Talent Practices at Home Depot Case Study

Pages: 5 (1581 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 4  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Business

Talent Practices at Home Depot

The Nature and Purpose of Counseling

Talent management is a crucial factor in meeting the business needs of a company. Talent management has taken on many forms and is best described as a process by which a company identifies which people are most effective in which positions at the current time (Lockwood, 2006). This process of matching the skills of the individual with the requirements of the position aids the company in ensures the success and retention of the employee and the overall success company. Beyond placing the right people in the right positions, companies also must identify how they can develop their own talent in order to continue organizational culture and protect the company from employee shortages (Pfeffer & Sutton, 2006).

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Talent management is an ongoing process that begins at application and continues throughout an employee's tenure. Talent management involves the development of strategic strategies to increase the employee life cycle. These strategies may take the form of leadership development, functional skills strengthening, and ongoing employee engagement efforts (Chandler, Hall & Kram, 2010). The basic components of talent management include applicant management, performance management, compensation management, succession planning, and social networking (Lockwood, 2006). Talent practices have been linked to shareholder returns with good talent practices increasing these returns. Once the right people with the right skill set have been identified, talent management must focus on performance management through the use of integrated systems that manage and increase workplace efficiency (Pfeffer & Sutton, 2006).

TOPIC: Case Study on Talent Practices at Home Depot Assignment

The Home Depot is a do-it-yourself company that was founded by Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank. These entrepreneurs understood that productive and engaged employees were vital to their company's success. As a result, the management style of Home Depot has always been to give the employees the autonomy and responsibility to make decisions and have input into the day-to-day operations of the company (Roush, 1999). This level of engagement allows for employees to take ownership of the success of the company and to understand the responsibility that comes along with this ownership. Employees are encouraged to think creatively and to make mistakes without fear of retribution. This culture ensures that employees are open to engagement strategies and are connected with the company's leadership and business goals.

In order to achieve ongoing employee engagement, a company must not only design competitive compensation and benefit packages but must also create an environment where the work is experience is meaningful and staff are effectively engaged (Pfeffer & Sutton, 2006). While compensation and benefit packages are what draw potential employees to a company, it is the leadership culture of developing and retaining talent that ensures staff retention (Lockwood, 2006). Strong, connected leadership is also key as Home Depot understood that the competency and preparedness of their leaders was vital to the company's success and employee retention. Home Depot has also recognized that rewards and recognition help to ensure that talent is retained and that performance continually improves. They have achieved this through the use of monetary compensation such as bonuses and stock options for employees (Roush, 1999).

This was achieved at Home Depot through the use of internally designed and facilitated training programs that taught employees the philosophy behind customer engagement as well as the culture of the company (Roush, 1999). In additional to the general employee training, Home Depot implemented manager training programs as well. A key that made all of the training programs successful in this company was the involvement of the top executives in the training process (Roush, 1999). Both Marcus and Blank spent a portion of their time being actively involved in the training process allowing employees to become connected to the organization from the top down (Roush, 1999). While other large companies were delegating this responsibility to other executives, Marcus and Blank understood that their involvement in the training process laid the groundwork for employee connectedness.

Employees are engaged in a company when they feel a connection to the success of its day-to-day operations at all levels. If they are making copies, they need to understand how the copies tie into the overall goals and function of the company. Marcus and Blank achieved this through the creation of a culture where employees were encouraged to ask questions and make decisions (Roush, 1999). Home Depot recognized that in order to be successful in implementing the mindset of superior customer service, that engagement of their employees would be crucial. Employee engagement directly impacts the success of a company in a number of ways including productivity and retention. In fact Lockwood (2006) reported that employees who are engaged are 20% more productive and have an 87% less chance of resigning. An important element in employee engagement is the communication from leadership, particularly senior management to the staff (Lockwood, 2006). Home Depot's senior management has continually focused on quality and genuine communication between leaders and staff in order to create a culture of inclusion.

It has often been said that employees do not leave companies that they leave leaders. Home Depot took this seriously and believed that relationship with leaders is critical to the level of commitment an employee has to their position. They implemented strategies to ensure that competent leaders were implemented at all levels of the company through the use of internal training programs and external recruitment efforts (Roush, 1999). Further a culture of cooperation and communication was established between company leadership and employees at various levels and positions within the company (Roush, 1999).

While employee engagement is important, it means little if one does not recruit and retain the right people for the right positions (Lockwood, 2006). This level of compatibility between the person and the position is critical to the success of an employee. For some employers their reputation alone makes this an easy task as they attract talented individuals whereas for others more work is needed. In order to accomplish this goal of matching the right people to the right positions a company must assess their current and future talent needs and develop recruitment and retention strategies that align with these needs as well as the company's business plan (Lockwood, 2006).

Home Depot is a large well-known company with a reputation for valuing their employees. The availability of employment opportunities at all levels attracts hundreds of thousands of applicants per year. Therefore, effective strategies for recruiting and identifying talent are of extreme importance. Home depot has implemented strategies for the recruitment of talented individuals to work at all levels of their company. For example, it has created numerous points of access for potential employees into the company and has also developed unique leadership and skill building programs to aid with retention of employees (Roush, 1999). The company works hard to attract top talent and then commits to supporting that talent while they prepare for upcoming leadership roles. Leaders are engaged in the strategic planning process for the company and are able to see how their contribution connects to the company's bottom line and overall success (Roush, 1999).

Home Depot has learned that promoting talent from within is positively linked to employee retention vs. bringing in leaders from outside of the company. In fact, at the senior management level, external hires for executive positions have been found to have a failure rate of 40 to 60% (Chandler et al., 2010). This is due to the impact that this new person will have on the overall culture of the company and these types of recruitments are often met with resistance by other leaders and employees (Chandler et al., 2010). In fact, Chandler et al. (2010) found that the higher the person is within a company the more resistance they are met with. Therefore an organization will be more successful if they can develop internal talent. This is true of the approach… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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