On Retention of Senior Talent

Posted by admin on August 12, 2009

By Bernie Reifkind, CEO


To compete successfully in the business world –in any industry – successful recruitment and retention of senior talent is the ultimate goal of most progressive organizations.

The costs associated with talent turnover not only in real dollars but in employee morale can be devastating to the momentum of an organization moving forward.

Contrast that with successful employee retention, an organization can reach new heights, weather potential storms and most importantly generate substantial employee morale in which everyone benefits.  This translates to huge revenue generation.

In the span of more than twenty years as the nationwide leader in the successful recruitment and placement of health care professionals, Premier Search has concluded that many factors are relevant with regard to employee retention.

Management must never forget that an employment relationship is a relationship.

Treating employees with respect and dignity is critical to retaining happy employees.  Research shows that employees who do not feel like they are treated with respect by their employers are over three times more likely to leave their jobs within two years than those who feel they are treated respectfully.

In addition, “indifferent treatment” such as failure to recognize and reward employees for jobs well done, has an enormous impact on how employees feel and employers’ ability to retain them.

Almost 90% of employees (who are changing jobs) say that they don’t receive acknowledgement for the work that they do.

The most common reason why people make a job change is the relationship with their boss.

Obviously many factors come in to play as to reasons why people make job changes (more money, distance, commuting, personal factors, ambition, etc.)  However the main reason why people stay or go is directly related to their relationship with their boss.

The following suggestions may be of significant value in showing respect and appreciation with regard to retention of your best people

  1. Recognize people for their accomplishments and provide them with the freedom to use their judgment
  2. Appreciate employees in frequent and creative ways
  3. Solicit, listen to and act on work related ideas from employees such as input on how they can be more successful
  4. Encourage innovation and new ideas
  5. Provide employees with helpful feedback and coaching
  6. Value employees as individuals and give them a sense of being included
  7. Encourage full expression of ideas without fear of negative consequences
  8. Listen and fairly handle employee’s complaints.

Successful employee retention is vital to the health of a dynamic organization and is completely dependent upon actions that management can take to directly impact a company’s essential resource:  human capital.

Your people need to know that you care about them.

3 Responses to “On Retention of Senior Talent”

  1. Bernie,

    I agree wholeheartedly with your comments. My experience for the past 20 years is that reporting into a much younger supervisor sometimes causes issues for senior managers. I had a situation that drove me to resign when I found myself reporting to relative of the owner of the company who knew nothing about Human Resources issues. I made every effort in this relationship, but she was too busy hanging out with her younger co-workers.

    I would bet you that there are many other senior talent in the same position out there. Many members of the younger generation are not trained in employee retention nor do they have the emotional intelligence to develop their people and make them feel important.

    MG Moore, MSSW

  2. Bernie,

    Your article on retention highlights one aspect of retention, i.e., what an organization needs to do for employees, the other aspect is the organization’s culture itself. Sometimes, employee quit because they stop to believe..


  3. Bernie, you’ve hit some nails right on the head. All my workplace experience has led me to two of your observations:

    1. The single most important factor is my decision to engage with the work of my organization is my feeling about my relationship with my boss.

    2. Employees whose contributions are not recognized adequately will seek to work elsewhere.

    A corollary to #2: most forms of workplace recognition are riffs on ‘thank you’.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.