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Future Proofing Your Best Asset

The Talent Management Programme:

A wave of retiring workers is going to hit us within the next five years. Large numbers of these retirees will be highly skilled and will hold priceless experience, information and knowledge critical to their organisations. Innovative solutions are needed to solve this immenent problem. Mention the ‘R’ word, however, and often Training and Innovation departments suddenly find the funding pulled out from under their feet. Recession may mean tightened belts but as Kent County Council (KCC) knows, this is no time to bury heads into sand. Creativity will be the only thing that separates the winners from the losers in not just this economic climate but the difficulties that lay ahead.

Kent County Council is piloting the first programme of its kind within the UK in preparation for the mass retirement of the baby boomer generation So who exactly is going to plug this void? The Google generation eat breath and sleep knowledge management without even realising it and are perfectly adapted to a changing workplace. This may come as a culture shock, but tools like Facebook and Google have revolutionised the way the next generation thinks and works. Collaborative working, knowledge sharing and networking are now performed with such ease and agility thanks to the Internet. The young will replace the retired, defeating our knowledge and skills monsters with new technological tools and fresh, innovative approaches.

So lets talk talent management, how is Kent County Council going to take our county’s bright sparks and
develop them into the workforce of the future? Greenhouse (KCC's group to support younger staff) was the first to conceptualise the 'Younger Person Talent Management Programme'. This was then taken forward by Learning and Development to produce a new nationally recognised programme. This is a first for KCC, a first for Kent and a first for the UK! The rough diamond , young, high potential employee can be polished into a truly valuable asset with a course which tackles highly specific key issues. Take your candidate add a dash of networking skills, confidence, self worth, assertiveness, awareness of organisational politics, communications skills and a push in the right direction and you have made a jolly good investment. Greenhouse and Learning & Development’s message is clear: Save on your recruitment costs, avoid culture shock and retain your talent.

As they say actions speak louder than words, and the L&D team are not short on action. After a year of development the first workshop will be running on Friday the 31st to be followed by other programmes which will be bespoke to the current issues and participants needs. Any further changes to the economic climate will be hard pressed to damage this programme. Workshops are flexible, responsive and able to meet new issues as they arise.
It doesn’t stop here. This is only the beginning. On completion of the Talent Management Programme young people should be encouraged towards other programmes supporting qualifications such as Leadership and Management. It is important to realise that Training and Development never stops and the Talent Management Programme provides the first step of many.

-With thanks to Nick Smead from Learning and Development and Holly Strang, Chair of Greenhouse.

* Thank you to Genevy Madeline for photo (top left: elderly people road warning sign) published on Flickr under Creative Commons licence, some rights reserved.
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