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Culture Is Top Factor in Building Talent


Performance management programs are not as useful in building talent within an organization as having a supportive culture, according to a presenter at Food Marketing Institute’s Future Connect conference on Tuesday.

Linda Sharkey

Having a supportive culture is “the single most significant thing you can do as a leader” to attract and retain a high level of talent in the organization, said Linda Sharkey of Global Leadership Associates in a session called “Optimizing Talent.”

Many organizations, Sharkey explained, waste too much time focusing on organized performance management assessments and not enough on building a culture of clear communication that helps employees achieve the organization’s goals.

“If you throw out your performance management processes — your legal people won’t let you, but if you did, it would not impact your ability to attract and retain talent, if you focused on having a supportive culture,” she said.

It is also important for companies to hire for the future, Sharkey explained. Organizations should look ahead to what their challenges and opportunities will be in the next two to three years, decide what skills are needed, and guide the workforce accordingly.

“If you have the talent for today, it’s too late,” she said. “You need to think about the talent for tomorrow, for the future.”


Liz Webber

Liz Webber is Senior Digital Manager at Supermarket News. She covers fresh foods for the magazine and creates multimedia, blog posts and other content for the website. She joined SN in August 2012.

Julie Gallagher

Julie Gallagher’s delicious foray into coverage of the food industry was purely accidental. With a background in technology, she joined Supermarket News as associate editor of its Technology...
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