Talent Management – Part 3

by Jack Burke - President - Sound Marketing, Inc. on May 10, 2010 · 3 comments

This is the 3rd post in a series of 6 by Jack Burke, President of Sound Marketing, Inc. Jack’s posts on Talent Management are sponsored by ReSource Pro.  Talent Management – Part II Jack delved deeper into talent management and about maximizing the value of each employee.

As we move from task management to talent management, there are some obstacles that need to be overcome, which brings in the time factor.

The major impediment to talent management is quite simply the lack of time. Management has limited time to focus on talent, due to the time-consuming activities related to human resources, training, routine administrative duties, and monitoring the accomplishment of tasks. Likewise employees don’t have the time to focus on the highest value activities, due to the plethora of routine and mundane processing tasks that fill their days.

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The big question is how to eliminate those menial task that pre-empt revenue producing activity by talented employees. One approach would be to increase the use of automation, which most agencies are already doing in order to improve efficiency and reduce errors. However, along with automation are the costs related to hardware, software, program updates, continual training, and the manpower assigned to input the data. Management, in the interim, has to spend countless hours to manage all of this activity. New systems implementation may be part of the solution but is always expensive and risky, while rarely delivering expected results.

Another solution would be the implementation of a process improvement program. While there are many fine Lean Six Sigma workflow analysts and consultants, few specialize in insurance agency operations. Moreover, there are so many individual and specific tasks involved in the daily operation of an agency – and each one needs its own process improvement. Assuring a successful process improvement program that institutionalizes change and prevents employees from backsliding into their old and comfortable habits needs active and ongoing project management from the consultant and agency principals.

A third approach seems to stimulate fantasies of magic elves that come in at night to handle all the paperwork and data, enabling every employee to arrive in the morning to a clean workstation with no backlog. Wouldn’t that be nice? Well those “magic elves” do exist in the reality of business process outsourcing (BPO) companies.

In our next post, we’ll take a closer look at business process outsourcing as a solution to your time and talent management conundrum.

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