Develop and Retain

By Dr. William Moskal  |  Posted 2008-09-29 Print this article Print

The torch-passing that will soon take place in the corporate world as baby boomers retire will pose challenges for many organizations.

Develop and Retain

An organization’s core assets are employees’ intellectual capital, skills and talents, and commitment. Cultivating employees’ talents, developing their professional abilities and preparing them for greater responsibilities are among the most important and challenging organizational goals.

To address the needs of high-potential Gen X candidates and up-and-coming Gen Y leaders, firms must pay close attention to mentoring and career-path programs. Employees who believe they are growing and developing professionally, learning new skills and gaining experience are more productive, have higher morale, and are more loyal than employees at organizations that don’t emphasize talent development and knowledge management.

Performance-feedback policies and lifestyle benefits are also increasingly important to younger generations, many of whom seek greater work-life balance. Gen X employees work an average of three hours more per week than did employees of the same age in 1977. But this generation wants the flexibility to set their own schedules and not be chained to a desk from 9 to 5.

Planning for the Future

Effective succession planning and talent retention nurtures those employees responsible for the organization’s future vision, strategy and success. It assures a sequence of qualified, promotable people as the boomers move on.

Over the next few years, organizations face record-high retirement rates. The number of Fortune 500 executives eligible for retirement will grow exponentially by 2010. This—coupled with a smaller, younger talent pool and evolving management requirements—will make it extremely challenging for organizations to retain and develop the best people.

It should be a companywide priority to develop strategic talent retention and succession plans that reflect and support the mission of your organization, its culture and values; the goals of its employees; and the skills needed to bridge the gap between current competencies and future organizational expectations. Enterprises that commit to these processes will have a significant advantage over their competitors.

Dr. William Moskal is a principal with IRI, a human performance consulting practice based in Detroit.

Dr. William Moskal is a principal with IRI, a human performance consulting practice based in Detroit.

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