Organizations lack long-term talent focus: Mercer survey

While a growing number of organizations around the world are focused on increasing their investment in human capital, not all of them are convinced their talent is helping them meet organizational needs, according to a new survey from Mercer.

Of respondents to Mercer’s Talent Barometer Survey, 60% report increasing their investment in talent in recent years. However, only 24% say their human capital growth plans have been highly effective in meeting immediate and long-term needs. Additionally, while 77% of those surveyed report having a strategic workforce plan in place, only 12% said they had plans that extended for five years or more.

“Effective workforce planning is an essential part of positioning talent as a strategic asset and maintaining a competitive business advantage,” said Julio A. Portalatin, president and CEO of Mercer. “With the information and data analytics available today, employers can measure and manage their talent like never before. The question is whether the increased attention and efforts deliver the intended results. Outperformance requires a blend of innovative solutions and a fact-based approach to managing talent.”

The survey results also show that less than half of organizations worldwide actively ensure they have the basic elements of a health management program in place; 48% said they ensure a healthy workplace, and 44% are focused on establishing health-related policies and procedures. Further, just 31% indicate that they follow a formal, written multi-year strategic plan for health and wellness.

“The research suggests a strong link between employers’ focus on health and wellness and employee engagement and productivity. This means that employers are missing out on one of the greatest tools available to enhance their strategic workforce plans,” said Dave Rahill, president of Mercer’s health and benefits division.

Mercer’s Talent Barometer Survey—which assesses the effectiveness of workforce practices in driving the short- and long-term success of organizations’ talent plans—polled HR and talent management executives at more than 1,260 organizations around the globe.