Talent Management: Motivating employees in a Competitive Workplace and a Shrinking Economy

In today’s challenging global environment, fuelled by the worldwide economic recession and weak prospects for sustainable growth, particularly in developing countries, organisations are challenged to find the right mix of solutions to create the competitive edge needed to ensure their survival in the marketplace. Many of these organisations realise that beyond the necessary technological changes they have to make, the newly emerging business paradigm also compels them to be much more creative and innovative. Unfortunately what stands in the way of this much needed change is the ‘unfreezing’ of the inhibiting traditional corporate culture and human behaviour at the workplace.

Many speak of the ‘pervasiveness of dramatic change’ in the global economy, and the need for businesses to recognise that the new workplace must be centred on information and ideas rather than machines and physical assets. In this environment traditional forms of business practice are sometimes too routine and directed by standardized control processes. Mere rewards and recognition may not be sufficient to motivate an employee who has become disengaged from the production process and is merely ‘sleepwalking’ through his day-to-day duties and responsibilities.

This is often where the real challenge begins, where there is a need to develop a planned, systematic process of change that focuses on the human and social aspects of the organisation. And the solution is not the much vaunted ‘restructuring process’ which often ends up merely being a cost containment exercise through the route of redundancies. True, redundancies may be an inevitable outcome of the process of innovation and change, but ‘organizational development’ with its focus on behavioural science knowledge and techniques to improve the organisation’s health and effectiveness through its ability to adapt to the environment, improve internal relationships and increase learning and problem-solving capabilities, ought to be the primary considerations


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