Accentuate professional and career development

While most organizations provide some opportunities for training and development, what most employees are concerned with is a lack of guidance offered by their supervisors for career development. Here the role of the transition coach who serves as a mentor for career development is crucial to retaining talent. Studies in various industries replicate these findings: employees with lower turnover intentions receive more career development support from their mentor, and this mentor is someone more senior in the organization (Bhatnagar, 2007; Chang, Chou & Cheng, 2007; Chen, Chang & Yeh, 2004; Joiner, Garreffa & Bartram, 2004; Payne & Huffman, 2005; Scandura & Viator, 1994). An important caveat lies in enhancing the employees’ career opportunities: too many employable skills might facilitate their exit from the organization. Benson (2006) indicated that on-the-job training to obtain specific skills increases retention while tuition-reimbursed classes on topics chosen by employees to add to their skills increased intention to leave. The conclusion is that this can be countered by integrating employee development programmes with a clear career path in the organization.

Foster socialization

Socialization is broadly defined as ‘a process in which an individual acquires the attitudes, behaviours and knowledge needed to successfully participate as an organizational member’ (van Maanen & Schein, 1977). Through socialization, new employees learn to adapt, form work relationships and find their place in the organization. A happy and caring work environment can improve organizational commitment and decrease the intention to leave (Allen & Shanock, 2013; Rink, Kane, Ellemers & Van der Vegt, 2013). Indeed, supervisor and co-worker incivilities, such as poor acceptance of the newcomer and reluctance to share knowledge, have been correlated with turnover intent (Allen & Shanock, 2013; Ghosh, Reio & Bang, 2013; Kammeyer-Mueller, Wanberg, Rubenstein & Song 2013; Lundberg & Young, 1997). This can be minimized by effective leadership behaviours (Taormina, 2008).

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