Talent Retention (Doha, February 2010)


   The retention of talent seems to be becoming more and more urgent as the economy (outside the UK at least) starts to slowly motor forward again.

There’s a good summary of the requirement and some of the things employers can do to increase retention on Harvard’s Management Essentials, ‘Retaining Star Performers in Trying Times’

This article suggests that  organisations need to ‘find the levers where the value to the individual is greater than the cost to the company’.

This includes:

  • Praise for good work
  • Challenging projects and assignments
  • Development opportunities
  • Non-monetary perks.


Companies also need to:

  • Manage anxieties and frustration
  • Over-communicate.

And culture matters more than ever. 

In summary, the article encourages managers to –


  • Find out what benefits matter most to your employees
  • Communicate more than you think you need to
  • Be realistic about people’s anxieties and frustrations.



  • Forget that satisfaction with an immediate boss factors heavily into people’s decisions to stay with a company
  • Assume that a bad economy guarantees that your star employees won’t leave
  • Think that money is your only tool to motivate your employees.


The article includes a nice couple of vignettes supporting these suggestions too.


Anyway, the point of this post is that early next year I’ll be looking at these and other aspects of retention in a series of three-day workshops for senior HR practitioners and other business leaders responsible for talent management in financial services firms operating in the Middle East.

We kick off on 2-4 February in Doha and I’m really excited about this as I’ve not managed to visit Qatar on any of my assignments in the region to date.  If you’d like to attend the workshop, contact Daniel Jackson at Fleming Gulf (email: daniel [dot] jackson [at] fleminggulf [dot] com, tel: + 91 99 00388 366).  You can also get a 10% discount through to 22 December.


I’m also planning to be in Qatar for some meetings on Sunday 31 January and Monday 1 February – so let me know if you’re there and you’d like to meet up (you don’t need to be in financial services for this!).



  • Consulting – Research – Speaking  – Training -  Writing
  • Strategy  -  Talent  -  Engagement  -  Change and OD
  • Contact  me to  create more  value for  your business
  • jon  [dot] ingham [at] strategic [dash] hcm [dot] com

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I graduated from Imperial College, London in 1987 and joined Andersen Consulting (now Accenture) as a systems development consultant. After ten years in IT, change and then HR consulting, I joined Ernst & Young as an HR Director, working firstly in the UK, and then, based in Moscow, covering the former USSR.More recently, I have worked as Head of HR Consulting for Penna and Director of Human Capital Consulting for Buck Consultants (the HR consultancy owned by ACS).


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