Retaining Talent in Emerging Markets

Here is an excerpt from an article written by Stacia Sherman Garr for Talent Management magazine. To check out all the resources and sign up for a free subscription to the TM and/or Chief Learning Officer magazines published by MedfiaTec, please click here.

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Coaching and development are important regardless of geography, but given the dynamics within emerging markets, and the workplace changes organizations can expect in the future, it is even more critical to offer this support to retain employees.

With China, India, Brazil and the Middle East having economies growing at a combined rate of as much as 40 percent, many Western organizations have turned to these areas to fuel their growth. However, increased demand for the limited supply of talent in these markets has driven employee turnover rates into the double digits.

One effective retention strategy is to support employees’ efforts to improve themselves. This can be more valuable to employees than higher compensation offered by other companies because it keeps their skills competitive. It also shows employees the organization is willing to invest in them, which can influence their loyalty. There are two ways to support employee development: coaching and development planning.

Bersin & Associates recently studied the impact of managers preparing for coaching interactions, engaging in strong coaching behaviors and providing concrete, useful feedback. Results indicated a strong correlation between these coaching activities’ effectiveness and employee engagement (Figure 1). Organizations are less effective at teaching managers to coach in emerging markets than they are globally (Figure 2). There is significant opportunity for talent leaders to create improvements here and to reap the benefits of higher employee engagement.

India’s HCL Technologies has used coaching to great effect. In addition to providing coaching programs for senior and middle managers, the organization has developed coaching resources to support high-growth business units. Using a train-the-trainer model, business units train managers quickly and at scale to coach employees more effectively. The company’s learning and development team developed workbooks, templates and guidelines to support coaches on an ongoing basis. Although HCL Technologies hesitates to attribute its results solely to manager coaching, it found business units with manager coaching have enhanced employee engagement and team interactions.

Effective use of development plans also can improve engagement. Employees who have development plans and identified career paths are more likely to remain with their companies. Despite this, development planning is not extensive within emerging markets, often for cultural reasons, as illustrated by a limited use of development plans in China.

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To read the complete article, please click here.

Stacia Sherman Garr is senior analyst at Bersin & Associates.

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