Developing Your Talent


Can We Talk? How to Engage and Retain Talent

By Helene Cavalli on November 14, 2013

With so many employees being asked to go “above and beyond” in order to fill gaps created by workforce reductions and budget cuts, some are feeling stretched to their limits.  Compounded by the relentless sense of urgency that permeates the business environment, it’s easy to see why so many employees may feel they don’t know what to do next, how to get it done, or whether they have the ability or resources to do so.  The result:  a lot of paralysis.  And in today’s competitive climate, those who delay, lose.

Managers have an important role to play when it comes to empowering employees and fostering their success. And one of the most effective tactics available to managers is to regularly engage workers in “coaching conversations” to ensure:

  • Roles and responsibilities are clearly articulated
  • Expectations and goals are set
  • Adequate support is provided to develop needed skills
  • Decision-making skills are developed and exercised
  • Effective guidance is provided to enhance performance or prepare for advancement
  • A climate of trust is fostered to share challenges and needs

With little direction or guidance, employees are left to “sink or swim.”   Coaching conversations are a proven approach for developing and retaining key talent.  Build your managers’ capabilities to develop their teams through meaningful, productive and focused conversations.

2 Responses to “Can We Talk? How to Engage and Retain Talent”

  1. Patty Tanji

    “Compounded by the relentless sense of urgency that permeates the business environment”.

    In my experience this phenomenon is more about fear and less about confidence in a company’s willingness to stick to its own strategies including its human capital strategies. Constantly running from the ‘bogeyman’ competitor creates chaos and lack of confidence in the company’s leaders to think for themselves.

    • Lee Hecht Harrison

      I agree, Patty. Fear definitely contributes to the inability to get things done. When fear stems from a lack of information, this can be addressed through the kinds of coaching conversations outlined. Engaging in regular career conversations is another opportunity for managers and leaders to reinforce the strategy, the messaging, new initiatives and results achieved. This way employees aren’t left in the dark about what’s going on.


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