Recently a human resource executive asked if we could work with her firm on a new career development program.

“Why are you doing this?” we asked.

“Retention,” she said, “we are focusing more on retention now and we see career development as an important part of our retention efforts.”

Our partners in Lincolnshire International and in Arbora Global Career Partners report similar requests for career development programs. Many executive recruiters anticipate increased turnover, especially from high performers and high potentials, as the recession ebbs and employment opportunities expand.

So well-run firms and organizations are gearing up their talent management efforts, particularly talent acquisition, talent use, and talent retention; and employers known for developing people for the future tend to have an easier time attracting and keeping high performers and high potential staff. This increased focus on talent management and career development reflects awareness of how costly the hire-lose-rehire process can be.

Research in theUSand overseas indicates “career attention” by employers is a strong emotional issue for staff, especially high potentials who want to be better performers — and better performers are the ones employers-of-choice attract and retain.

Tips For Employers: Evaluate what your organization is doing in the area of talent management; what can you do to improve engagement, stimulate high performance and retain good workers? (Suggestion: Ask workers what motivates them and what they want?)

Tips For Employees: Look at your own career development; it’s mostly your responsibility.  Find out what career development your employer offers (e.g. coaching, mentoring, training, career pathing, cross-development work opportunities) and participate in them. (Suggestion: Meet with your supervisor to discuss development avenues that could benefit you, your supervisor and your organizations.)

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