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Talent management can be seen as a young person’s domain, with advice and assessment reserved for up and coming employees at the expense of more experienced staff. (People Management Magazine 29 November 2007). However, this can be argued and can fall into a trap which some employers believe an employee somehow becomes less talented and less motivated as they progress through their career. This report evaluates leadership, managing people and focuses on talent management of my current employer. I will analyse how employers can inspire their staff and what motivates an employee at work.

My employer Company International plc (Company) is a leading Japanese financial services group with Partners and Clients all around the world in 30 different countries. Company’s mission is enriching society by delivering superior investment services. This requires a culture that nurtures the best talent and allows outstanding individuals to thrive. Throughout this report I am going to be focusing on one area of my organisation that I am most familiar in, which is the Human Resources department.

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About three months ago, Company’s HR department was restructured, making managers and support staff interact more with each other and working as a service centre hub rather than individually. This restructure was also to make the support for the business stronger and more effective, making employees more knowledgeable but reducing the size of the department. Before this restructure the culture of my department was one where everything is confidential and there was an insufficient amount of employee communication amongst HR.

Since the restructure, the general feeling is that the communication is starting to develop in a better way, having more involvement with the business and client liaison. My organisation, including the HR department only wants the best talented staff with motivation and an enthusiastic drive. It is believed that some businesses fail to assess the talents of long-serving workers as companies assume they already know everything a particular employee has to offer. Companies are therefore realising that they need to ensure the talents and skills of all employees are fully considered.

This will ensure employers need to assess who their most talented workers are and retain them. By identifying the talent that brings the greatest benefits to the business, companies will deliver stronger results. So how can companies open up talent management practices to everyone and get the most out of staff by having motivated high performance workers? High performance working (HPW) is a combination of levels of result delivered in the context of what is possible and achievable in the environment and working situation.

High performance can be delivered at a team level, overall organisational level, divisional or departmental level or an individual level. When put in practice, high performance is measured by one or two stakeholders (Beardwell et al, 2004). This approach is appropriate to the high volume repetitive working usually associated with products and services sold on the basis of low cost and narrow range. HPW places great importance on effective people management and development (Beardwell and Holden 2004). For some people in some organisations, HPW merely describes what employees have been doing in their job role.

For others, the emphasis on organisational strategy rather than that of an individual or a department may mean simple changes in emphasis. This is what the HR department at Company believed, and this resulted in a reshuffle with more defined jobs for individuals. Ashton and Sung (2003) believe the purpose of becoming a High Performance Work Organisation is to make your employees more effective in their job roles and enhance their contribution to the organisation. Is Company an organisation that wants their employees to be more effective in their position? Do you have to be a manager to be a leader?

In an opinion it is believed that you do not need to be a manager to be a good leader. However, you can be a manager and not necessarily a good leader. We need to recognise the distinction between management and leadership. Leaders are strong role models for the beliefs and values they want their followers to adopt. They are believed to motivate and inspire fellow colleagues by being passionate with staff and building a team which collaborates together. Company follow the diagram below for all the aspects in being a strong leader. Managers are seen as the employee who solves problems and a more passive and impersonal approach to their staff.

They are believed to organise staff and establish rules and procedures which generate solutions. Leadership has noted the difference between ‘transactional’ forms of leadership and ‘transformational’ leadership. Transactional leadership is having the leader building loyalty in followers by giving rewards in exchange for loyalty. Transactional leadership focuses on completion of tasks and good working relationships in exchange for desirable rewards. This assumption above for transactional leadership is that people are motivated by reward and punishment. This shows that the prime role of the follower is to do what the leader tells them to do.

Transformational leadership has the leader engaging with others and creating a connection that raises the level of motivation for both parties. This is believed to motivate followers to do more than is expected of them. A leader who is attentive to the needs and motives of staff and tries to help them reach their full potential is transformational leadership. For example, the leader stimulates interest among colleagues of staff to view their work from new perspectives and develop higher level in ability and potential. So how can an employer motivate staff?

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