Emphasize Emotions and Human Behavior in Talent Management

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Anneke Zwart
Student (University), Netherlands

Emphasize Emotions and Human Behavior in Talent Management

The main purpose of talent management is to unlock talents to an organization. This has become increasingly important, especially in a time of technological advancements, which generates increased demands for highly skilled workers who are committed and emotionally engaged to their job.

Today however the success of talent management is mainly based on the extent to which employees are able to work and achieve the process metrics of an organization. This is the so-called transactional view on talent management, which is based on a (misplaced) belief that the value of business is solely created by its processes and metrics. In this view, there exist a clear quid pro quo relationship between wages and services. The role of non-monetary influences in this relationship is ignored.

Raghavendran (2013) argues that such a transactional view actually neglects the aforementioned fundamental purpose of talent management: unlocking the value of talents to organizations. Organizational performance is highly influenced by employees’ intrinsic motivations and rewards. Therefore, organizations need to focus increasingly on understanding human behavior and emotions in the workplace. This is especially important in a time in which businesses are not only a place of business transactions, but also a social system in which employees are expected to not only execute their tasks, but also to create transformative ideas through knowledge sharing and innovation.

Rather than focusing mainly on extrinsic motivation mechanisms such as promotions and financial rewards, there needs to be a better balance between extrinsic and intrinsic motivations to make the value for the organization and the values for their employees compatible. Organizations need to see that accountable behavior is influenced largely by intrinsic motivations of employees. They need to emotionally enroll their employees into the norms and values of the organization, so that they will feel a sense of psychological ownership to the organization.

In other words, talent management needs to start to focus more on people rather than emphasizing on processes and metrics. A better understanding of human behavior and emotions will help organizations to create a workplace in which employees feel appreciated, productive and have a sense of emotional and psychological commitment to their organization.
Source: Hari Kumar Satish Raghavendran, (2013),"Not by Money Alone: The Emotional Wallet and Talent Management", Journal of Business Strategy, Vol. 34 Iss 3 pp. 16 - 23.

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