Blog Post

Webinar recap: Transform your organization by transforming talent experience

Cornerstone Editors

According to a recent study by Brandon Hall Group, 92% of organizations cite concern that top talent will leave their organization in the next 6 to 12 months. However, only 33% believe they understand how to retain their talent. That’s quite the disconnect.

A recent webinar with our very own Vice President of Global Learning Strategy and Innovation, Katie Ballantyne, and Senior Vice President and Principal Analyst at Brandon Hall Group, Claude Werder, offers insights about what employees expect from their employers when it comes to providing an excellent talent experience and the financial and cultural cost of replacing employees.

Here are some ways to improve your talent strategy and employee experience by empowering managers and leveraging AI.

The expectation of talent experience

The Great Resignation might not be in the headlines anymore, but the high turnover organizations are experiencing is still an issue. Part of the problem is that organizations aren’t sure how to deal with all the reasons employees leave. They are varied, and many go deeper than some transactional aspects of work.

The most frequent reasons for employee leaving, in order of concern, include:

  • Limited development and career opportunities
  • Uncompetitive compensation
  • Stressful environment
  • Feeling undervalued
  • Leadership practices
  • Work-life balance

These findings by Brandon Hall Group align with research that Cornerstone has conducted that opportunities for development and growth are key to retaining people. (It’s also a significant factor in attracting talent to your organization.) Our 2023 talent mobility study found that the No. 1 benefit of career mobility, ranked by workers, is that they’re more likely to stay at the company.

Limited development and career opportunities aren’t the only entry that can be tied back to a lack of growth opportunities and internal mobility. Feeling undervalued can be exacerbated by companies not demonstrating that they see potential in employees beyond their current role, and poor leadership can be associated with a lack of career growth because direct leaders can be inhibitors to development (more on that later).

People are realizing their skills aren’t as durable as they once were. They want to expand their capabilities to match the pace at which the world of work changes. Digital literacy skills are just one example of that. Employees are expected to use technology to become more efficient and evolve their roles and organizations.

The impact of losing top talent

No matter the reason, there’s a ripple effect when employees leave. Not only does it put a ding in team morale and company culture, but it’s costly.

Researchers estimate that it costs 50% of the departing employee’s wages to recruit and hire (and potentially relocate) a replacement. In addition, the new employee’s salary, benefits, training and ongoing development equate to about $80K — $100K. That means the cost of replacing an employee making about $75K can add up to $117K — $137K once it’s all said and done.

Of course, the indirect costs associated with someone leaving and hiring a replacement include the loss of productivity during the hiring phase and subsequently, as the new hire is onboarded and trained. In addition, the opportunity cost of the team members who have to cover tasks while the role remains unfilled.

Often, this pressure is on hiring managers to deal with the day-to-day impact of losing talent. This may lead to leaders inadvertently hoarding talent when their people seek career growth guidance. This cultural challenge can be shifted when supervisors can see the benefit of helping their people grow — and are even incentivized for it.

Transform your talent strategy

The first step to driving cultural change is ensuring the talent experience aligns with organizational values. As employee and candidate expectations, you should analyze your employee value proposition (EVP) to ensure it meets their needs.

In your EVP and your employee experience, focus on future readiness. That means not only preparing your workforce for what’s to come but helping them gain the skills they desire — and you need — to move your organization forward. Interestingly, organizations often look for tech skills outside of their companies but foundational skills inside.

You can leverage technology, especially artificial intelligence (AI), to help bridge these gaps. Learning and development tools can help talent leaders scale programs that affect more people and effectively close organizational skills gaps or build a bench of critical skills.

Employees expect consumer-grade technology that enables them to discover their career path and how they can grow within the organization. They want to be empowered to take the journey that speaks to them and do it in their own time. This is where a technology like Cornerstone can come into play, creating a bridge and becoming an enabler between an organization and its people.

Turn leaders into champions of growth

According to that recent Brandon Hall Group study, top priorities for improving the talent experience were cited as:

  • Better communication of available learning opportunities
  • Better enable team members to collaborate on their work
  • Better communicate available career opportunities
  • Create a healthy workplace culture
  • Build stronger connections between leaders and team members

For many of these, the burden can be put on the direct manager – to communicate to, connect with and enable their team members. Organizations may be doing all the right things, but these efforts should be purposefully conveyed to employees.

To promote this cultural change, don’t penalize managers if a team member leaves their team; instead, celebrate them. As a start, measure and report on talent mobility. This will give you a good gauge of where you are and where you want to go.

Give hiring managers quick backfills when an employee transfers, recognize managers who encourage internal mobility and incentivize people to take advantage of internal opportunities, like stretch projects and internal gigs. This cycle of activity promotes career growth and internal mobility in your organization and can incite cultural change.

Be purposeful with AI

Generative AI is embedded in human resources (HR), and it should be used as an engine to improve talent experience. In fact, AI’s top two most popular use cases in HR are accelerating training content development and scaling learning activities, according to Brandon Hall Group’s “How Generative AI Will Revolutionize HR” study. Improving employee experience rounds out the third spot.

Cornerstone’s technology delivers personalized experiences for employees to feel connected to their work and career growth. Your people can see what skills they have, where they can grow and what jobs or gigs align with their goals. With a decade of AI exploration, our technology guides growth experience through recommended content based on each person’s skills and goals.

All signs point to the turnover trend continuing, and this high level of turnover requires an improvement in the talent experience. Organizations should ask themselves about their priorities and how technology can help achieve them. Measuring progress will help determine if efforts are making a difference.

If you’re interested in learning more about how you can transform the employee experience through better learning and development opportunities (and communicating them to all levels of an organization), watch the webinar in its entirety here.

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