Careers-driven retention: it takes more than just a framework

Careers-driven retention: it takes more than just a framework

Posted by Tim Johanson on

Let's talk about retention.

We know 82% of employees are open for new opportunities[1]. We know each time someone leaves it costs you up to 200% of their salary[2]. And we know that 27% of people listed a lack of career opportunities as the reason they would leave in the next year (number 1 reason)[3]. It's a big big problem.

Think about the last exit interviews you conducted. Does this sound familiar?

I love the company but I can't see how to progress here

Or maybe you haven't yet had significant churn, but you're getting the indicators. People are asking...

What do I have to do to get into the next role?


I'm not sure what I'm going to do next...

So what do you do?

You build a progression framework right?

You can show people what skills are expected in each role in the business. Once they've got visibility they'll be happy that's what they're asking for. And actually, having detailed job descriptions will be useful moving forward with hiring. And it'd be great to be able to map the missing skills in the team. Perhaps it'll allow you to provide specific feedback to Mike about his attention to detail and communication.

We see this all the time. But what's happened here? You've forgotten why you set out on this task. Providing Mike with feedback about the things he's not doing might be important as a manager, but is it going to help with preventing him look elsewhere for a new opportunity?

Let's start again.

If retention is your goal. Then focus on the team member. And keep your focus on the team member.

What does an employee focus mean?

To show your employee there's internal progression you need to show them where they could go, but also how they might get there and then help them to do that.


Retention is key. Making people feel like they're doing meaningful work and are progressing their career, are the biggest things you can do to make them find their next opportunity internally rather than externally.

Progression frameworks will help you. But only if they're centred on the team member. Not on management or HR. Make it about the team member, make it clear how they can move forward and where they can go, and watch your satisfaction scores rise. And in time, you will smash your retention targets and never hear "I can't see how to progress here" in an exit interview ever again.

  1. Jobseeker nation report 2018 ↩ī¸Ž

  2. CAP study ↩ī¸Ž

  3. Talent 2020 Deloite ↩ī¸Ž

Written by Tim Johanson

Tim works in operations at Progression


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