"Retaining the New Generation in Your Organization -- What's Next
for Talent Management", Maria Rotundo-- Rotman School -- Lifelong
Learning, May 30, 2003, 10:00 a.m.
Maria Rotundo, Assistant Professor of Human Resources and
Organizational Behaviour, Rotman School of Management, U. of Toronto
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notes have been contributed by David Ing (firstname.lastname@example.org)
at the IBM Advanced Business Institute ( http://www.ibm.com/abi).
Professor of HR and OB, Rotman School
Have been at Rotman School for about 3 years, previously at
Issue of retaining talent
A short-lived concern?
Will talk about some signs that this will be a tension for
businesses for many years
Are moving, so that we can deal with retension.
Will talk about various HR programs that can deal with
Literature from Conference Board, Human Resources Development Canada,
Association of Colleges and Universities
Anticipated talent shortage: what are the signs?
Retirements, large cohorts
Will impact education: average age in 1999, 44.3 years, and
they will retire at 56.4 years
Half of workforce will retire in 12 years
Nursing, will retire in 18 to 20 yearsx
Do we have the bodies to replace them?
They take with them experience and wisdom
Proportion of graduates in science and technology not increasing
Employment rate of 5.5%, and by 2010 expecting full employment
Employees can demand what they want.
Brain drain: some evidence in certain occupations, education
and health care
Raises red flags
Canada is doing a great job of education, but doesn't do anything to
help when they leave
Hope? A talented workforce to replace
#1 in % of post-secondary education, followed by U.S. and New
Youth performs #2 in reading, #5 in science and #6 in math.
Brain gain: 68% population increase by educated
Are we bringing the right age group with right set of skills?
Don't want people competing for the same jobs
Need to be careful of skills sets and age
Positive signs on the Canadian way, quality of life
Need social programs to develop work/life
Sustainable, but cannot support bold new programs, e.g. health care
costs will increase
Aren't dealing with future talent shortage
Training and development
Rewards and benefits
Will be competing for the best and brightest. How to
One of best predictors: cognitive ability, best for complex
Select for life-long learning potential, and fit.
Fit means looking at personality: single best predictor is
Want to select capable people that fit the culture, so that they
thrive and stay.
Training and development:
Canadian employers invest less than other countries: 7th in
participation of adults 25 to 64. We want this to improve
Research is skills associated with higher wage.
State agency funding: if can identify skills with greater
wages, then bigger contribution to economy.
Answer: need a localized approach. Can't look at a
Government surveys employers to find out what jobs will be,
and skill requirements
Who are we graduating?
Who wants to be a nurse, or construction trades? Decline in
Have to make those jobs more attract and appealing.
Need to partner, e.g. healthcare 6-month programs.
Could select them for ability, but doesn't mean that they have
Development: training for future jobs
Fulfilling people's role in the future
People want to phase into retirement: could have them
serve as mentors
Mentors as a career function (opening doors for proteges, spanning
networks) but also psycho-social (dealing with problems they'll
People need more than one mentor
Coaching: not manager as coach, but working one-on-one in
areas that need improvement.
Assessment techniques, e.g. Microsoft developer promoted into
management, who doesn't have interpersonal skills.
Companies need to determine their "ideal employees".
Over past 30 to 40 years, what is performance?
Had thought of as tasks
Has evolved to citizenship behaviours: how people do their
jobs, and how they interact with others.
Counterproductive or negative behaviours -- particuarly in a
What is the relative value of the three above in each
workplace. Which matter most?
Survey of 500 general managers, what they value most:
Found three different groups of managers
A task-oriented manager cluster
A counterproductive cluster
Third: task and not counterproductive
Citizenship always valued, but not dominant.
No significant clusters by industry, gender, education or
17 different organizations participated, delivered results by
Could have two managers in the same department with very different
Thus, could be sending different signals on what is valued by
[Comment: what about people you hired 10 for 15 years ago, in
an environment of mergers and takeover, now have people who are high
performers, but are counterproductive?]
[Comment: another dimension of adaptability? We can't
classify someone as counterproductive, but some people are not keeping
Managers are sometimes cautious giving extreme scores: on a 1
to 5 scale, noone gets a 1 or a 5
The range between 2.5 and 3.5, but what message are you giving?
Need to reward high performers, and recognize low performers
[Comment: disadvantage of low performers, then you have to
deal with them. You're better to send them over to another
Consider informal reviews, more often.
If procedures are in place, need to train people to use them.
[Comment: crisis in management? Managers that
[Question: dealing with contract workers?]
Would like contractors to work consistent with mission and
direction, but can you really expect that?
Rewards and benefits
Lots of room for change, in rewards and benefits
Look at how people are motivated.
Employers spend a lot on benefits, but don't spend them on people
that don't value them!
Think about cohort after baby boomers:
Very busy parents who were downsized.
They barely knew their parents, no job security.
Conditional loyalty: sure, I'll do work but what do I get out
Need to modify work procedures: fewer guarantees, they'll be
less likely to take risks
Work / life balance.
Think age group / career stage: time off, development of
Example in Denmark: collective agreements with individual
options, so that people can decide how they should be spent.
Some take money, some buy time off work, older people work 80%
without an impact on pensions.
Issues of people turning over can be handled with job design
e.g. people going for MBAs -- response to have 3-year projects, so
that they can have a project done when the leave.
Interdependence between the parts is important
Part is aligning HR practices to business strategies
e.g. innovator at Microsoft: often when people go to work,
they don't know what to expect that day.
Compare to predictable.
Still place value on HR practices
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