Do we want to keep our talent?

Do we want to keep our talent?

The scripts from Baby boomers and early Generation X – hold dear to the ‘ stick in at a job and get a good retirement’ chapter. 

At a time in business where we are going to have 4 different generations coming to the party, we have to be willing to have a different conversation about retention. 

I chaired a Boardroom bites for Raise the Bar a few weeks ago and this, amongst other topics, divided the group.  With different sectors – from communications, financial institutions, to consultants it was interesting to watch this discussion. 

The dialogue ranged from ‘you cannot be comfortable letting go of talent’ to “yes, we are and its ok, and – you know what – they come back with a wealth of experience and creativity’. 


A recent study says only 13% of those born between 1982 and 2002 believe waiting for the 5 year mark is necessary. In fact, 25% believe looking for another position before a year is up is okay.  

I have had many ‘conversations’ with my parents about how I would change job (back when I had a proper job!), as it didn’t really fit into their script. Especially when I had a “good job” before. 


Kevin Roberts from Saatchi & Saatchi wants freshness in the business – “we are in the ideas business. – I have a new company every 3 years – a third of our population leave every year”. 


“Job hopping is no longer evil”


With the generational debate we are redefining what work means – where is it, how do we do it and who do we want to do it? 

The employee is evolving – with technology we can work anywhere, you have access to so much more information and adaptive learning is coming to the forefront. 

Is 9 – 5 actually even something that exists anymore? In the industrial revolution we certainly needed this – and, of course, we still do – with so many businesses run online (1 in 6 Britain’s run a business online) and international spans of control, we are attached to our phones and tablets.  And, employees are starting the conversation on ‘working when it works for me’. I know myself, my best time of productivity is first thing in the morning and late at night – I am definitely not a 9 – 5 person! 


And so the question is - how do we shape our talent strategy to accommodate different generations, how do we position the retention of talent and is it Ok to let them go? 


Next article on talent shall look at generations – from boomers to Z’ers! 


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