Can you locate and nurture your “safety talent”? Individuals in your workforce who are safety champions, naturally inclined to take on extra-duty safety responsibilities.

“Talent management is a HR trend in 2010, according to a survey by Towers Watson.

Forty-two percent of the more than 450 companies polled listed “talent/performance systems” as one of their top three HR service delivery issues for 2010. This was not only the most frequently selected issue among respondents, but also ranked asthe top issue by the largest margin ever in the survey’s history.

“Talent management technologies have unquestionably become one of the best ways for companies and HR departments to drive better employee performance and enterprise success following the recession,” said Tom Keebler, Global Practice Leader with Towers Watson’s HR Service Delivery and Technology practice, in a press release. “In spite of the initial costs, organizations are increasingly deploying new or enhanced systems, recognizing that efficient and effective HR processes enable the flexibility and agility employers need in an uncertain but growth-oriented business environment.

“As companies recover and budgets expand once again, leaders appear ready to make a forward-looking commitment to talent management systems that will reap substantial long-term rewards for the HR department, line managers and the broader organization,” said Keebler.

“In this environment, talent management technology has become a ‘must have’ competitive element, allowing managers and HR professionals to identify and develop talent through a more rigorous focus on performance and human capital metrics,” said Keebler.

As greater numbers of organizations roll out talent management programs and technologies, manager self-service (MSS) and employee self-service (ESS) features are becoming more common in the workplace.

While ESS and MSS result in faster, more accurate transactions for more than 70% of organizations, they may also factor into greater engagement and employee satisfaction among the workforce.

“Past Towers Watson research, including the 2010 Global Workforce Study, has shown employees’ and managers’ desire for on-the-job empowerment,” said Keebler. “By implementing self-service options for critical career and rewards categories, organizations are simultaneously creating an environment of ownership and self-reliance that employees can build upon.”

These features are also more efficient for the HR function, reducing work in almost every instance. In total, 68% of HR generalist/specialists and HR service centers/administrators report that ESS programs have resulted in less work, while fewer than 15% report an increase.

The 13th annual HR Service Delivery Survey polled HR and HRIT executives from 456 organizations for their insight on topics and trends impacting the year ahead. Fifty-one percent consider themselves multinational/global companies. Sixty-four percent of respondents have more than 5,000 employees.