Are You Hoarding Talent?

big hand signifying talent hoarding reaching out and pulling back a running business man
Lisa Hochgraf Photo
Senior Editor

2 minutes

Keeping staff members from growing to their full potential creates a host of business problems, as the CUES Podcast Episode 60 explains.

Talent hoarding is prevalent and detrimental. According to a survey, more than 50 percent of managers admitted they keep their team members from growing and advancing—for a variety of reasons. Unfortunately, this practice can cause lowered staff morale and engagement, increased turnover, and a lessened ability to do internal recruiting.

As my guest on the CUES Podcast Episode 60, Annette Matthies, founder/CEO of Aspen Edge Consulting, explains how to tell if you are hoarding talent. One clue is if team members have been in place for a really long time—and no one is getting new experiences.

“It’s a hidden problem and we don’t talk about it,” Matthies says in the show. “We know that what gets measured gets done. It’s something for businesses to start doing looking at” and developing metrics for.

Matthies, who wil be a speaker at CUES’ Directors Conference this December in Hawaii, says high potential organizations are two times as likely to prioritize talent movement in their businesses. The benefits of employees moving throughout the organization is better engagement and idea sharing across departments. Importantly, she adds, talent movement helps to develop people and get them ready to be promoted from within—expanding the organization’s hiring pool.

In a recent blog post and in the CUES Podcast, Matthies identified six ways to know if you’re hoarding talent. “If you can’t remember the last time you initiated a conversation about career growth with a direct report, you might be a talent hoarder,” she offers as an example.

To curb talent hoarding, Matthies says, “You have to start looking at your employees. What are the programs we have in place? How are we supporting the growth and development? You want to also look at a formal career pathing programs—having career planning written down for employees. … It’s not a quick fix. It’s something you’re going to need to invest in.” 

Another important way to stop talent hoarding is by having a talent succession program, Matthies says. “Succession is really critical to the mission of the organization. It really has to be systematic and aligned with the strategic plan.”

Key takeaways from this episode include:

  • Hoarding talent is detrimental to employees and the overall organization
  • Six ways to identify talent hoarding when it is happening
  • Strategies for using metrics to help overcome talent hoarding 
  • The importance of keeping your talent succession program simple so it’s easy to use over time
  • The value of having the vision of being talent cultivator instead of a talent hoarder

Listen to my conversation with Annette Matthies.

Lisa Hochgraf is senior editor with CUES and a host of the CUES Podcast, an audio program that features credit union and cross-industry experts talking about their perspectives on trends and topics that matter to you. 

Learn from Annette Matthies at CUES’ Directors Conference, Dec. 2-5 on the Big Island of Hawaii. 

The new 2019 CUES Unlimited and Unlimited+ memberships include the CUES Leadership Development Guide.

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