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Play the Long Game to Retain Top Talent

Gone are the days when self-motivation drives employment

A recent dinner with some young professionals got me thinking about retention and how the implied contract between employers and employees changes. Everyone around the dining table had a story about how an employer treated them. Some were positive, but way too many were the opposite.

One person joined a large multi-national corporation right after college and was excited to enter their "sales leadership" program. Shortly into his tenure, he discovered that the company required him to relocate every six months without providing sufficient financial support for moving or canceling a lease. Another woman reported to work for her first day on a new job but had to wait two long weeks for a company-assigned laptop. In the meantime, she sat at home anxiously anticipating a FEDEX delivery with little contact from her boss or coworkers. A third man resigned from a company because he wasn't recognized:

"I worked in a manager role for more than a year but was never given a promotion or raise for taking on the extra responsibility," he said. "Meanwhile, my director got a 30 percent bonus! Needless to say, I felt undervalued."

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