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Develop an Effective Talent Retention Plan

Keep talent from walking out the door by discovering and addressing moments that matter and turnover triggers.

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  • Jeff Bonnell, VP HR, Info-Tech Research Group
  • Richard P. Finnegan, CEO, C-Suite Analytics
  • Lisa Kaste, Former HR Director, Citco
  • Phillip Kotanidis, CHRO, Michael Garron Hospital
  • Dr. Thomas Lee, Professor of Management, University of Washington
  • Piyush Mathur, Head of Workforce Analytics, Johnson & Johnson
  • Michael McGuire, Director, Organizational Development, William Osler Health System
  • Jane Moughon, Specialist in increasing profits, reducing turnover, and maximizing human potential in manufacturing companies
  • Gregory P. Smith, CEO, Chart Your Course
  • Dr. Iris Ware, Chief Learning Officer, City of Detroit
  • Regrettable turnover is impacting organizational productivity and leading to significant costs associated with employee departures and the recruitment required to replace them.
  • Many organizations tackle retention from an engagement perspective: increase engagement to improve retention. This approach doesn’t consider the whole problem.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

Engagement surveys mask the volatility of the employee experience and hide the reason why individual employees leave. You must also talk to employees to understand the moments that matter, and engage managers to understand turnover triggers.

Impact and Result

  • Build the case for creating retention plans by leveraging employee data and feedback to identify the key reasons for turnover that need to be addressed.
  • Target employee segments and work with management to develop solutions to retain top talent.

Research & Tools

2. Identify reasons for regrettable turnover

Analyze why employees join, stay, and leave your organization to identify common themes and employee needs.

3. Select solutions and create an action plan

Select and prioritize solutions to address employee needs and plan to launch stay interviews and implement solutions.

Guided Implementations

This guided implementation is a nine call advisory process.

Guided Implementation #1 - Analyze the cost and impact of turnover

Call #1 - Discuss turnover metrics, healthy turnover, environmental scan, benchmarks, and how to collect and analyze turnover data.
Call #2 - Review results of the turnover analysis and discuss how to prioritize employee segments.
Call #3 - Develop plan to engage stakeholders.

Guided Implementation #2 - Identify reasons for regrettable turnover

Call #1 - Discuss how to gather, analyze, and identify themes and trends in employee data to understand why they join, stay, and leave.
Call #2 - Review themes from the employee data and prepare for focus groups.
Call #3 - Review focus group feedback and identify priority issues.

Guided Implementation #3 - Select solutions and create an action plan

Call #1 - Discuss retention solutions and identify most appropriate options for the organization.
Call #2 - Discuss the stay interview approach and customize the Stay Interview Guide.
Call #3 - Review selected retention solutions and develop an action plan for implementation.

Onsite Workshop

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Onsite workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn't enough, we offer low-cost onsite delivery of our project workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a roadmap in place to complete your project successfully.

Module 1: Identify Reasons for Regrettable Turnover

The Purpose

  • Gather and analyze organizational turnover data.
  • Identify the main drivers of turnover at the organization.
  • Conduct focus groups to discover employee needs.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Organizational turnover data analyzed.
  • Main turnover drivers identified.
  • Focus groups conducted.




Analyze data to determine why employees join, stay, and leave.


Identify common themes.

  • List of common themes/pain points recorded in the Employee Retention Workbook

Prepare for focus groups.

  • Plan for focus groups documented in the Focus Group Guide

Conduct focus groups.

Module 2: Select Solutions and Create an Action Plan

The Purpose

  • Develop an empathy map to further understand employee needs.
  • Form the stay interview guide.
  • Outline specific retention initiatives and associated metrics.
  • Identify key actions to realize retention plan.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Empathy map generated.
  • Stay Interview Guide customized.
  • Retention initiatives and metrics developed.
  • Action and communication plan outlined.




Create an empathy map to identify needs.

  • Employee needs

Brainstorm stay interview process and customize guide.

  • Stay Interview Guide and process outline

Select retention initiatives.

  • Retention initiatives

Determine goals and metrics.

  • Goals and associated metrics recorded in the Employee Retention Workbook

Plan stakeholder communication.


Build an action plan.

  • Action plan documented in HR Action and Communication Plan