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reaching a senior talent review task force headed by the CEO. The
most successful succession management initiatives are usually driven
not by the senior HR executive, but by the CEO, and owned by a
senior task force or committee that includes the top HR executive.
• Have managers of targeted employees inform succession candidates
that they have been identi¬ed to participate in a high-potential accel-
eration pool, being careful to make sure they understand that no
promotions are promised and that changes in organizational plans
may result in their removal from the pool.
• Have managers work with high-potential succession candidates to
follow through on customized developmental plans, often including
training, internal mentoring, 360-degree feedback, external coach-

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ing, rotational assignments, global, and special exposure opportuni-
• Make sure that candidate progress reviews of developmental plans
occur yearly and that potential is reevaluated for various future roles
and positions. It is important to give honest and constructive feed-
back to candidates who have been determined not to be candidates
for higher advancement, so they may use it to make more realistic
alternative career plans.

Do these practices pay off ? According to Hewitt Associates, top-per-
forming ¬rms as measured by total shareholder return are more likely to
use a consistently formal approach to identifying, developing, and tracking
the performance of potential leaders.15 Yet, only 64 percent of companies
have a management succession committee or process.16

What About the B Players?
In their effort to provide fast-track development to employees they
see as A players, companies often overlook the development of B
players”valued, stable contributors who comprise the backbone of
the organization, but who often allow their own careers to take a
back-seat to the company™s well being.
One company that has made a concerted effort to develop its B
players is the luxury hotel chain, Princely Hotels, which created a
career development committee to give opportunities to all managers,
not just the stars. The committee has developed a career track that
offers ˜˜lateral promotions™™ to managers among its sixty properties and
makes sure they are getting the coaching they need.17

Engagement Practice 34:
Maintain a Strong Commitment to Employee Training
Many managers question the wisdom of spending money on training, espe-
cially during down business cycles. They worry that the money they spend
on training will be wasted when the employees they train leave to go to
work for other companies. Their worst fear is that they will become a
training ground for their competitors.
Here are some ¬ndings that might help to assuage such fears:

The 7 Hidden Reasons Employees Leave

• Companies that spend $218 per employee in training and develop-
ment have more than 16 percent annual voluntary turnover . . . while
companies that spend $273 per employee have less than 7 percent
annual voluntary turnover.˜˜18
• In a BusinessWeek survey of employees who say their companies offer
poor training, 41 percent plan to leave within a year versus only 12
percent of those with excellent training options.19
• Eight of ten employees in a Gallup survey cited the availability of
employer-sponsored training as an important criterion in considering
a new job opportunity.20

It comes down to this”you have to train your employees so they can
leave, or else they™ll leave. Put another way, what if you don™t train them
and they stay?
Employers honored by their listing in Fortune Magazine™s annual ˜˜100
Best Places to Work™™ issue provide an average of forty days of training per
employee per year. As far as impact to the bottom line, ¬rms in the top
quarter of training expenditure per employee (averaging $1,595 per year)
had pro¬t margins 24 percent higher than those in the bottom quarter
(averaging $128 per year).21 More and more employers have concluded that
training is an investment in employee productivity and retention and they
are making it available in a variety of ways.
Self-paced online training programs are now in wide use. Employees
utilize a Web portal to access course information and content as well as
college courses offered online. Learning resources may be organized ac-

Cash Accounts for Employee Training
A great way to give employees more autonomy and choice in their
own development is by providing individual learning accounts that
provide employees with a set amount of training dollars they may
spend per year from among a menu of company-sponsored training,
including a course or two for pure self-enrichment.
The Horn Group, a public relations ¬rm based in San Francisco,
offers employees cash that they are free to spend on any type of train-
ing they feel would help them do their jobs better. Employees use
the training dollars”called ˜˜a personal development fund™™”to take
courses in time management, writing, and many other subjects.23

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cording to competencies needed by the employee. One survey indicated
that up to two-thirds of companies planned to increase their investments
in Web self-service between 2002 and 2005.22
Media such as CD-ROM, computer discs, videotapes, audiotapes, or
textbooks have become popular means of delivering course content. An-
other effective practice is creating intranet-driven, knowledge-sharing net-
works where employees can ask and answer each other™s questions via e-
mail, bulletin boards, or in real time.
Many companies offer ˜˜soft-skills™™ training”in communication, giv-
ing feedback, and negotiation”to technical staff. Such training is typically
offered in classes where new skills can be tried out in face-to-face situations.
Most companies now reimburse tuition for college courses completed
onsite or through e-learning. Reimbursement policies usually require that
course work relate in some way to an employee™s current position or a
foreseeable one.
Larger organizations often have internal corporate academies or uni-
versities, such as the one at Seagate Technology, which, in addition to
formal training sessions, offers site tours, job shadowing, and team-building
sessions at several locations. Truman Medical Center in Kansas City features
a cyber cafe, which offers employees computer access and training. As an
incentive, for every course an employee completes, Truman also gives
˜˜learning points™ that can add up to paid time-off.
Smaller companies make the most of resources by having employees
who attend industry conferences take detailed notes and make presentations
to employees who could not attend. Others may start informal ˜˜brown-

When It™s OK to Train ™Em and Lose ™Em
UPS realizes that many of its young part-timers won™t want to spend
the rest of their lives loading and unloading packages. But that doesn™t
keep the company from helping them pay their college tuition and
offering Saturday classes for computer skills development and career
planning discussions. UPS recognizes that college students are loyal
to their own skills development more than to their jobs or supervi-
sors, and that such perks will help assure a continuing supply of appli-
cants. As for longer-term bene¬ts to the company, Jennifer Shroeger,
a UPS district manager commented, ˜˜I™d like all those part-time
workers to graduate from college and start their own businesses”and
become UPS customers.™™24

The 7 Hidden Reasons Employees Leave

bag™™ lunch programs where employees brief each other on books they
have read or share specialized knowledge on trends, products, processes, or
Other trends in training include: just-in-time training for new hires
and for quick reassignment; conducting training needs analysis to make sure
it is tied to a real business need and can close a performance gap before
offering the training; more outsourcing of training to outside vendors; and,
for global companies, making all training accessible worldwide twenty-four
hours a day, seven days a week

What Employees Can Do to Create Their Own
Growth and Advancement Opportunities
We have reviewed many areas where the organization can create career
growth opportunities for employees, but ultimately it is up to the employ-
ees to take charge of their careers. Managers can hold employees to their
part of the bargain by challenging them to do the following:

• Master the job you have now, ¬rst and foremost. Remember that
fortune favors those who do a brilliant job today.
• If you are in the wrong job, change to the right one. Love what you
do, which means ¬guring out who you are in terms of talents, inter-
ests, values, and motivations.
• Know how the money ¬‚ows through the organization, what factors
cause pro¬t and loss, and what part of that you can control.
• When no promotional options seem open, seek lateral or cross-func-
tional assignments, or create a job that meets unmet company needs
and makes use of your talents.
• Seek continual learning by formal and informal means.
• Familiarize yourself with career paths of those in positions to which
you aspire, gain their advice, get realistic previews of their jobs, and
ask them to be a mentor to you.
• If a position you desire is not currently available, seek mini-assign-
ments that will help prepare you and try out pieces of the desired
• Exhaust all options for enriching your current job by seeking new
challenges and satisfying activities in your current job before pursuing
applying for other jobs.

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• Communicate your aspirations, talents, ideas, and plans to your man-
ager so he or she can provide appropriate feedback, coaching, or
• Re-energize your career by acting like an entrepreneur, by starting a
new service or line of business for the company.
• Before deciding to leave the company, communicate to your man-
ager or to a trusted mentor the source of your career frustration and
ask for ideas and assistance.

Employer-of-Choice Engagement Practices Review
and Checklist
Review the engagement practices presented in this chapter and check the
ones you believe your organization needs to implement or improve.

To Provide Career Advancement and Growth Opportunities:
24. Provide self-assessment tools and career self-management training
for all employees.
25. Offer career coaching tools and training for all managers.
26. Provide readily accessible information on career paths and compe-
tency requirements.
27. Create alternatives to traditional career ladders.
28. Keep employees informed about the company™s strategy, direction,
and talent need forecasts.
29. Build and maintain a fair and ef¬cient internal job-posting process.
30. Show a clear preference for hiring from within.
31. Create a strong mentoring culture.
32. Eliminate HR policies and management practices that block inter-
nal movement.
33. Keep career development and performance appraisal processes sep-
34. Build an effective talent review and succession management
35. Maintain a strong commitment to employee training.

1. Human Resources Department, ˜˜Talent Management Emerges as HR
Department™s New Leadership Challenge,™™ Management Report, No-
vember 2002.

The 7 Hidden Reasons Employees Leave

2. Robert N. Llewellyn, ˜˜The Power in Being a People Developer: Who
Is the Best People Developer in Your Organization? Why Isn™t It
You?™™ quoting study by Lominger Limited, Inc., HR Magazine, July
3. Maureen Minehan, ˜˜People Strategies, Rewards Are Keys to High
Performance,™™ hr-esource.com, Recruitment and Retention report, Feb-
ruary 5, 2001.
4. Adapted from David Noer, Healing the Wounds: Overcoming the Trauma
of Layoffs and Revitalizing Downsized Organizations (San Francisco: Jos-
sey-Bass, 1993).
5. Paula Santonocito, ˜˜Lands™ End to Use PeopleComeFirst Solution for
Learning Management,™™ HR Professional, May 20, 2002.
6. Leslie Goff, ˜˜Dream It, and They™ll Be It,™™ in ˜˜The Top 10 Retention
Tactics,™™ Computerworld, November 22, 1999.
7. Robert N. Llewellyn, ˜˜The Four Career Concepts: Managers Can
Learn How to Better Develop Their People by Learning How They™re
Motivated,™™ HR Magazine, September 2002.
8. Bruce Tulgan, Winning the Talent Wars (New York: W.W. Norton,
9. Diane Stafford, ˜˜Best Leaders Retain Key Employees,™™ The Kansas
City Star, August 10, 2000.
10. ˜˜Follow AT&T™s Lead with This Tactic to Retain ˜Plateaued™ Employ-
ees,™™ Employee Recruitment & Retention, Lawrence Ragan Communica-
tions, 2000.
11. Jodi Davis, ˜˜Leadership: The Role of Mentoring,™™ presentation, Kan-
sas City, Missouri, October 14, 1999.
12. ˜˜Developing Leaders for 2010 Report,™™ The Conference Board, 2003.
13. Ibid.


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