Averting Fallout from the Great Resignation – Some practical tips about Talent

/ Diana Vienne

Addressing The Great Resignation, a term that didn’t even exist much more than a year ago, is now a key strategy for leaders across industries and across the country. They are looking at their talent, analyzing their bench strength, and putting plans together to keep the doors open if (when?) another momentum-changing event rocks the business world.

In other words, they are focusing instead on The Great Retention.

Multiple workplace studies since the start of the pandemic have shown that employees want to work for companies that offer more than a paycheck. They want to know that their overall well-being matters, that they can grow and develop, and that they can build their career.

Organizations that understand this are seizing the moment to gain a competitive advantage.

Here are a five practical tips for thinking about talent retention in new ways:

Think outside the 9-box.

Many companies use a 9-Box talent management grid to assess their employees’ current and potential contribution to the organization. On the 3×3 grid, the intersection of rows (performance) and columns (potential) provides leaders with information they can use for succession planning, talent development, coaching opportunities, and even whether the time has come to cut ties. But thinking outside the traditional 9-Box can help you focus on attributes / factors that predict future success – such as readiness for more responsibility and the level and impact of flight risks. Consider creating a talent review framework, process, and tools that works for your particular needs.

Mine (and mind) your data.

Create your own tools for turning qualities and attributes into quantifiable data. Asking leaders to review their teams using multiple, measurable scales can give them a tool to view reports based on different criteria (i.e., level, tenure, risk of turnover); in turn, the reports can enable meaningful, candid conversations about talent – and the development plans to move them forward.

Start with a pilot.

Select a representative group within your organization – one with varying levels, skills, tenure, etc. Running a small pilot program with this type of group will allow HR more intimate access to leaders to help guide them as they take their staff on this journey. The pilot, of course, also offers time to analyze your framework and make adjustments before moving out to the larger organization.

Identify gaps.

The pilot we conducted revealed that the organization needed further grounding in the nuances of talent management. Yours might identify a need to build leaders’ skills around having conversations about talent, using data to drive talent-based decisions, and even how talent management is a critical need for the organization. It is dangerous to assume that everyone is starting on the same page with the same capabilities.

Involve senior leaders.

Senior leaders are critical to the success of a large venture that will touch everyone in your organizations. For most companies, this will represent a culture change, and any change of that magnitude start at the top of the house to build senior leaders’ understanding and advocacy. Leaders will need time on building skills in change and talent management. Specifically, they will need to set expectations and prepare managers for all-important conversations about talent

These tips can help you create a fresh, unique, flexible, and scalable framework to enable important discussions about people and to identify employees who can best benefit from development opportunities within your organization.