Talent Retention: 3 opportunities to avoid the agony of the Great Resignation

Talent Retention

Talent Retention: 3 overlooked opportunities to build team loyalty.

Worried about a potential talent loss in 2022? It’s not all about the Great Resignation. The New Year is traditionally a time where people reassess their lives and careers. A report quoting ABS figures tells us around 1 million employees leave their jobs every year. How many of those employees are your most talented individuals?

No company wants to continually cover the cost of talent loss, so here are three overlooked opportunities to reach people from the moment they join you, engage them, and build their loyalty.

Focus on company values.

This is not something we used to take much into account when searching for new talent, yet we know many employees will quit their jobs if company values don’t align with their personal values. Since the pandemic, values, purpose and social responsibility have become more important than ever. People want to make a difference. The Edelman Trust Barometer tells us “The most compelling rationale for departure was finding a better values fit (59 percent), nearly two times higher than better compensation or career advancement (31 percent).”

For companies, this means clarifying and clearly expressing their company values and purpose so they can establish a clear connection with prospective employees well before they are recruited. Finding people with the right fit gives you a better chance of retaining them in the company for longer.

Get personal.

I remember an onboarding experience I had with a large company many years ago. I was met by an HR member who ran through the rules and conditions of employment before handing me over to my new manager. The manager passed me to a supervisor who then took me around the workplace and introduced me to the leaders. It was a blur of names, and I had no idea who did what. I couldn’t work out where I belonged. The next day, my manager couldn’t even remember my name. That doesn’t seem to be an unusual experience, but it has to change.

People aren’t numbers or bodies to fill a desk. They are humans with social needs and a desire for some respect, no matter what job they are doing. Make the first few days a more social event where you get to know each other. Learn more about this new person on your team and encourage team members to chat amongst themselves. You need to give people a place of their own – and that’s much more than a desk space. Human connection gives every workplace a warmth that can’t be beaten. It’s something that is hard to give up.


What happens once your new talent has settled happily into the role? It’s time to show them you’re invested in their future. It’s clear people will leave if they can’t see a career path ahead of them. They need opportunities for growth, and they need to know you’re supporting their development. Consider things like formal and informal training, regular feedback, regular career conversations, mentoring, and offering new opportunities.

Now take that a step further. We’re in the world of remote or hybrid work experiences now, so any growth plans will be more impacted by the person’s personal circumstance, more than ever. That means work and personal lives are intertwined and growth plans need to take that into account. If you’re investing in your talent and helping them grow, it needs to be personal. One size does not fit all. If there’s one thing companies have learnt over the last couple of years, it’s the importance of employee health and wellbeing. Today, career and development plans should encourage and support personal as well as professional growth.

In a nutshell, know your company values and share them clearly. Treat your people as individuals – and build a relationship with each. Establish a connection and offer opportunities for personal and professional growth. The human touch matters.

Your leaders will play a critical role in helping you retain talent. Their emotional intelligence is the thing which will make the difference. Their ability to listen, give and accept feedback, and relate to people will influence the results.

Are your leaders ready for their roles? Offer them an opportunity for growth by extending their skills and increasing their impact and influence. Talk to me about leadership coaching and watch your talented people start to shine.

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Caroline Kennedy, author of Lead Beyond 2030: The Nine Skills You Need to Intensify Your Leadership Impact, is an accomplished, award-winning CEO and global thought leader on business and leadership. She is a highly sought-after mentor and coach to top global executives. A respected keynote speaker and author, Caroline’s methods are neuroscience-based to achieve rapid development and growth.


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