Develop To Retain: Future Proof Your Talent Pool

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The most cost-effective and efficient way to keep talent in your teams is to prioritise the development of your people.

develop to retain

Vacancies may be falling, and thus employers may see the power balance move in their favour. However, the competition remains high to attract, recruit and retain talented people with job-appropriate personality traits and skills. 83% of chief HR officers recently surveyed said they face a significant talent retention problem

A safe, cost-effective, and reliable way to gain the necessary technical, leadership and team skills that an organisation needs, is to grow them from within. HR and senior managers can assess who in the workforce has the potential (as well as who doesn’t) to develop further and set out appropriate pathways for them. Employers can also use this valuable data to activate and support a workplace culture which enables people to perform their best and commit to a future within the organisation.

  • Give your people strong reasons to stay
  • Promote a learning and growth culture
  • Develop homegrown skills which benefit the organisation.

Give your people strong reasons to stay

Be bold, and ask why should anyone commit any part of their future to your organisation. If the answer isn’t because they feel they are part of a good place to work, you’ve got a lot of work to do. People stay where they are because:

  • They feel valued, not blamed or taken for granted
  • They have opportunities to develop, learn and can see a clear pathway to progression
  • They have strong and supportive relationships with their coworkers and connection with their leaders.

This is your workplace culture. Work may not always go well, challenges may be daunting, times will be tough. But, if you have a fit for purpose workplace culture, your people are more likely to have the required resilience to stay put, pull together and overcome adversity. Without a positive workplace culture, you run the risk of your most talented people deciding that they will be better valued elsewhere.

... those leaders that find the balance between appropriate financial incentives and other attraction benefits, such as training and progression opportunities, will be the ones to beat the competition on a longer-term basis.

Matt Weston, senior managing director of UK and Ireland at Robert Half, People Management May 2023

Promote a learning culture and progression pathway

No one is a ‘finished article’. Even the most senior leaders have room to develop in an ever-changing world. So that being the case, continual learning should sit at the core of your retention strategy. Develop a culture:

  • Where, as the norm, your people can develop sector/job specific skills
  • Where people can grow on a personal level and strengthen their relationships with others
  • Which values and supports people to bring the best versions of themselves to work.

Sometimes the development outlined above might not be comfortable. It may include reflecting on inappropriate or unhealthy behaviour. But, these are areas which should be addressed in order to break perpetual cycles of poor behaviour. This can only be done if the individuals concerned work on their self-awareness and understand how to make change. Organisations who do not step up to support their people along this journey, will find themselves in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons. Who would want to remain in such an organisation?

Holding a mirror up to leaders’ actions to show how they may contribute to a toxic workplace can have a big impact on changing their behaviour and therefore workplace culture as a whole.

Richard Holmes, People Management April 2023

Develop homegrown skills which benefit the organisation

What skills does your organisation need for success? Strong, fair and effective leadership? Clear and authentic communication? Collaborative, resilient, and empathetic individuals who embody the organisation’s values? Sure, of course you can bring in the skills from outside. But if you have good people to begin with, you can optimise their skills for a fraction of the price and risk.

  • Identify the skills that your organisation needs now and in the future, look at where there may be gaps
  • Create and implement a structured development program to optimise skills
  • Identify adaptable people elsewhere in your organisation who will embrace the opportunity to grow within your development framework.

The mix of skills that your organisation needs is as unique as the organisation itself. That’s why it’s important to have robust tools and coaching to get the balance right. Being able to home in on the sector/job specific skills (both technical and interpersonal) that your organisation needs gives validity to your development strategy. This encourages your people to engage with and actively embrace the opportunities that you can offer them. The result is that not only can your people see the reasons to stay with your organisation, but also that they will feel integral to its success.

Create positive workplace culture to improve talent retention

A positive workplace culture improves teamwork, raises morale, increases productivity and efficiency, and enhances retention of the workforce.

Dr. Pragya Agarwal, Forbes 2018

We help organisations of every size and sector, from the start-up to the well-established, to create and optimise their talent retention strategies through positive workplace culture. Talk to our team of expert consultants and coaches to learn how we can do this for you.

Contact us to learn more.

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