Talent retention practices

“Talented employees frequently cite two reasons for their departure from a company: a higher salary or more career opportunities elsewhere” (Lynch 2008). Certainly, salary levels are important, but “recent surveys indicate that a better work environment or career opportunities” (Larkan 2007) are also heavily factored into an employee’s decision to switch jobs or, conversely, to stay in a current one.

Companies with successful retention programs focus on expanding training opportunities in house and then tying these training opportunities back to compensation. Companies should also solicit employee input when devising career development and training programs. Organisations should develop effective supervisors and managers. Larkan (2007) states that by improving skills in supervision, management, and leadership is strongly recommended relative to retention.

Consistently practicing such skills as “management by walking around, employing a coaching model with employees, recognizing good performance – both small and big accomplishments, being personable, treating people with dignity and respect, avoiding micro-management, helping people see their value to the organization, and employing good listening skills” (Harriot et al. 2008) were viewed as important. Supervisors and managers could benefit significantly by using “360 degree feedback” to get a perspective of how others view them and then working to improve how they interact with others.

An employee-friendly culture tends to allow employees to feel that the organization is concerned for them and their families. Many employees desire “more balance between their personal and work lives” (Harriot et al. 2008). Flexible schedules, being treated with dignity and respect, having the opportunity to participate in employee surveys with an expectation that the feedback will be acted upon, developing a sense of camaraderie or team building, feeling informed, having clear performance expectations, receiving feedback from both the supervisor and constituents, and fair promotional processes were suggested.

“Employees who feel like an organization cares about them are more likely to be committed, stay with the organization and recruit others to the organization” (Johnson 2002). Another key factor in employee retention is the opportunity employees want to continue to grow and develop job and career enhancing skills. In fact, this opportunity to continue to grow and develop through training and development is one of the most important factors in employee retention.

“Training and development opportunities are not just found in external training classes and seminars, these ideas emphasize what employees want in training and development opportunities” (Monetary Authority of Singapore 2008). They also articulate one’s opportunity to create devoted, growing employees who will benefit both the organisation and themselves through training and development opportunities. Additionally, “employees must feel rewarded, recognized and appreciated” (Human Capital Magazine – Australia 2008).

Frequently saying “thank you” goes a long way. Monetary rewards, bonuses and gifts make the “thank you” even more appreciated. This includes understandable raises, tied to accomplishments and achievement, help retain staff. Commissions and bonuses that are easily calculated on a daily basis, and easily understood, raise motivation and help retain staff. MAS’s chairman, Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong says, “MAS is working towards sculpting Singapore into a hub for financial knowledge, innovation and learning” (Monetary Authority of Singapore 2008).

In order to support its aim to grow the size and sophistication of the financial markets in Singapore, MAS actively promotes the establishment of a critical mass of regional financial training and research facilities. In 2004, “two financial training providers set up or expanded operations in Singapore, offering advanced or specialised financial training to professionals in Singapore and those from the region” (Monetary Authority of Singapore 2008). In the area of financial research, three financial institutions established or expanded their financial research activities here.

In order for Singapore’s financial centre to continue to thrive and stay ahead amidst this challenging environment, she needs to have a pool of highly skilled professionals who are at the forefront of their respective specialist areas. This will therefore enhance the local financial sector talent, as well as expand efforts to attract and retain top international financial talent into Singapore by constantly exercising some of the best practices in the industry.


1. Arthur, D 2001, The Employee Recruitment ; Retention Handbook, Amacom, Great Britain 2. Axelford, B, Handfield-Jones, H ; Michael, E 2002, The War For Talent, Harvard Business School Press, Boston – United States of America 3. BNet Business Network 2008, Research Indicates Best Practices for Attracting, Managing Industry Talent, viewed 29 July 2008, ;http://findarticles. com/p/articles/mi_qa3636/is_200706/ai_n19433341;. 4. CitiBank 2008, CitiBank Management Associate Programme, viewed 3 August 2008, ; http://www. citibank. com. sg/global_docs/microsite/hr/recruit/ma07/index. htm;.

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