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Managing talent in a turbulent economy: Part five

Where are you on the recovery curve?

Managing talent in a turbulent economy: Part five



Deloitte’s final edition in a year-long longitudinal study, "Managing talent in a turbulent economy: Where are you on the recovery curve?", reports that economic optimism reached its highest level among surveyed executives and more than one-third of the respondents believe the worst part of the recession is over.

Executive outlook on the economy: January-December
  Executive outlook on the economy

The survey clearly indicates that in 2010, companies can no longer depend on the recession as their retention and talent strategy. Based on the emerging economic realities, we believe the key to success for organisations is to find the right mix of talent strategies in order to maintain top talent and identify key leaders.

Key findings

  • By a margin of more than 3:1, surveyed executives are more inclined to believe the worst of the economic crisis has passed, rather than the worst lies ahead. Moreover, the percentage of executives who predict the difficult operating environment will continue fell considerably in December to its lowest point since the study’s inception.
  • Overall, surveyed executives from companies that reported no layoffs over the last three months are more confident that their workforces have been right-sized for the new economy. By a 60-point margin, these executives foresee no need for layoffs over the next quarter.
  • One clear difference between companies still facing layoffs and those that are not is in their ability to develop top talent. Fully 60% of surveyed executives from companies that foresee no additional layoffs plan to increase programs for developing high-potential employees, compared to just 34% that plan more cutbacks in the coming quarter.
  • Despite near universal agreement on the importance of leadership programs, surveyed executives do not have a high sense of confidence about their efforts in this area. Only 10% of survey participants describe their leadership initiatives as “world-class across the board”.
  • Most surveyed executives agree leadership is important and believe their companies are working to develop it. Yet, a significant number of respondents are not employing the full range of tools and tactics required for an effective leadership development strategy.

Deloitte believes the companies that achieve the best balance of offensive and defensive talent strategies will have the inside track on the recovery curve. Based on a year’s worth of survey data, the profile of these successful companies is coming into focus: companies that do not foresee further painful layoff decisions, commit themselves to retaining top talent, and to investing in “world-class” leadership programs to build robust pipelines of emerging and senior leaders.

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