Learning, Development & Personal Growth

Alessandra Ginante

Alessandra Ginante is vice-president of HR at Avon Cosmetics, Brazil.

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Alessandra Ginante argues that companies must do more to meet the personal needs and ambitions of their managers if they expect them to perform effectively.

In today’s knowledge-based, complex and ever-changing business environment it is paramount for ,organisations to have highly qualified professionals if they are fully to realise their economic growth opportunities.

Yet the typical corporate environment – full of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity – is gradually becoming a place where less and less people plan to spend their lives and invest their talents.

In Brazil, a recent survey – Cia de Talentos study “Empresa dos Sonhos dos Jovens” (2014) – of over 50,000 students and early career professionals concluded that 46% did not admire any business leader in particular and 42% of them could not nominate a corporation of their dreams.

Moreover, another survey – Telefônica Foundation study “Juventude Conectada”(2014) – of 1,440 Brazilians aged between 16 and 24 revealed that 71% want to start their own business and only 16% of them could see themselves as employees in corporations.

This reveals a change in the wishes and needs of the job market. On Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, individuals nowadays aspire not only to fulfil their basic needs but also their personal growth needs and to make a difference in society as part of the pursuit of their own self-actualisation (defined as the motivation to realise one’s own maximum potential and possibilities).

Therefore, they seek to belong to organisations where professionals can achieve such personal growth ambitions while also delivering shareholders’ expectations.

In the particular case of Brazil, this might come from the standard of living and working improvements the country has experienced in the last 20 years with, according to Datapopular Institute, around 11 million additional workers – particularly women – who entered the formal job market during the period.

If we then take corporations’ perspective on this, the differentiating power of talent in business has never been so evident as a true source of sustainable competitive advantage. We now live in a time where the business tangibles such as products, factories and cash are quickly copied or readily available and business intangibles such as company culture, knowledge, reputation, brand, core competencies – strong drivers of economic value creation – are held mainly by people.

Given these circumstances, it is reasonable that companies that are able to nurture an environment where people can be self-actualised by gaining new talents while pursuing results meaningful to employees will more likely enjoy longer-lasting success.

For the full article, you can view the PDF or listen to the podcast.

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