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Friday, December 14, 2012

Corporates lack confidence in ability to retain vital staff, study finds

Less than half of senior managers in UK and Ireland blue chip organisations are confident of retaining individuals who are critical to their success.

That was the key finding from a survey by talent management consultancy Right Management which reveals that only 55 per cent of managers believe they are effective at retaining their future senior leaders. This is despite the fact that most organisations invest in development programmes for key people and many expect that investment to increase.

This survey of 200 senior managers found that ninety two per cent of organisations have formal programmes in place to develop their future leaders and76 per cent have programmes in place for people with specialist skills and knowledge. However, only 49 per cent of senior managers questioned believed that these critical individuals are being developed in such a way that will help their organisation achieve its business objectives.

Mark Hodgson, practice leader of talent management in Right Management, said: "The results suggest a lack of creative thinking in the way development programmes are structured, particularly for high value individuals" .

"Development practice is an important part of how organisations retain their key people but success is determined by detail. Achieving the right blend of development activity is critical. Worryingly, organisations are placing the majority of their investment solely in traditional development programmes instead of blending this with experiential development opportunities such as stretch assignments, secondments, coaching and mentoring, all of which in our experience are far more effective for developing high potential people who learn best by doing."

The survey also shows that 36 per cent don't measure their success in retaining high value individuals and 25 per cent don't measure success when retaining their high potential, future leaders. Where measurement does take place, organisations use retention rates, appraisals and the rate and numbers of promotions.

Hodgson also believes that current practices are of particular worry for businesses trying to create leaders with the kind of skill sets required for global challenges.

"Traditional thinking on how best to develop people will not create leaders with that range of competencies. Companies need to demand that their suppliers and partners are much more creative when helping them develop critical people in a very challenging business environment."


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