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Using Development Efforts to Retain Key Talent

ICC July 26, 2021 0 Comments

By: Shawna Simcik

Now that the pandemic is seemingly over, companies are now turning their attention to retention efforts and the new way of work in 2021. While HR leaders have spent the last year focused on the economic shutdown, vaccinations, and safety considerations, their attention has now taken a dramatic turn to retention challenges. In fact, retention and turnover experts are now predicting voluntary turnover will increase significantly this year – so much that the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM) coined the term “turnover tsunami." Further, the recently released ICC Workforce Trends Survey of 2021 noted that one of the top concerns of HR and business leaders today and into 2022 is “retaining key talent.”

The reasons for this turnover are a plenty, including burnout, better compensation/benefits, better work/life balance, and more development opportunities. One way in which employers can lessen their own tsunami is to quickly implement and launch development opportunities for their most at risk-employees and/or those who can have the greatest impact on minimizing turnover – the front-line manager.

ICC’s Accelerator Program™ offers ready-to-launch leadership journeys to immediately impact the behavior of your front-line managers who supervise as much as 80% of an employer’s workforce (HBR, The Front-Line Advantage, 2011). If you already offer leadership development opportunities but want to make a big impact on your learner retention and leadership effectiveness following the program, be sure to include these four elements:

  1. Microlearning: Employees do not have time for half-day or full-day training programs. The modern learner wants relevant, timely information, in the moment they need it, on-demand. They also want it in pieces. Enter microlearning, which breaks down lengthy content into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Reinforcements: Simple – if you want someone to remember something they have learned, you have to reinforce it. The Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve tells us, the moment someone learns something new and then walks out the door, they will forget more than 50% of what they just learned. Let us curtail this and reinforce the learning and behavior.
  3. Coaching: It seems like a great idea to put learning in front of a leader and say, “go learn; here are the resources." But learners have difficulty motivating themselves, and even the most motivated leader may have trouble applying theories of leadership to their job, in their department, or with their direct reports. Coaching allows learners the space to practice their learned skills, receive feedback, and make the learning applicable to them.
  4. Manager Accountability: Your best-laid training plans do not stand a chance if the participant’s manager isn’t holding them accountable to apply the new learnings. While accountability sounds confrontational, “did you do this?" it doesn’t have to be; it is about providing support to the participants’ manager to prompt, listen, and open up the conversation about leadership and learning.

Don’t sit back and wait for the retention tsunami to hit your organization. Be proactive, heed the warnings, and head to higher development ground!

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