Part 1 managing talent retention and succession planning in the next decade
Managing Talent Retention and Succession Planning in the Next Decade
Part 1 - The Challenge
In the current workforce scenario, we have for the 1st time, 4 generations working at different levels
in a single organisation. The biggest challenge organisations worldwide face today is the spectre of
managing this generation diversity to enable Talent Retention. To manage this generation diversity
in the next decade there is a critical demand for organizations to develop contemporary talent
management techniques, including how they attract, retain and develop talent. To future proof
their organizations there is an urgent need for them to respond by taking significant steps to relook
at their leadership development and succession planning processes to meet the expectations of their
We have the baby boomer generation who are gradually exiting over the next decade or even
sooner. There is the Gen Y, though open to adapting, has its own mindset and world view. And then
we have the very unpredictable whole new generation of the Millennials, These young people who
are into their early 30s and mid 20s are now coming into the workforce while the Gen X are moving
in to fill the positions of the exiting baby-boomer Senior Management roles. This generation
diversity poses a challenging spectre of talent erosion and sustainability of a pool of high potentials
for succession planning.
The management methods of the exiting Chief Executives are largely of the old school ‘command
and control’, where it is disrespectful to question authority. Having been brought up under this
regime, the compliancy methods of the middle management mainly comprising of the risk averse
Gen X, though with their soft skill training on inter-personal relations, are largely lacking in the
awareness of the expectations of the Gen Y and the Millennials who are brought up in the internet
and social media era.
The Need for Talent Retention
Until very recently businesses have been conveniently heavily reliant on ‘Foreign Talents’ as cost
effective and readily available means. With the clamp down by the authorities on hiring foreign
talent in response to netizens outcry, companies are struggling with talent retention and succession
planning issues. It is becoming increasingly obvious that a decent pay packet, a comfortable work
environment, a pampering ‘com & ben’ package, a gym membership and pool tables at the pantry
and ironically even well intended promotions are not enough to retain talent these days. This stems
from the older generations mistaken assumption that the younger Gen Y employees main interest is
in being developed for administrative management roles.
In response to the corporate world’s need to future proof their organisations for talent retention,
NACN Consulting conducted a study over the year, with a team of experts pooled together from
schools of thoughts on Counselling Psychology, Appreciative Inquiry, Integral Mindfulness,
Leadership Profiling and Business Consulting. A research was undertaken to understand the
behavioural patterns of the different generations, particularly the Gen Y and the Millennials, from
the workplace perspective. From the interactions with 4 generations of corporate workers from all
levels, the team arrived at the following findings.
• The management methods of the exiting Chief Executives are largely of the old school ‘command
and control’, where it is disrespectful to question authority was not conducive.
• The Gen X mainly comprising of middle management having been brought up under this regime
to be compliant, especially as it was much needed during their era of construction and
development to ensure success of organisations as well the country’s growth.
• The Gen Y which with an ever questioning mind seeking explanation and rationalisation to
everything right from their formative years, , grew up in the internet age which allowed
accessibility hitherto to unknown and remote sources of information thereby developing its own
• The advent of the new entrants – the tech savvy and ‘touchy, feely’ Millennials or Gen Z brought
up in the social media age, where they can express what they want. What they are searching for
is whether the corporate vision and the career that is being offered are exciting or energising and
meets their aspirations.
High attrition issues faced by organisations
• The number one reason employees quit is due to lack of recognition. Sixty-five percent of
employees do not feel recognized at work.
• When employees leave they take with them the knowledge, skills and experience that
contributed to the organisations’ success.
• Increased overtime costs or disgruntlement are incurred when existing employees pick up the
slack to cover a former employee’s duties.
• Replacement costs associated with recruitment such as advertising, search and agency fees,
applicant screening, interviewing, etc.
• Repeated on-boarding time consuming efforts such as orientation, classroom training and settling
• Low morale of existing employees experiencing high turnover of their colleagues with whom they
have just begun to bond with.
So what’s the next move?
• Change the way you drive engagement in your workforce.
• Make it unimaginable for them to leave your company. Recognize achievements in-the-moment
and the behaviours that lead to positive action and exemplary results. Create an energised
• Engage, align, and recognize your employees so they stay in the game and achieve greater
• In order to triumph over disengagement, your business must abandon old-school engagement
strategies. Now is the time to adapt to your new reality as a future-focused employer with a
stable talent pool to sustain growth.
Recruiting, retaining, and inspiring top talent has never been more essential—especially when 60
percent of new jobs will require skills held by 20 percent of the population. Every employee must be
engaged, must be aligned with business objectives. An enthused employee makes 100 times lesser
errors in their work than disengaged employees.
The negative impact of Disengaged Employees
1. Disengaged employees fire customers. Sixty-eight percent of customers leave because of poor
2. Disengaged employees call in “sick.” Disengaged employees look for an escape route from the
place they hate most—their workplace. Even worse, your engaged employees (the ones showing
up to work and putting in extra discretionary effort) have to pick up the slack, negatively
impacting their own performance. When employees call in sick, the organization suffers from a
loss of productivity.
3. Disengaged employees will leave your company. Sixty-five percent of employees quit because of
a lack of recognition.
4. Disengaged employees negatively impact profitability. Disengaged employees cost an
organization approximately $3,400 for every $10,000 in annual salary as they are under
productive. Disengaged employees make 100 times more errors than their engaged colleagues.
The Need for Contemporary Talent Management Methods
Innovative methods of Talent Management are crucial to future proof our businesses. When you
speak of innovation in HR you talk about introducing new ideas and methods. Besides the spate of
various soft skill trainings and technology available to enable talent management, there is an urgent
need for organisations to arrest the high attrition rate of talent potentials to ensure sustainability
and growth of their businesses.
From the findings of our business consultants compiled from the inroads made into the workplaces
of our corporate clients, we have explored the behavioural patterns of the generations and mapped
them against our in depth knowledge in the areas of enrichment programs like Counselling
Psychology, Appreciative Inquiry, Integral Mindfulness and Leadership Profiling. From our study of
these concepts we have compiled a set of contemporary techniques of Talent Retention programs
focussed on senior and middle management corporate leadership. The innovative training programs
recommend teaching specific engagement techniques that create awareness of the expectations and
the psyche of the two younger generations of workers. We have therefore put together the positive
values of our Leadership Enrichment Training programs for the middle management for successful
retention of the younger talents, enabling them to fully integrate into the workplace managed by
the earlier generations.
Part 2 on the approach shall be posted in a fortnight. Watch this page.
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