Retaining talent takes confidence

Ms Nur Faridah Mohd Mokhtar, senior staff nurse at Singapore General Hospital (SGH) attending to the needs of a patient.
Ms Nur Faridah Mohd Mokhtar, senior staff nurse at Singapore General Hospital (SGH) attending to the needs of a patient. ST PHOTO: TUKIMAN WARJI

Staff welfare, although important for the success of an organisation, cannot by itself ensure talent retention ("Investing in staff welfare can go a long way" by Ms Mary Chan Pheck Li; last Saturday).

An enlightened management which creates a conducive work environment and promotes a culture of recognising, celebrating and developing staff potential is imperative.

This is especially relevant for younger workers, who are usually more vocal and have the potential and dynamism to scale the corporate ladder, but lack the patience and tolerance to accept supervisors who take the safe route in order to protect their own positions instead of sticking their necks out to develop young potentials.

Such supervisors cultivate subordinates with whom they feel "safe", even re-hiring staff who had left, some to join a rival company.

Young potentials who are deemed a "threat" to their jobs are suppressed or even booted out.

To retain talent, a company needs to ensure that supervisors have the confidence and gumption to work themselves out of a job, that is, be unafraid of threats from talented subordinates.

Lawrence Loh Kiah Muan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 21, 2015, with the headline 'Retaining talent takes confidence'. Print Edition | Subscribe