Should a company’s HRO alone drive talent development?

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Talent Development is usually associated with the Human Resources function of any organization: they are responsible for selecting and recruiting people, and also for training and developing them to suit the needs of the organization. However, if you are still stuck with this ideology, you’re probably unmindful of the current trends in talent development.

To put it correctly, a company’s leadership should drive talent development and the HRO should be its facilitator. Coaching and mentoring protégés has a significant positive impact towards honing their talent. However, many a times, this gets neglected due to lack of time. With leadership comes bigger responsibilities of strategic decision making, and the goal of leaders to connect with their employees on a regular basis may be over-ridden by urgency of immediate and more visible tasks.


In fact, it is not just the leadership that can and should drive talent development. The question we ask now is: What is talent development in the context of an organization?

Isn’t it the summation of the right skills, motivation and attitude to align individuals with the goals of the business? Now, when the goals of business are achieved with the combined efforts of various other functions like marketing, operations, finance, etc., don’t you think limiting talent development as just a responsibility of the HR would be limiting the scope of training? Would HR be fully able to understand the exact situation that the customers experience at the front-desk? Would they fully understand what kind of talent is required to fulfill the promises made as part of the marketing efforts of the organization?

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The answer to these questions is usually a ‘No’, and rightly so. Any organization that strives for excellent customer or client experience and smooth operations must have a holistic approach as to what skills it needs to create that experience. Leadership must take the responsibility of encouraging a development culture- one that is inclusive. Research has shown that organizations which celebrate differences and boost a speak-up culture are able to nurture more volunteers, enthusiasts and a greater diversity in workforce.

The role of HR should be to take facilitate whatever development goals have been charted out collectively. The Training & Development function should streamline activities to create effective and engaging learning experiences- those that create a positive learning environment.

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