Retaining talent is a serious issue for many organisations. Each time a talented manager or member of staff leaves, they take valuable knowledge an expertise with them. But why do some organisations struggle to keep their talent, and why do talented people become disillusioned and leave?
One of the main reasons is that talent and their managers are often striving to climb what appears to them as the same ladder to reach higher levels in the organisation. The consequence of this is that they see themselves as “competitors” because they feel their personal career interests are in direct conflict. If the manager then resorts to “blocking“ behaviour, the talented individual quickly becomes disillusioned and leaves.
The second main reason why talent leaves is because they become “turned off” by their line manager. Talented people want stretch opportunities to prove themselves but managers can perceive that giving their staff stretch opportunities to learn and develop is a very risky business. As they are ultimately responsible for what the talent delivers, they do not want to risk their own reputation or career because a particular talent has failed to deliver. The result of this is that the talented individual feels that they are not stretched, they become frustrated and leave.
So how can organisations prevent this from happening? The key is to have a visible talent management programme that is owned by senior executives where these issues can be highlighted and dealt with. In addition, managers need to be given the skills to manage their talent appropriately and helped to understand the benefits of having talent for themselves, their team and ultimately the organisations success.