TMCnet News

Experts from The Vaya Group Encourage Leaders to "Spring Clean" Their Way to Greater Talent
[April 23, 2012]

Experts from The Vaya Group Encourage Leaders to "Spring Clean" Their Way to Greater Talent

CHICAGO --(Business Wire)--

Spring is in the air, energizing employees and making it the perfect time for human resources (HR) professionals and business leaders to examine their talent practices and sweep away poor habits. To help companies foster increased employee learning and productivity, The Vaya Group shares five talent development practices that can be destructive to talent development and presents alternative solutions.

"We have interviewed more than 20,000 leaders about their approaches to talent development, revealing many less-than-ideal practices," said Dr. Paul Eccher, Ph.D., author and co-founder and principal of The Vaya Group. "Usually, employers have good intentions, but due to a lack of training or time constraints, they fall prey to practices that threaten talent growth and sustainability."

The Vaya Group identifies five practices as destructive to talent development:


The "Hide and Seek" Game - An effective way to extinguish talent, the "hide and seek" game occurs when a manager "hides" the skills and contributions of a talented performer in order to advance his or her own agenda. As the employee continually gets passed up for advancement within the company, he or she begins to feel trapped, underappreciated and unengaged-thereby more likely to leave the company.


Solution: In order to maintain employee engagement and productivity, managers should make a conscious effort to shine the spotlight on talented individuals, cross-promote successes within departments and provide new challenges for employees.


The "Buried Alive" Test - This practice consists of shoveling huge amounts of work over to already overwhelmed employees. Whether it's because the manager is overwhelmed with his or her own workload or they believe giving a talented performer more work than he or she can handle is an appropriate development tool, it ultimately leads to burnout and turnover.


Solution: In order to advance talent and secure positive business outcomes, managers should plan ahead in order to coach employees. Have serious career development discussions with team members and ensure that the assignments delegated take into account employees' aspirations as well as company objectives.


The "Public Flogging" Lesson - Although feedback-rich workplaces are conducive to employee engagement, negative reinforcement and feedback can harm performance. Many managers rely on this technique when they find themselves receiving negative feedback from their managers or feel like failures, and it creates an environment fraught with unintentional integrity issues.


Solution: To maximize on-the-job learning and development, managers should make sure their feedback is frequent and balanced, focused on leveraging strengths and developing weaknesses and aligned to the career aspirations of the individual and company objectives.


"Be Like Me" Mentoring - Although well-intentioned, teaching subordinates the way the managers themselves were taught results in employees with similar skill sets and leadership styles. While this can have good and negative effects, amid today's fluid, fast-changing nature of business, that type of leadership homogeneity stifles innovation and makes it difficult for an organization or team to quickly meet evolving market needs.


Solution: Diversity of thought, in addition to backgrounds and skill sets, is a critical competitive advantage for organizations. In order to support diverse thinking, managers should have open, transparent dialogues with team members and encourage constructive debates to solve challenging business problems.


The "Never Look Up" Trap - When talented employees master certain tasks, managers often give him or her more of the same tasks. However, this causes the employee to be typecast for what he or she can do better than anyone else, instead of challenged to look up from their tactical work to gain new experiences and opportunities.


Solution: In order to encourage broader leadership skills, managers should include employees in more strategic tasks, such as leading a brainstorming session or special project-assignments that strengthen employee talent, business acumen and team building skills.


"Spring is a great time to recharge and improve employee training and development processes," said Dave Ross, co-founder and principal of The Vaya Group. "Although managing teams isn't easy, the key is to stay focused on initiatives that enhance talent, benefit the employee and improve the bottom line."

For more information about The Vaya Group, visit

About The Vaya Group:

The Vaya Group is a boutique talent management consultancy that applies science and precision to the art of talent assessment and development. Founded in 1997 by Dr. Paul Eccher and Dave Ross, The Vaya Group works closely with clients to understand their business operations, deliver sage advice and provide tailored, quality solutions that improve productivity and profitability. Driven by their passion for helping business leaders and organizations achieve the behavioral, cultural and leadership changes necessary for talent sustainability, The Vaya Group's team of close-knit consultants operate as an extension of their clients' business. In August 2011, The Vaya Group was nominated to Inc. magazine's annual list of the 500 | 5000 Fastest Growing Private Companies in America. For more information, visit

[ Back To's Homepage ]