Checkpoint Corner: Talent Attraction & Retention

When people leave, you may lose more than you realise

Losing talent is one of the toughest challenges firms face

One of our recent assignments has been all about helping an organisation to retain its talent, following a significant number of regretted leavers (Challenge 1 in our league table below); talent that is critical to managing change.

The client had recently cascaded a new long-term technology vision, with expectations at an all-time high. The eyes of executive leadership were fixed on implementation of the strategy, with progress shared in investor reports. Highly skilled and capable employees are needed to drive this vision. But there was an increase in leavers, with every regretted leaver costing the bank significant money and resources to replace, potentially hindering the very achievement of its new vision.

Overnight, the value of the employee network and knowledge were lost with each resignation letter submitted, some coming after 20 years’ experience of creating business value for the bank, buffeted by the limitations of the employee grading structure. Gone too were key employees, creating business value in excess of their pay check along with their ability to bring others together to collaborate. New joiners’ speed to performance sits at more than six months in matrix organisations, so talent retention is a high priority if the organisation is to deliver to the strategy at the required pace.

Revitalising the employee value proposition is at the heart of our approach in helping the organisation to thrive in the marketplace.  New technical and change career paths are central to a new promise to employees, providing much needed clarity on the career span for technical and change roles.  From graduates to aspiring managing directors, the talent now understands the greater range of career possibilities for those that wish to stay on the technical and change tracks, as well as those focused more on line management. After all, world class coders are to be coveted, much like successful traders in an investment bank.

Yet all of this may prove to have been the easy bit.  The talent ecosystem and supporting leg of promotion and reward have to be evidenced for employees to believe more than one performance cycle to be true.  While the new vision may be straightforward, it’s the supporting rigour that counts when you want to keep your talent and deliver on your employee value proposition.

We help firms worldwide define and deliver their talent strategies. To find out more, please contact us.

About the author

I believe in the importance of developing people, teams and organisations and partnering with organisations to create the right solution.