HRM 532 Assignment 4: Porter Novelli or Southern Company Case Study

Assignment 4: Southern Company Case Study

HRM 532, Strayer University

Southern Company Case Study

Southern Company is an electric utility company that serves 4.4 million customers in the southeastern region of the United States. The company leads the industry and owns electric companies in Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and Mississippi. In addition to electric services, the company also delivers wireless services and fiber optics to customers. Southern Company has an employee base of approximately 26,000 people. As a rule, Southern Company hired at the entry level and advanced individuals internally to fill leadership positions. The median age of senior executives was in the fifties and middle management forty-seven to forty-nine. Southern Company was challenged with the reality of America’s aging workforce, and centered its attention on the matter which, in turn, led to changes in its talent management strategy. The age issue created a potential risk and a need to develop a new generation of leaders became the driver for re-looking at the succession and leadership development efforts to ensure a sustainable supply of quality leaders to meet business needs (Goldsmith & Carter, 2010). The leadership development changes that Southern Company resolved to make will be discussed in this paper.

Evaluate the effectiveness of the roles that the strategic leaders play in the formation of the performance management strategy.

Talent management can be termed as an organization’s commitment to recruit, retain, and develop most talented and superior employees available in the job market (Heathfield, 2014). Also, talent management can entail several vital talent management programs such as promotion, placement and assignment, onboarding, rewards programs, training, professional development, mentorship, leadership development, and performance management. Employing sound talent management strategies can help organizations move from a process-focused operation to a key strategic contributor, resulting in competitive advantages for your company (2009).

While including a vision for your organization is essentially the foundation of the leadership approach for a company, a great vision will not become reality with little effort. The complete process of realizing a new strategy is as important to the organization as the foresight and commitment to achieving it. After the strategy is analyzed, and before the challenging work of enacting the new strategy has launched is when leadership is projected to set the goals and tighten the firm’s focus to make sure that the objective has been met. Pinpointing specific business goals will provide the criteria needed to specify what talent is required to help the organization succeed. To do this, the company has to grow beyond evaluating transactional HR processes and engage with business leaders to support its needs and objectives (2009).

Southern Company established that the firm had a gap in its understanding of how global, environmental regulatory and human capital challenges are impacting the energy industry (Goldsmith & Carter, 2010). Once Southern Company realized the issue, the company was able to make it one of their top priorities in the new strategy to revitalize its talent management guidelines. These guidelines encompassed assisting their employees form robust working relationships, improving the ability to include diversity and complexity on the job knowledge. These strategic steps chosen were positioned in the direction of advancing the company for the future based on an aged workforce. For Southern Company to ensure that arriving top talent would get the training and be retainable, the company would need to rearrange their talent management strategy, and they were aware of this based on the measures taken.

Southern Company’s leadership teams played a meaningful role in the development of their performance management approach. When performance criteria were recognized, leaders were able to better grasp what was required of them at each leadership level. The performance guidelines also shaped a common characterization of leadership across Southern Company. In conjunction with the human resources personnel, leaders at the company were also able to integrate performance management.

Develop a five (5) point criteria for evaluating the effectiveness of the talent management strategy and how the data could be collected.

Silzer (2010) states that after determining the talent requirements that are strategically important to the organization, the next action is to consider whether there is sufficient internal talent to meet the short and long term business needs of the company, this could involve either making or building the needed talent from within the company or selecting from outside company.

A five point criteria for evaluating whether a talent management strategy was effective is ensuring the framework of capabilities is well-defined. This includes the development of top and middle management. Another component of the five point criteria is to use a talent evaluation based on the framework of proficiencies that have been identified for existing staff and any new talent that has come onboard. Discovering necessary positions in line with the company’s policies is one more part of the criteria. The scale of management participation and support is another indicator of how well the new plan has been received, and how it is functioning headed for long-term work. Lastly, the best assessment of talent management strategy is the measure of employee participation and participation.

Techniques to collect data include surveys, self-evaluations, and questionnaires. The self-evaluations would be done by talent in an attempt to measure self-growth over a period of time and on a regular basis. The survey should be applied to assess changes inside the organization’s climate. The survey can be used as research method and questionnaire as investigation tool (Muntean, 2014).

Critique the components of your talent management strategy and suggest alternative ways to achieve effective results.

Today, the business domain is more technologically progressive than in the earlier years. It is obvious and should also be noted that the standard practices of the past functioned well then and will not operate well nowadays. Technology is evolving at a hurried pace, so it is important to include technology with each of the different components of the talent management strategy (Sizler, 2010). The technical practices could be with that of mentorship, in communication and in planning amid the mentor and mentee. An additional utilization of technology is to arrange for online training for employees.

A different possible shortfall in the strategy is relying too much on upper management support without their maximum involvement. Having something that will include them in the strategy beyond forming it and execution may give them more of an interest in its accomplishment. Often, upper management delivers the strategy and expects it to be put into effect, then there is usually no real follow up or involvement during the development process up until a setback emerges.

Outline the functional expertise component of this strategy and how it optimizes the company’s ability to identify highly qualified individuals.

Hiring skilled talent to carry the Southern Company’s leadership to a new level, the company has elected to implement a strategy categorized by key functional expertise. At the first stage, Southern Company executives experienced a systematic analysis of individual education and background to determine whether they were still significant to the strategy and program that the company was heading toward.

The approach employed also has an element that examines the applicants’ key accomplishments. The information is utilized by the business to choose replacements for specific positions. Southern Company will be able to discover the individual with the most experience with the aid of the component. This also allows them to choose the candidate most likely to stay with the organization for a long period of time and have an awareness of company’s culture.


The development of skilled talent pools makes it easier to ripen desirable skill sets in a broader group of employees, resulting in higher performance across all levels and functions (“Talent Management Strategy to Create a Higher-Performing Workforce”, n.d.). By cultivating talent pools internally, companies are ensuring that they will have experienced and trained employees equipped to shoulder leadership roles as they become available. Southern Company was motivated to reexamine the company’s talent management desires when it became obvious that its senior and most experienced workers would all be eligible for retirement at the same time. This significant fiasco triggered Southern Company to present a new strategy for initiating new talent and developing current talent for management and executive positions in the future.


5 Simple Talent Management Strategies. (2009, July 6). Retrieved February 28, 2016, from

Goldsmith, M., & Carter L. (2010). Best practices in talent management: How the world’s leading

corporations manage, develop, and retain top talent. San Francisco: Pfeiffer.

Heathfield, S. (2014, December 16). Why Talent Management Is an Important Business Strategy. Retrieved February 28, 2016, from


Silzer, R., & Dowell, B. (2010). Strategy-driven talent management: A leadership imperative.

San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Talent Management Strategy to Create a Higher-Performing Workforce. (n.d.). Retrieved February 28, 2016, from

Place an Order

Plagiarism Free!

Scroll to Top