As the war for talent increases, companies are headed to the front lines unarmed and unprepared, according to Accenture's fourth annual High Performance Workforce study surveying 244 senior executives in the United States, Europe and Australia.
Sixty-five percent of respondents said that "developing an effective leadership capability" is very important, and 49 percent said that "creating an organization and culture that adapt effectively to change" is important. But only 8 percent said their organizations are performing well in these important areas, and only 17 percent cited their workforce's skill level as industry-leading.
The survey suggests that HR and training departments must capitalize on talent management or face defeat, as 42 percent of respondents said that the focus would shift from cost control to growth. Peter Cheese, managing partner of New York-based Accenture's human performance service line, says that the recent focus on cost-cutting has cost many companies precious momentum in the marketplace. Companies must regain their competitive edge in terms of recruiting, retaining and developing high-caliber employees.
Easier said than done, apparently. When asked to identify the most important training initiatives, 77 percent cited "aligning learning strategy with business goals"; 75 percent, "ensuring learning content meets workforce requirements"; and 72 percent, "boosting workforce productivity and agility." But only 11 percent, 16 percent and 9 percent, respectively, said they were satisfied with their success in these areas. And overall, only 16 percent said they were satisfied with their training function.
Forty-one percent of respondents said that the war for talent will affect their companies in the next year. Will you have the right weapons or retreat?