Retaining & Progressing Top Leadership Talent

Jul 20 2021 | Insights
Handsome positive senior man wearing glasses enjoying distant education while sitting at his cozy workplace with laptop computer at home, retired pensioner learning studying online indoors

Retaining and training top leadership talent is essential for businesses to maintain steady growth and financial stability. Ezra discusses the challenges in the space and how organizations can meaningfully rise to meet them.

In a 2018 study carried out by Work Institute, it was estimated that around 42 million employees would leave their jobs in 2018–that’s a staggering one in every four. But perhaps the most shocking statistic is that nearly 77% of that turnover could be prevented by employers if they showed more support.

Employee retention has always been a concern regardless of the type of business you operate. In certain industries, the problem is even more prevalent. For example, around 65% of tech employees think they can find a better position in the industry. This is likely due to how fast-paced the tech industry is and how quickly companies need to adapt by hiring people with unique or different skill sets. In addition, turnover rates have been increasing since 2018 and it’s only going to get worse as we cope with the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.

An even bigger concern is actually losing your top leadership talent. Management positions can be stressful due to all the responsibilities they have, and it can be hard for a team to adjust to a new leader. That’s why companies pay CEOs huge salaries and give them tantalizing benefit packages to sweeten the deal. They understand how important it is to retain leadership talent, hence why they go the extra mile.

Why retain rather than replace?

It’s fairly common for organizations to get into the habit of constantly looking for replacements. Given that the average employee stays with a company for just 4.2 years, it’s no surprise that many larger companies are constantly looking for potential replacements, even for their most talented staff members. However, it’s an expensive process and there are much better alternatives.

Firstly, retaining your leadership talent is often considered a cheaper option. This is because retaining leadership means your team doesn’t need to go through yet another adjustment period to start collaborating with their managers. It also means less money spent on recruiting and interviewing, and it ensures that no other changes need to be made to your workflow in order to accommodate your new leader.

However, progressing your leadership talent can also be an effective option for maintaining the growth and stability of your company. Organizations tend to fail when it comes to training their leadership talent and giving them more options for future growth. By focusing on this as a priority, your leaders are far more likely to stick with your company but they’ll also learn valuable skills which can be used to drive business growth.

Optimizing development support for leaders

Leadership development can help support your leaders by teaching them the necessary skills they need to enhance the overall productivity and efficiency of their team, but what exactly constitutes useful development?

There are two main categories of skills that you should focus on.

Soft skills are traits that can be transferred to almost any industry or role. They include concepts such as communication, collaboration, organization, and networking. These are important skills regardless of your job title and should form the basic foundation of any competent leader.

Hard skills are important for specific industries and will depend on the type of business that you operate. Hard skills will differ based on the type of workflow or industry that a leader is a part of, so this is a little harder to develop in a leader. The main focus here should be equipping leaders with the knowledge and experience they need to help make decisions and guide their team to success.

By focusing on these two skill categories, you can make more effective training programs and offer useful development support for talented leaders in your organization. Not only does this improve their effectiveness and productivity, but it can also retain them because you’re giving them an opportunity to develop their skills and further their career.

Tailoring development for all your employees

While leaders are an important component of your business, it’s important not to neglect your other employees as well. All of your staff should be given access to development support to grow their skills and improve their productivity. This is a basic necessity that all businesses should support and encourage because it helps to grow your business and establish a positive office culture.

But how exactly do you tailor your development support to help retain and progress your top talent?

It’s all about striking a balance between their work duties with training time. You should be actively encouraging your staff to pursue their interests and new skills that can help improve their resume, and you should motivate them to learn more soft and hard skills. This is arguably one of the best ways to retain talent. To reinforce this point, statistics show that 70% of employees would be more likely to leave their current job to join another organization that is known for investing in employee training and development. If you start focusing on growing your employees and offering them the support they need to develop their skills, then you’ll have a much easier time retaining your top leadership talent.

But again, balance is the key here. If you’re forcing your employees to undergo training programs that they have no interest in or they don’t understand why it’s important, then it’s going to be met with resistance and they’ll likely be less productive knowing that they have to sit through a course they aren’t motivated to work through. Make sure you communicate with your employees about how you can provide assistance to develop their skills.

Retaining and progressing top leadership talent isn’t easy, but it’s essential if you want to save money as an organization and ensure stable business growth. Without providing effective development support to your staff, you’re going to have a tough time motivating them to stay with your company when there are more options out there to advance their career.

Bring leadership talent retention and progression to the front of your agenda with Ezra’s world-class employee coaching, built to fit into today’s working life. We’ve redesigned leadership coaching for the modern age to help transform people through affordable, scalable and high-impact solutions, with equitable access through our world-class coaching app. Find out today how digital coaching could make a big difference to your organization.

Explore More Insights