Research by Capital Consulting and Cranfield School of Management reveals UK companies are failing to develop top people

Training and development experts have championed the importance of talent management after a new report found more than half of UK businesses are failing to develop their top people.

Research by recruitment outsourcing provider Capital Consulting and Cranfield School of Management, found that only 49% of UK businesses had implemented talent development programmes.

Having questioned 608 HR directors, the research pointed to a lack of financial investment and insufficient senior management support as the main obstacles to talent development.

It found that while six in 10 respondents said talent management was essential to increasing profit, only four in 10 strategically managed their star talent. One in five did not link the strategy to their business plan, while only 15% measured the return on investment.

Victoria Winkler, training, learning and development adviser at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, told Personnel Today she was not surprised by the findings. However, she believed that skills awareness was growing, and was not only on the agenda of HR departments, but also chief executives and finance directors.

“HR teams need to put a talent management structure in place to get the most out of their employees,” she said. “It can have a major impact on the bottom line and retaining staff.”

Jeremy Tipper, group managing director of Capital Consulting, said: “Creating an effective talent management framework has the potential to make HR directors organisational heroes because of the ever-growing impact it will have on business performance.”

Dr Emma Parry, research fellow at Cranfield School of Management, said the report should serve as a wake-up call to employers. “The disconnect between what senior managers are saying and what they are doing is very worrying,” she said.