Talent Management: A Key to Retention

Talent Managment II

There have been at least three major surveys in the past few months indicating that upwards of 40% of American

workers are poised to leave their current positions when the economy improves.  Even more alarming is a report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics last February that stated the number of employees voluntarily quitting their jobs surpassed involuntary separations (through layoffs and discharges) for the first time since October, 2008.

 A survey by Blessing and White found that employees are simply not engaged.  Their responses found that …

  • 48% of employees today believe they have good career opportunities with their current employers;
  •  39% expect their next career move would be with another employer;
  •  34% say they plan to change jobs within the next year; and
  • An alarming 60% of American workers said they would leave their current organization if given the chance.

Another survey indicated that the younger the employee, the more likely they are to jump ship for calmer and more stable waters.

This voluntary turnover is costing U.S. businesses an astounding $340 billion a year – not to mention low morale, internal disruption, skill loss, and gaps in productivity.  Putting it another way, it is estimated that turnover costs the organization 150% of each employee’s annual salary.

Why do employees resign, especially high performers who are geared to take your organization to the next level?

  • 56% leave because they are dissatisfied with company management, and/or …
  • 56% leave due to inadequate opportunity for promotion, and/or …
  • 50% leave due to dissatisfaction with pay, and/or …
  • (Although not yet statistically proven) with companies running so “lean and mean” these days, employees feel they are being overwhelmed – and even exploited.

 This becomes more of an increasing problem as “baby boomers” begin to resign and the inadequate supply of Gen X&Y workers move in and up to take over leadership roles; the competition for talent will become increasingly obvious – and costly.

Those of us in the Career Management profession have been aware of the looming retention issue for some time, and have been sounding the alarm; however, until now the coming war for talent seemed like a self-serving public relations ploy to increase business.  Now, however, senior management is beginning to listen and they are concerned; deeply concerned.  Just imagine the employment landscape if nearly half of American employees exit their current job.  What impact would this have globally?

Retention, then, becomes one of the more obvious areas of concentration.  Specifically, what attracts and retains good performers?

  • 79% stay because of opportunities for advancement.
  • 69% stay because their job is redesigned around their talents and skill sets.
  • 65% stay because they are learning new skills in their current job.

Interestingly, salary ranks 4th in retaining top talent.

So, what can we do to retain our human capital?  Developing your existing talent, and particularly your high potential personnel, could very well be the answer; increasing employee satisfaction and productivity.  This is complemented by adequate and effective coaching to lessen or eliminate weaknesses and build upon strengths.

 One might think that it should be the responsibility of the manager to develop his/her subordinates.  The truth is that such responsibilities often fall to the bottom of the priority list due to lack of time and other priorities.

 Jim Kacena and Dave Slivinski of our firm, are more than adequately prepared to take on these important coaching roles.  These professionals are skilled at actively engaging the assigned employee through an experiential process and working with the employee and his/her manager to determine personalized goals and action plans, then ensuring the employee reaches those goals.

 As evidence in supporting the Talent Management process, a study conducted by Wharton Business School concluded that overall financial performance increased 3.8% per year when companies stayed with traditional talent management practices, but 10.1% when they launched a coach-driven talent management program.    

 Where do you and your organization want to be?

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