Open Season for Poaching: The Talent Retention Problem

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All of us have our daily rituals, right? For many of us, it’s that first hot cup of coffee, prepared to our specifications by a friendly neighborhood barista. So, suppose that tomorrow morning, when you walk in and order your usual caffeinated beverage with your prescribed number of espresso shots and other customizations, the barista told you, “We don’t have that anymore. It’s gone. Unavailable.”

Sounds like the beginning of a bad day, doesn’t it? When something or someone you depend on suddenly isn’t available, it can bring about a lot of negative emotions, ranging from momentary annoyance to flat-out panic.

Now, replace your missing morning latté with the absence of a trusted, reliable, highly competent colleague or team member who has been lured away from your firm by the offer of a more lucrative position with another company. Likely, this person is your Rock of Gibraltar – the one who always knows where your notes from that last client meeting are; who regularly receives thank-you notes from clients for thoughtful acts that you didn’t even know about; who makes the back-office operation hum like a new Mercedes. The person your business can’t live without is… gone.

What do you do?