A demographic shift is taking place in our workforce that is profoundly affecting talent management practices. As the majority of the current workforce ages and Baby Boomers begin to move into retirement, Generation Y - otherwise known as the Millennials (1980-1999 - giving a child born in 1980 time to grow into adulthood and be able to reproduce their own offspring at the turn of the millennium) – is entering the workforce. This group is estimated to be at least as large, if not larger than the Baby Boomers. The Asian region has its businesses rooted with family concern. As such, some of the largest companies in Sri Lanka - the wealth creators - are lead by the older generation. Even after they list the company under the stock exchange they hold on to the controlling share. At the end between the family members they still rule.

So where is the plan? What are the strategies? Succession plans & Retention plans are all rhetoric - if you really look closely companies may not have a full proof plan. We may need to re-look at HR from a different dimension. E.g. Rcruitment, Training and Development, Welfare, Industrial Relationships and the like. E.g. the Banking sector in Sri Lanka talks about an estimated 50% of the banks staff being less than 30 years of age. This is a very positive if managed well. Over a quarter of the executives who are millennials already have a MBA, and by the end of 2013 over 2/3 of them would have a masters. Statistics held constant, speak to your friends or younger workmates and do the math. The way we manage them would be significantly different to that of the others. Do our talent management endeavors reflect the same?

Bruce Tulgan, author of several books on managing millennials, suggests:

  • Give them frequent, meaningful feedback. This ongoing dialogue tells them what they are doing well and how they can improve. Annual performance reviews are not sufficient.
  • Ensure that rewards and recognition are tied to performance.
  • Provide coaching and development to help them meet their high performance expectations and to support this new generation of workers requires the integration of Gen Y.

Books and theory have been speaking about HR being a strategic partner. Now it's an era where HR might need to be a 'Strategic beacon/ Strategic champion" for the business. Let's look at business for a moment -: The garment manufacturers and plantations are having manpower shortages, technology industry/ scientific R & D driven industries are having talent shortages, people want to become entrepreneurial than work for others and the like. Business are amalgamating, restructuring, business buy-over and the like being the order of the day. One moment the flavor of the quarter is to increase the branch network; the next is to ease off. No one gives credit to HR as they are the ones who are making these decisions possible. They adapt to the corporate fancies and help organizations thrive or survive. In their absence companies would fail miserably. Many that have attribute their misstep towards poor HR practices.

Don't you think we HR professionals deserve to showcase our efforts? Don't you believe we need to quantify and be recognized for our work? Don't you think we need to do so in order for us to be further recognized? If not recognized how can we help the business further? If you think you are a passionate HR professional you owe it to your team, company and yourself to be a part of the HR Awards 2012. Two very good reasons dictate -:

  1. HR needs to benchmark the current HR practices. The rigor would get you to understand your strengths and weaknesses.
  2. You would be able to learn from the best practices in the industry. Are you sure you have the best retention practice?

The Association of HR Professionals partner with AON Hewitt for this year’s event would benchmark the Human Resource Management in Sri Lanka to global standards. The awards will be preceded by a comprehensive research study of the organizations vying for awards and an evaluation of their best practices against established norms and benchmarks – facilitated by Hewitt.

With over 330 offices in 90 countries and approximately US$ 4.3 Billion in combined annual revenue, AON Hewitt is the global leader in Human Resources consulting and outsourcing solutions. Boasting an impressive client portfolio that includes 80% of the world’s Fortune 500 companies, AON Hewitt is renowned for resolving the talent, profit and financial challenges of organizations. With the strongest team of professionals in the industry who have access to the widest breadth and depth of expertise and services, in more locations, and for more industry segments than any other human resources firm, AON Hewitt is a force to reckon with in the global HR world.

Should a company be worried if one does not believe the company is ready to compete? Should the strategists of the company worry if the company is competitive anymore? Should the company begin the process by at least being a part of the Learning Conference? The answers would decide your relevance as a business partner.