Don’t just stop the talent drain, encourage talent to stay!

Posted on March 15, 2022 at 09:33 AM


With many employees seemingly re-evaluating how and where they work, what are the talent initiatives that can help retain employees and give them a vision of the future with you? Back in March 2021, Microsoft’s 2021 Work Trend Index reported that 41% of workers were likely to consider leaving their job in the coming year. They were seemingly re-evaluating their careers, how and where they worked – and what they were paid. What’s more, the prediction played out. A total of 19 million workers in the UK handed in their notice between March and July 2021.

By September, workers were feeling bullish about moving on from their current employer. Randstad UK reported that 69% of workers felt confident to move on to a new role in the coming months with nearly one-quarter actively planning a move within three months.

And the great talent reshuffle has not yet settled. Recent news stories continue to report that more than four in ten are considering finding a new job in 2022.

Retention programs work – for some. Increased pay and remuneration may help stop the bleed.

However, for most, taking the business forward requires an engaged and fulfilled workforce. One that understands what is needed from them right now and has a clear line of sight to how they can develop into the future.

At Head Light, our client conversations around the retention of their talent focus on three key areas.

  1. How to encourage talent to develop their career within your firm, rather than looking elsewhere.
  2. How to make conversations around progression part of regular practice.
  3. How to demonstrate your investment in younger talent who may not yet be ready for the traditional leadership development programmes offered.

We're able to show our clients how our software can help to:

  1. Offer different future career paths – and a way for employees to work out which to take.
  2. Make development an everyday part of the coaching and performance conversation.
  3. Demonstrate your commitment to those in the early stages of their career.

#1 Offer different future career paths – and a way for employees to work out which to take


We know that careers of the here and now and in the future are no longer linear or follow an upwards trajectory. Careers currently feature more sideways moves into new disciplines or departments that bring about new challenges and interests. They feature more specialist roles, rather than solely line management progression. Skills are transferred to new roles and supplemented by the new skills acquired. In the current atmosphere, talent understands that the world of work and job roles can change rapidly.

As jobs, roles and required skills change, we all need to be looking at how we can upskill and reskill in order to bolster our skillset and to adapt to upcoming roles.

However, that is not an easy task when the question is about what skills and competencies do I need to learn to take me forward, and, fundamentally, where is my career heading?

HR leaders have long known the value of offering the tools for future career path mapping to their key talent. It helps nurture a culture of internal mobility that meets skill shortages and prepares the next generation of leaders. And yet knowing this – and actually taking action – are two different things.

Help is at hand.

Talent Navigator gives employees an interactive career development tool to help them create their own meaningful career paths based on their aspirations, interests and strengths.

Watch this three-minute video and see how your employees can get started with Talent Navigator.


Talent Navigator shows how an individual can:

  • Search for jobs or roles of interest and see quickly how their current skills match with those needed in these roles.
  • Store various roles of interest – or workplace locations – to explore at a later stage.
  • Look for roles by seniority level; a current Head of Sales may want to look at how they could become a Head of Marketing.
  • View the areas of current skills match – and skills gap.
  • Help prioritise development and training to plug the skills.

Using the customised Pathbuilder functionality of Talent Navigator, an individual can also look further ahead at some of the most typical paths taken within a specific organisation. You can see this in the video below.


Based on the current role, Talent Navigator presents potential next steps. These include:

  • Highlighting those with the fewest and the most skills gaps from where they are now.
  • Presenting how long the person would need to be in the role to get the most from it.
  • Presenting the next step from a chosen role and subsequent ‘next steps’, so they can build up a long-term vision for their career within the firm.

Talent Navigator puts career path mapping into your employees’ hands.

They take ownership of their career plan, understand what they need to do in order to progress and can try out different ideas for a shift in direction without needing to share these with their manager or wider team.

#2 Make development an everyday part of the coaching and performance conversation


Manager check-ins with team members now go beyond performance and project review. Thanks to the uptick in virtual catch-ups, such check-ins are seen as a way to engage and motivate, share plans and progress and hear about longer-term aspirations.

Open conversations about career plans have rarely taken centre stage.

With tools, such as Talent Performance, managers and team members can build in the ‘career’ conversation as a standard topic for the check-in. Maybe not every time, but certainly often enough for each of the parties to get to know the opportunities sought and the experience or exposure needed to progress.

The check-in needs to build a solid culture of empowerment, opportunity and progression – even more so if not meeting in person.

See how straightforward it is for a manager to plan, host and schedule the check-ins, including areas around specific talking points in this three-minute video.


#3 Demonstrate your commitment to those in the early stages of their career


Out of those surveyed by Employment Hero, it seems that it is younger talent (25-34 year olds) who are the most disillusioned with their current role with over three-quarters signalling that they are looking to change roles within the year.

360 reviews are widely used in some organisations. In others, 360s are held back for those in leadership or management positions. 360s are often used at the start of leadership development programmes to provide insight into and a benchmark of those competencies required for success.

Opening up the access to 360-degree feedback tools to those earlier in their career pays dividends. For example, it:

  • Provides a clear demonstration to your commitment to their development.
  • Highlights competencies they may need to focus on for future success.
  • Creates a focus for conversation for development planning and coaching.

Talent 360 is highly configurable and customisable. It means you choose which competencies to include in the 360 assessment – whether they are from your own talent model or you access those built into Talent 360 as standard. You get to decide which elements of the report are shared with the individual so you can focus attention on, for example, the key indicators of success or early markers of potential.

At Head Light, we have a range of resources to support people as they choose their reviewers, provide feedback to others and get the most out of a 360.

You may already know of 360, but remember – not all 360 systems are the same!

A Final Thought

A future-focused culture, strengthened engagement and a demonstration of commitment to development and mobility will all positively impact retention.

This is the time to see how talent can be supported and invested in. Bring in the tools needed to empower career conversations and focus on developing the skills and competencies required.

Get in touch to talk about how we could support you.


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