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How to keep good people

5 strategies to retain your talent

With severe talent shortages not seen since the 1950s, retaining your good people matters more than ever. Here are five key strategies to help your organization achieve this goal.


1. Train line managers to hold regular, meaningful career conversations


Senior leaders can't simply mouth the words around skills and career development. They need to lead by example and become career stewards and coaches. Broad discussions about current and future roles must take place between employees and managers, senior leaders, career sponsors or mentors and, if possible, external career coaches.


Managers need to understand that it is part of their job to make sure everyone gets the most out of their careers.


At the same time, there should be a career management system in place so that if any one conversation fails, the employee knows where to turn next for career support and guidance.


2. Map out career progression routes


It is very important for employers to communicate a long-term vision for career and skill development to their employees. This vision needs to present a clear picture of your organization’s current and future skill needs with skill pathing to help individuals get there.


In today's working world, it's becoming increasingly important for individuals to be able to articulate their interests, motivations, and career goals.


Therefore, it is equally important to make clear that employees must put in the work to achieve their career aspirations.


By using labor market analysis and AI-enabled skills gap information for employees to evaluate where they are now–they can build career paths to get where they want to go next. If everyone—leaders, managers, and employees—are all doing their parts, career and skill development initiatives have a better chance of sustained success.


3. Focus on future leadership talent pools


The trend is clear: as the pace of change picks up, it appears less likely that the pre-pandemic leaders organizations relied upon will lead them into the future. That should be a top concern for organizations given that most are not prepared to deal with sudden, unplanned, or even planned executive transitions.


Only 53% of publicly traded companies have a plan for CEO succession. It is more dire for private companies, where nearly two thirds did not have a plan.Comprehensive executive succession plans are an essential part of any organization’s business plan.


Organizations need to prepare a robust list of future-ready, agile, and accountable internal leaders ready to take the challenge when vacancies arise.


4. Invest in coaching—it isn’t just for executives


In the past, coaching was reserved for the top tier of an organization. Over time, however, it has evolved into one of the most effective ways an organization can improve the way it works from the C-suite, to front line managers, and all employees.


A 2018 study by Work Institute found that one in four employees will leave their jobs. But perhaps the most shocking statistic is that employers could prevent 77% of turnover if they showed more support.


Investing in coaching programs for the workplace provides that much-needed support and leads employees to become more engaged as they learn and develop new skills.


5. Prioritize employee wellness initiatives


The toll on our collective mental and physical wellbeing is beginning to reach crisis proportions as we enter the late stages of a second year of combating COVID-19. Our study, Resetting Normal: Defining a New Era of Work highlights a pandemic within a pandemic: burnout and the inability of leaders to have conversations about wellbeing.


The study found that 53% of managers have not found it easy to identify when staff are suffering from mental health issues or burnout, and they do not have the tools or confidence to engage in that conversation.


Open dialogue, with meaningful action, will not only help your employees weather the pandemic storm, but will also set them up to be more engaged and productive well into the future.


Learn more about career mobility