This is why your top talent leaves – and how to stop them

It’s a question that HR leaders have been asking themselves for decades

This is why your top talent leaves – and how to stop them

Why do good employees leave? It’s a question that HR leaders have been asking themselves for decades. Money? Power? A more senior job title? In reality, there’s a million reasons employees walk out of the door, though recent reports have suggested that often it’s down to personae factors.

A recent report from Mercer found that one third of all employees plan on quitting their current role in the next 12 months – citing a lack of career support and opportunities as the main reason why. In fact, just 12% of employees claim that salary is the driving factor of taking on a new role.

So, how can employers keep their top talent from seeking out pastures new?

“What really makes people want to stay with a company is having a strong resonance between their personal values and those of the business,” explained Norm Sabapathy, executive vice president of people at Cadillac Fairview and speaker at our upcoming HR Leaders Summit in Toronto.

He went on to tell HRD that the best way to keep top talent around is to give them an opportunity to shine as an individual.

“Essentially, it comes down to employees finding a place where they can personally make a difference, while also being able to grow and develop their own career,” added Norm. “You can always chase titles and money by jumping ship to different organizations, but what keeps an employee loyal to an organization is having that deep sense of resonance with the corporate purpose and values.

“The employees who stay are the ones who know that every day, when they turn up to the office, their work has meaning. They can develop their careers and they can make a difference.”

This hyper-personalization of the development plans is a key differentiator for brands, as well as being a sticky tactic to keep executives in place. Earlier this year, we spoke to Laura Sherbin, co-president at the Center for Talent Innovation. We learned that one third of new employees actually make the decision to leave their new employer just six months into the job.

“Flight risk is inevitable if employees experience barriers to their career progression - and, unfortunately, diverse employees frequently report facing unfair barriers,” added Laura.

“HR leaders can play a significant role in reducing this trend by ensuring diverse employees have access to sponsors, senior colleagues advocating for their career advancement. A study from the Center for Talent Innovation (CTI) called The Sponsor Effect 2.0: Road Maps for Sponsors and Protégés found that professionals who had sponsors were far more likely than those who lacked them to be satisfied with their rates of advancement—what CTI referred to as the ‘sponsor effect’.

Laura revealed that female employees with sponsors were 19% more likely than women without sponsors to be satisfied with their progression. Something to bear in mind next time you’re weighing up the benefits or a mentorship program in your organization.

To hear more from Norm, book your ticket to our upcoming HR Leaders Summit in Toronto on November 13th and 14th. Find out more here.  


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