherwise be rendered redundant by such structural changes.
- Open engagement with the wider community.
Britain should be able to use that diversity to effectively interact with and understand different cultures around the world.
I believe that British organisations should be mindful of this and look to use this to their advantage.
This, however, will only work if workers also do their part. I believe there are currently too many organisations, especially in retail, where the workforce is highly multicultural but highly segregated.
That it is a poor reflection of multiculturalism where the gains are minimal.