Is Retaining Your Best Talent a Top Priority? It Should Be!

by Marcia Zidle, Featured Contributor

A SIGN OF an improving job market is that 2 out of 3 employers are implementing programs now to retain some of their best executives, managers and future leaders according to a survey by OI Partners.

Leadership & TalentThat is because turnover has already increased at 30% of surveyed companies and most are bracing for more employee exits in the coming year. According to the survey:

  • 90% are concerned about losing high-potential employees
  • 72% are worried about departing front-line workers (sales and service employees)
  • 60% are apprehensive about middle managers leaving
  • 45% are uneasy about senior-level executives exiting

“Most employers have initiated measures to hang on to their best talent. They realize if retention is a problem with a high unemployment rate, it will only get worse once more jobs become available if they don’t do something to entice employees to remain,” said Steve Ford, chair of OI Partners.

What are you doing to retain your key people before they exit to another company, perhaps a competitor?

Five Strategies to Reengage Before It’s Too Late.

1. Identify your key talent.
Realize they can be at all levels, not just the top. Develop a process to pinpoint the key people and the key positions needed for your future growth. In other words, who are the most important people in your organization or team that will keep you competitive today and tomorrow?

2. Focus on the “value creators”.
Yes, senior management may be key but there are other employees that may actually be more important. For example, the critical technologists who know how to quickly get the system back up and running or the top sales people who have deep knowledge of and connections with your most valuable customers.

3. Start a process to re-recruit them.
Meet with this them on a regular basis to monitor what is going on. Seek their input, clarify specific performance goals, give them the resources they need and reward them in whatever way you can for results. Don’t lose them or their commitment.

4.. Provide developmental opportunities.
Top talent realizes that in a fast changing world those who snooze will soon lose. They will more likely remain if they know they are learning new things, gaining exposure to ‘hot areas’ and increasing their visibility. A company – who encourages people to upgrade their skills, acquire new knowledge or enrich their current job, will more likely get and keep highly-skilled and quality people.

5. Offer coaching not just to senior executives.
The survey stated that companies are most concerned about losing talent who they’ve designated as their future leaders. So coaching has become the most popular retention method for middle managers and high potentials. It signals loud and clear that the company is making a serious investment in them and their career development.

Smart Moves Tip:

As the economy improves, employees will have fewer reasons to stick around in jobs they don’t enjoy or not meeting their career goals. The company that offers comprehensive training with planned, on-the job developmental experience, complemented by growth focused coaching, will be more successful in retaining their valued and highly skilled talent. Here’s how one leader sees talent management:

“I believe that my associates can work anywhere they want, and my job is to re-recruit them every day and give them a reason to choose to work for us and for me as opposed to anybody else. So it’s about making it fun…about making it exciting….keeping them marketable.”


Marcia Zidle
Marcia Zidle
Marcia Zidle, The Smart Moves Coach, is a national known board certified coach and keynote leadership speaker who guides organizations that are planning, or in the midst of, ambitious growth and change. As a career strategist, she works with professionals, managers and executives who want to build • shape • brand • change • vitalize their careers. She’s been selected by LinkedIn’s ProFinder as one of the best coaches for 2016!Her clients range from private owned businesses to mid-market companies to professional service firms to NGO’s. With 25 years of management, business consulting and international experience, she brings an expertise in executive and team leadership; employee engagement and innovation; personal and organization change; career building and development; emotional and social intelligence. Your Future Starts Now With Marcia!

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  1. Marcia, I think part of this increased turnover is just a time release issue. For the past 6 years the economy has been in the ditch. Every news cast fed us data about the poor job market, layoffs in the thousands, employment and unemployment stats, etc.

    Naturally enough, most people hunkered down and did their best to protect the job they had.

    Now, with the economy crawling out of the ditch there is a residue of people looking to make a change in their job status that has built up over that 6 year period.