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Unlocking your team's potential: enabling career growth for greater success

Cornerstone Editors

In today's job market, one roadblock organisations often deal with when trying to hold on to employees is a concept called “talent hoarding.” Talent hoarding occurs when a manager holds tightly to an employee because they view that person as an essential asset to their team. Losing this person would likely create a hole in the department that the manager may consider challenging or inconvenient to fill.

There are several different ways that talent hoarding can take place. Here are a few examples:

  • A sales team with a high producer who aspires to go into training instead. The sales manager doesn’t want this because they want them to stay in sales due to their revenue towards the team quota and their impact on the manager's bonus checks.
  • A machine operator desires to advance their career and enter management. The company has difficulty finding employees to work the machines, so they try to keep the ones they have in those positions.
  • An account manager with a growing family would like a career path that doesn’t involve much traveling. This person is very skilled at their position, so a transition would require training a new employee for the organisation.

What often occurs in these types of scenarios is that the employees leave the organisation altogether when they don’t see a better way to pursue what they really want. Your vital employees cannot see any other direction forward, so they must look elsewhere for their desired career path or transition. This outcome is detrimental to the organisation, management and the employee, even though they may have been happy to stay with the organisation if a different role better suited their wants and needs was available.

A recent study by Deloitte showed that of the employees who “do not feel heard at work,” 47% of Gen Z and 54% of Millennials will leave the organisation within a year. Since talent retention is a struggle for many organisations, it’s vital to avoid talent hoarding and find ways to make your employees feel connected, heard and seen.

Talent hoarding doesn’t have to be the only option for managers who want to keep their high performers and valuable employees close. Although it may seem like the best option for employee retention, if an employee is looking to other organisations for career opportunities, holding tightly isn’t going to help. Luckily, there are other options.

Talent hoarding vs. talent sharing

One solution is talent sharing. Talent sharing occurs when managers disclose project-based needs so employees from other teams within the organisation can take on the projects based on their interests and skills. Talent sharing embraces talent mobility within your organisation and defends against talent hoarding.

Cornerstone recently conducted a study on talent mobility and found that 73% of employees are interested in learning about new organisational roles and opportunities. But to embrace this interest, the employees need visibility into these open roles. When employees have more visibility into career opportunities within the organisation, they have more interest in pursuing them. This visibility helps reduce turnover and keeps employees seeking to develop themselves and their skills to take on new roles.

When you develop talent internally, you can produce employees that fit much better into these open opportunities than externally hiring. These improved candidates motivate leaders to embrace talent mobility, stop talent hoarding and take ownership of their team members' learning and development so that they can help them with their career pathing and goals.

Developing a growth mindset

Organisations are awakening to the need for a different organisational culture that supports job mobility. This culture is especially vital since the pandemic, and according to a recent study by The Wellbeing Project, resilience is low and burnout remains a risk.

The companies that adopt systems that support job mobility and career pathing have a collective growth mindset. This means they embrace their employees’ need for career goals, continuous growth and skill development. And this embrace helps to give employees options and opportunities, which lowers stress that might cause further burnout.

When your employees can set actionable learning and development goals and your organisation supports and champions them — instead of talent hoarding — your people will value your organisation exponentially more. When your managers have a clear view of these goals, they can help support their teams better with more productive development conversations.

The best managers always encourage employees to progress. When employees have a growth mindset, everyone wins. It’s harder to remain stagnant or hoard talent when you constantly set new goals that your manager and your organisation embrace and support.

Breaking down talent hoarding silos to unlock limitless potential

When employees have visibility into career opportunities within an organisation, a new world of growth starts to unfold. You can prevent employee retention roadblocks, such as talent hoarding, by implementing systems that allow internal career opportunity transparency. Employees can also seek out career coaching and plan for career advancements or lateral moves. Better yet, they can feel good about doing so because the organisation encourages them!

An AI-powered opportunity marketplace is increasingly beneficial for engaging employee mobility with career pathing. This technology also gives access to a world of career opportunities and visibility.

These systems help foster a growth mindset because employees can focus on their future and what learning and development they need to prepare for that next position. Managers also benefit from these systems as they can better coach their employees and help foster a culture of career growth.

Beyond regular career pathing, people considering a career move often don’t feel comfortable going directly to their manager to begin the conversation. Access to a marketplace where they can explore options independently is highly beneficial. This access helps foster more productive career conversations, as employees can create a well-thought-out plan before entering their manager's office.

According to the 2023 talent mobility study from Cornerstone People Research Lab and Lighthouse Research & Advisory, employees with access to self-service technology for career mobility exploration are 50% less likely to have plans to quit their job than those without visibility. It’s clear that with the right technology and systems in place, talent mobility can be a more common occurrence in an organisation and would positively impact employee retention.

Be agile, not fragile

Old tactics like talent hoarding are no longer the solution for holding onto employees and winning the war for talent. With the changing economic climate and the uncertainty that many organisations have been facing recently, it’s now more important than ever to focus on retaining, developing and promoting your best and brightest employees.

To do this, organisations need to implement systems that embrace a culture of growth and development with career coaching and talent management. By growing that culture while providing visibility into internal career opportunities, organisations can better keep employees happy and focused on growth.

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