How to address the top internal talent challenge for 2024


6th February 2024

Read time:

5 minutes

Retaining staff was one of the core HR priorities we saw in the second half of 2023 and is set to continue through 2024

How are you feeling about staff retention right now? Retaining staff was one of the core HR priorities we saw in the second half of 2023 and is set to continue through 2024 as the top internal priority according to the Hays UK Salary and Recruitment trends 2024.

Key to retaining staff is ensuring they feel developed and invested in. This is something firms are seeking to do whilst keeping an eye on costs. Mentoring is increasingly seen by firms such as British Airways, Phoenix Group and Tandem Bank as a cost-effective tool to develop and invest in all staff.

So how can this be done at scale? The Harvard Business Review (HBR) identifies a number of considerations. These seek to address a concern we often hear from employers who want to scale up their mentoring; how can you ensure mentor time is time well-spent and has maximum impact? Here are some of the best ways to achieve this:

Set clear expectations for mentors and mentees. These expectations should cover the relationship, meeting frequency, and response times. Mentors and mentees should also set visible goals that the mentee is held accountable for and works towards.

Use technology to save time. Reduce the time mentors spend on email requests by using ‘smart matching’ algorithms. You should get this from any mentoring tech but here’s the clincher – good tech will also enable useful content to be shared, added to and made available to mentors and / or mentees. It will also enable the mentor to control how many mentees they choose to have and will permit live reporting. Using ‘best practice’ technology such as this will drive efficiencies and enable that all-important scaling with the need for limited internal resource.

Recognise the effort that mentors and mentees put into their development by enabling them to promote for and advocate their activity. Doing this enables firms to evidence – internally and externally – their commitment to developing all their people. This helps mentoring go beyond supporting retention by aiding recruitment efforts as well.

Ensure organisational accountability. It is essential to have a diverse mix of mentors from across the organisation and seniority levels. What’s more, establishing clear success measures and investing in good tech and great mentors, will – HBR claims – help your employees achieve their career goals much more effectively than online education modules and ill-defined team building activities can ever hope to, which in turn helps your business achieve its growth.

When we look back on our careers, we want to know that a big part of our legacy has been those lives we positively impacted. Making more of mentoring is a powerful way to deliver a legacy we can be hugely proud of.

Simon Reichwald
Simon ReichwaldChief Progression Officer