The Career-Development Gap: Why Employers Fail To Retain Top Talent
Top talent is the most important source of competitive advantage for every corporation, especially in high tech industries that compete on creativity and innovation. That’s why these companies have the proper management techniques and the right career-development programs to retain top talent, or do they?
In a recent piece, Forbes editor Frederick E. Allenpoints to “stack ranking,” a management technique applied by Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) that undermines talent retention and company creativity rather than fostering them. In a study of 1,200 top young managers published in the July-August 2012Harvard Business Review, Monika Hamori and Burak Koyuncu identify a career-development gap between the support top young managers expect to get from their employers and the actual services they receive in the areas of mentoring, coaching, training, support from direct manager, support from the senior management, working as part of global virtual team, and a job in a new function product division, or market.
On a scale of 1-5 (5 being the most important), for instance, young managers assigned a value of 4 to mentoring and coaching, but they valued the service they received from their employers slightly below 3. The expectation gap was even greater in training, where the assigned value was close to 4.5, while the actual value was slightly above 3. That could certainly explain why these young managers were looking for jobs elsewhere. Seventy-five percent sent out resumes or contracted recruiters to move to other companies; and 95 percent engaged in networking activities, and eventually left their companies 28 months after they were hired. But why do companies fail to accommodate the expectations of their talented employees?
Because of time and money that may end up subsidizing the competition. Mentoring and coaching require a great deal of time, for both the mentor and the apprentice. Formal training is costly and requires paid time off work for the employees involved; and there’s a dilemma over its effectiveness. “Employers are understandably reluctant to make big investments in workers who might not stay long. But this creates a vicious circle: Companies won’t train workers because they might leave, and worker leave because they don’t get training.”
The Bottom Line: Top talent retention is an expensive proposition. Companies must either come up with the resources to meet up the expectations of their talented employees or be constantly in the market to replenish them.
Read more about the Harvard Business article