2015 Warning – A Talent Shortage! Focus on Growing and Retaining Your Talent – Part 2 of 2

Are your competitors luring your best employees away to "greener pastures?"

Are your competitors luring your best employees away to “greener pastures?”

The premise of this two part series is that there is a major issue now facing US companies as the economy continues to improve and the record number of people retiring exceeds the supply of new qualified talent entering the work place.

In Part 1 (link) I focused on three top sources of bringing in new talent. But once you obtain the best talent, how do you keep them engaged and growing? And to make the issue worse, as the economy continues to improve, you competitors are going to come after your best people to lure them away to greener pastures. You need to actively show your employees that the company cares about their career growth and that great future possibilities are available within your enterprise.

The importance of providing a skills and career growth value proposition is highlighted in the SHRM (Society of Human Resource Management) January/February 2015 “HR Magazine” in a feature story called “What’s in Store for HR in 2015.” In fact, a majority, 5 of the 9 predictions, supports this theme of the importance of talent development:
• Culture, diversity, engagement and retention will be front-burner issues.
• Corporate learning will be transformed and will take on more importance
• Talent mobility and career management strategies will become necessary to complete
• Leaders will invest in talent analytics and workforce planning
• HR teams will get a new design and focus on professional development

When your best talent leaves to go somewhere else (and let’s face it, it normally is your best who are recruited and lured away by competitors), the replacement cost in terms of recruiting, hiring and onboarding is huge! The cost per employee can often range from 1 to 1.5 times annual salary. Yet to invest in some robust career development tools to excite and retain your employees may even cost less than replacing one employee! Get proactive and grow your people instead of spending millions of dollars on “employee replacement costs.”

A good talent growth strategy will involve engaging employees in growing skills within their current position as well as giving them tools to plan meaningful longer range careers within your enterprise (see my past blog on short range and longer range development.) On the career growth side, I offer an innovative yet proven approach based on career mapping that is tailored to your enterprise and engages employees enthusiastically in longer range career planning.

Check out the Total Engagement Career Mapping offering as well as reading this ZipRecruiter article about my process. In addition, here is another article that demonstrates how to calculate a business case for investment in employee career development, ideal for securing the necessary budget from your CFO. And then contact me today to request my two page offering spec sheet and / or to set up an appointment to discuss how Total Engagement Career Mapping can work within your company.

Investing in Employees Part 1 – Short Term Transactions or Long Term Partners?

In this two part blog series, I am going to examine different perspectives of employees. The continued (and often exclusive) emphasis on short term earnings and current quarter results often and easily spreads into decisions around employee management and investment. The short term view of employees is that they are temporary resources that we engage to deliver a certain defined service. When that service is no longer needed, the employee is expendable. Employees are viewed as short term transactions.

This construct may certainly be valid for a subset of employees, especially if a business has large swings and is “large temporary project based.” Employees may be needed to simply fulfill a large non-recurring contract. However, there is a real need to view a significant part of the employee base as long term partners.

Long time employees who have strong loyalty to the enterprise serve many important roles. Often they are the ones who have a deep understanding of the entire enterprise and how everything works together within the company, and grown into general management roles. Other employees develop a strong expertise of industry dynamics and fulfill strategic planning and market planning roles. Others develop a deep relationship with the client base and are the sales leaders. And some become experts and senior advisors and specialists within a certain function of the company. In Part 2 I will explore the generalist vs specialist dynamic a little deeper.

Very importantly, enterprise organizational and employee development tools and processes need to address long term employee partnership as well as short term transactional skills. There is frequently a gap here. When I meet with clients, many have robust programs for employees to develop skills in their current jobs. Annual development plan reviews often focus on skills to enhance or improve current job performance. But are employees also engaged on discussions of five or ten year career growth?

This is a typical short term skills building cycle, but a longer range career planning component needs to be added to employee development programs

Employee development processes need to have balance between the short term and long term and include a long range career growth component. That is what Total Engagement Consulting offers companies with our Career Road Mapping Services. We provide a construct and process for enterprises to offer employees long range career planning customized to their enterprise. This will increase employee engagement and productivity, retention and building long term employee loyalty and partnership.

Look for part 2 next week and also check out earlier blogs around career road mapping:
• Link: Introducing Career Road Mapping Services
• Link: The Business Case for Career Road Mapping / Skills Development

Also take my 11-question career road mapping / skills development quiz to see where your enterprise stands in the area.