Purposeful Talent Development: Keep Recently Promoted Employees From Leaving 

employee exit box
Lesley Sears Photo
VP/Consulting Services

3 minutes

Here are three ways you can mitigate their risk of flight. 

Committed and motivated workers are more likely to land promotions, and keeping these recently promoted employees is key to supporting business growth. A new study from the ADP Research Institute finds that 29% of people leave their newly promoted position within a month after the promotion versus an 18% departure rate for someone who has not been recently promoted.  

One of the reasons that recently promoted employees might be more likely to leave is because they may be approached by recruiters who are actively searching for individuals with their new title or skills. While you can’t directly do anything about that situation, there are three key things you can do to mitigate the flight risk associated with newly promoted staffers: 

  1. Reinforce the credit union’s purpose and how the newly promoted person’s position will help to attain it. 
  2. Be transparent about the details of the person’s new position; make sure they know what their daily routine will look like. 
  3. Develop and train the person toward success in the new role both before and after promotion. 

Let’s look at each of these in turn. 

Connect Their Position to the Larger Purpose 

Make sure you live into the overarching purpose of your credit union—not just through words but also by seeking staff members’ input, appreciating their contributions and reinforcing the importance of their roles to the credit union being able to deliver on its overall mission. People who feel a part of the larger team are less likely to leave for another opportunity, whether they were just promoted or not. 

Be Transparent About the Skills Needed for the New Position 

It’s important to understand the skills that equate to success for every position—then train to them. These skills are the foundation the position is built on, and they are the key to development for that role, career planning for the next role, succession planning for a leadership role, even future talent acquisition for that role.  

A big problem with helping people understand the job they’ve just been promoted to is that oftentimes their managers don’t understand the role! If the manager doesn’t fully understand the role, there is really no way for the manager to be transparent about what the job’s duties are.  

My recommendation here is to help managers understand the intricacies of the processes within every position they support by developing and maintaining a process manual and ensuring that current employees are a major part of writing it and keeping it up to date. After all, they collectively know more than anyone! 

Develop and Train the Promoted Person Toward Success 

When a team member is promoted to a new role within a credit union, previous development should be reviewed, new and necessary development should be planned, and implementation should be initiated immediately. People want to feel like they are, or soon can be, successful in a new position. If you can’t provide the training they need, they will not stay in the role feeling unsuccessful; they will move on.      

CUES Consulting regularly works with credit unions to develop or reinforce each of these areas. If you’d like to talk about them further, please give me a call. 

Stepping into the gap between corporate complacency and organizational excellence is whereLesley Searsstrives to be. In her role as VP/consulting services at CUES, Lesley leads CUES Consulting, which provides talent strategy support to credit unions of all sizes. Lesley is passionate about helping leaders find their company’s superpowers in talent development through a holistic approach: identify–develop–document-repeat. She’s a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, a certified executive leadership coach and has over 20 years of experience consulting with organizations across many industries to strategically develop their talent’s best selves. When she’s not working to help organizations maximize their potential, you can find her digging in her flower beds, reading or watching classic movies. Maybe, on a good morning in the spring and fall, you’ll find her running—really slowly. 

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