Talent optimization and engagement

Somehow, I’ve gotten myself into a bind by promising a write-up on what I perceive to be the linkage between employee acquisition, retention, satisfaction, and engagement. I’ve mentioned it here and here, but have not really had the time to put this all on paper.

First off, let’s start with a very simple pictorial and move through the elements from there.

I’ve called it a productivity continuum simply because I could not think of anything better. As with my post on the employee engagement study featured by Regina and Neville, we should understand that there is linkage between these concepts/activities and distinction as well. Here are a couple more links: About.com: Job seach is about the money and a BLR thing that hints at satisfaction and engagement. We also know that antecedents for each of these employee measures change as we move right and down along the continuum.

As we move right, we find that cash outlays for direct employee benefit become less important. Major/Primary drivers for talent management:
Employee Acquisition: Cash Compensation, Benefits
Employee Retention: Total Compensation, Work-life balance

As we move down towards optimization, we find that cash is no longer important, but instead the cultural factors take over. Cash is still important because you need it to retain the employee, but it is not a factor in engagement. Major/Primary drivers for talent optimization:
Employee Satisfaction: Work culture, stress, ability to impact work
Employee Engagement: Culture, job design, ability to impact customer, management.

So while each of these are antecedents to each other, they all also have separate and distinct requirements that feed them. Well, I think that’s enough strategy theory from me for one day.

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