Retaining Talent Or Keep Them Returning – Featured On The Straits Times (9 Sep 2016)



Retaining Talent Or Keep Them Returning

The real meaning of talent staying with you.

The favorite question that has been going around for decades regarding talent retention is about how we can retain talent. A better question to ask is how can we ensure that talent return to us one day?

Making Talent Stay

With the new generation and mindset currently in the workplace, not to mention the Gen Z that will be stepping into the workforce five to eight years from now, we must have a good sense of how they see their career today.

The way of staying with a company for years doing the same thing is not going to work well and will chase your talent away faster than you think. Organization today have to look at how people can grow tremendously across the organization in multiple ways.

Here are three quick insights on how leaders today can start making the small shift to the way they handle their talent and people development. Remember that one of the top reasons why people leave an organization is because they do not feel they are growing in their career.


Insight 1:    Invest by Talking About Their Career.

Today, people would prefer a career where they are exposed to multiple facets of the business and doing different things and handling various challenges to grow their career.

The satisfaction from learning new things and progressing forward is what we are programmed for since the day we are born. Human are made to progress, not stand still.

When leaders invest time to talk to their people about their career, it is about showing personal interest on how to succeed in your career.

At the end of the day, even if the person you groom decides to leave the organization, there will be a day where the person might just want to return to you again because you had made a difference.

People leave because of people but people will return because of the leader.


Insight 2:    Encourage Doing Things Differently.

We have always been doing it this way is not going to go down well with people today. Because it is not about how we have been doing it but how else can we do it more effectively and create new opportunities along the way.

Allow your people the autonomy at times to take some small risks and build around it. All of us like to have something that belongs to us, be it a pet project, a pioneering concept.

Give people the opportunity for trial and error creates the perception of a supporting environment where one can maximize one’s potential. If other organization does not have this opportunity and yours does, people will think twice about leaving as the opportunity cost is high.


Insight 3:    Delegate Smart

I like to call delegation work a behavioral science. If we can delegate a project in tandem with a person’s strength and potential, they shine. If we delegate without thinking through how the task can open up a person’s potential, then we are wasting time and resources.

Delegating what they want is about matching the task or project to a person’s current ability and most importantly how we can reveal those hidden capabilities. When hidden capabilities are unveiled through the right challenges – that is when people grow.

Are you delegating strategically or as an excuse to fire-fight your checklist?


In summary, talent retention should not be a topic for discussion today. We should start looking at how we can ensure the talent returns. Leaders and managers can make this happen. If you have a leader who can do the above, the talent will return.