Know Your People ( a bit better)

We know for sure that just adding an employee's name to a list regarded  as the "talent pool" or nominating them for the succession plan is very definitely not enough to retain your valuable staff. It must surely begin with the very clearest statement from the employer about how they came to the view that a particular individual has come to be regarded as exceptional and worthy of a distinctive career development path.

Clearly the first conversation in itself cannot be a promise of a highly specific route to promotion which is the excuse used for making these exchanges with talented employees as opaque and generalised as they sometimes are.

We have just made contact with a former client who has been working abroad, but has returned to the UK to join another firm. A major part of the reason is that despite being one of the top 50 executives in her old firm and despite being sent on two short courses to Harvard in the last two years, none of her senior colleagues has raised the subject of her current and future needs and hopes about her career.

There's every reason to think that identifying and holding on to talent is a conversation which never ends. It is probably never safe to assume that the changing needs and policies of the corporate body and the changing needs and interests of its most valued assets can remain aligned without actively seeking to keep them in each other's sights.