To read this content please select one of the options below:

It's 2008: do you know where your talent is? Connecting people to what matters

Robin Athey (Robin Athey is based at Deloitte Services LP, Boston, MA, USA.)

Journal of Business Strategy

ISSN: 0275-6668

Article publication date: 4 July 2008




The purpose of this paper is to speak of the importance of connecting people in the workplace. It describes the types of connections that foster employee development and engagement, and proposes methods and tools that help strengthen these connections.


The analysis in this report is based on industry and literature reviews and interviews with top executives. It builds on research carried out by Deloitte Research on talent management.


In today's competitive talent market, it is not sufficient for companies to follow a traditional “attract‐retain” talent management strategy. A “develop‐deploy‐connect” strategy seems to better engage and meet the demands of the workforce. Of these three components, “connect” is emerging as the most important but least understood.

Practical implications

Because value today is created largely out of interactions, people's connections are increasingly important and complex. Companies that do not invest thought and effort in understanding this amorphous topic will find themselves battling attrition. Conversely, meaningful connections help people build the networks and relationship skills that lead to professional effectiveness and organizational growth.


This article categorizes connections into three main types: people to people, to a sense of purpose, and to the resources they need. It presents leaders with a solid framework, research‐backed ideas and leading practices to connect people for performance.



Athey, R. (2008), "It's 2008: do you know where your talent is? Connecting people to what matters", Journal of Business Strategy, Vol. 29 No. 4, pp. 4-14.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Related articles