DISCOVER THE HIDDEN TALENTS IN YOUR WORKFORCE
By Ayo Jimi
The workplace is said to thrive on talents. It thrives on having the right people handling the right tasks. The proponents and the disciples of the theory of SCIENTIFIC ALLOCATION OF JOBS have demonstrated over time the imperatives of putting round pegs in round holes. But sometimes, testing the capacity of square pegs in round holes could be a profitable experiment.
In other words, while we celebrate scientific allocation of jobs on its merits, it might not be a bad idea to be a little bit unscientific occasionally. I say this because job placement in many organizations has never really being purely scientific. Political considerations play a major role in who gets placed where. The implication of the above postulate is that the people handling specific tasks in your organization or business entity might not really be the best available to you. And I am not talking about going outside to bring in more talents. I am talking about looking inwards to discover the hidden stars you already employed.
The working space today is occupied by professionals handling tasks that are purely unrelated to the degrees they bagged after years of schooling. There are lots of Computer Engineers, for instance, behind the counters as cashiers in banks; lawyers making a living by reporting news, and a host of others who had to take up the available appointments when the desirable ones were nowhere to be found. I have nothing against this because in-house capacity building makes up for academic inadequacies. The flexibility to learn the needful on the job is becoming much more important than the certificate you brandish in an age when every business lays claim to being a learning organization.
The discerning manager then ought to see that he could get so much more than he is getting at the moment from his employees. This decision has the potential to reduce significantly your annual expenses on consultants. If you care to experiment, you may discover to your delight that resident among your workforce are problem solvers whose contributions could prove invaluable. TALENT RESHUFFLING will be the tool to achieve this. How?
Make room for regular brainstorming sessions where your employees make contributions with a view to solving problems even in departments outside their official job designations. Let the people in Corporate Communications think up solutions to a Sales problem. Give the ICT boys a say in issues that are traditionally the exclusive preserve of Human Resources. Mix the talents up, shuffle and reshuffle in no particular order.
The diversity of experiences and innate capacities of participants could produce some astonishing results. The good thing is that their recommendations are just what they are – recommendations. Implementation is subject to further analysis and empirical verification. But more than anything else, you will always come out of every of such brainstorming sessions with robust contributions from unimaginable quarters. The sessions will become a window through which you see into the minds of the hidden stars in your workforce. You end up mining more talents and ultimately moving your business in the forward direction.