Developing Your Talent

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Mobilize Your Workforce by Creating a Culture of Development

By Kristen Leverone on March 25, 2014

The workforce is growing restless. Increasingly disengaged in their current roles, employees are poised to change jobs this year in hopes of moving their careers in more rewarding directions. They’re seeking new challenges, a way to shake off the dissatisfaction that settled in as the country grappled with a stagnant economy. To retain top talent, organizations must step up and provide employees  opportunities to grow in their roles—through a commitment to internal talent mobility. Without a plan or strategy for retention and development, organizations lack the skills needed to fill key roles and face talent gaps that are becoming increasingly difficult to fill.

A recent HR.com/Silkroad.com survey revealed that HR’s number one concern for 2014 is “engaging and retaining employees.” The survey underscores the importance of providing career development opportunities that will set the stage for mobility within the organization—driving engagement and retention, reducing turnover costs, and aligning talent with the needs of the business. When an employee exits the organization, the expense of hiring, training and onboarding a new employee—not to mention the subsequent disruption to conducting day-to-day business—can be significant. While cost calculators have been developed to determine the hard fiscal realities of employee turnover, a recent article in Workforce.com offers a different perspective from Jeff Chambers, the vice president for HR at SAS Institute: “We don’t measure turnover costs, but we know that retaining our critical employees saves us $50 million to $70 million a year in business productivity.” How much would your organization save?

Mobilize your workforce and prepare them for emerging roles within the organization by committing to employee engagement and retention strategies that:

  1. Engage employees in ongoing career development conversations. Understand their goals and identify career options within the organization and developmental opportunities that will help satisfy their career aspirations.
  2. Hold managers accountable for building and developing talent. Discourage talent hoarding and treat the task of developing employees as another vital managerial key performance indicator.
  3. Use career planning and development to prepare for new roles. Role hopping is a viable alternative to job hopping—your goal is to keep key talent onboard and retain their institutional knowledge.
  4. Encourage employees to manage their careers. Provide them with career-enhancing opportunities such as working on cross-functional teams, stretch assignments or leading key projects.
  5. Provide mentorship and advocacy. Offer opportunities for internal networking with managers acting as facilitators to increase employee visibility.

Is your workforce ready for what’s ahead? Our free diagnostic will give you insight into your own talent strategy by helping you assess how effectively your organization is practicing specific behaviors and strategies that drive improved performance. Begin the diagnostic now.

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