Mentoring & Talent Retention: You Can’t Have One Without The Other

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With 63% of today’s newly-hired workforce looking for their next advancement, organizational leaders must not overlook the value of developing recruits and offering them a path to future success. This is one of the most extreme pain points for leaders and why focusing on talent retention is key to successful outcomes. As leaders develop talent, they give employees a reason to belong and encourage the generative spirit of the employee. To be generative is to be in a state of learning, which is critical for success.

Often when new employees express desires for promotion or advancement, it can be misunderstood or miscategorized as “entitlement” or “self-absorbing behavior.” What employees want is to gain opportunities for upward mobility. Funny how some employers want to hire people who are self-driven and motivated, yet at the same time, they want them to sit idly waiting their turn for promotion.

“The only thing worse than mentoring employees who leave is not developing them, and they stay.” – Dr. Troy

Today’s workforce will not be silent when it comes to advancement, and for the record, the other 37% is concerned about these same opportunities except they are not as vocal.

Cohesion Culture Talent Retention Model™

In my book, Cohesion Culture: Proven Principles to Retain Your Top Talent, I present the foundation of cohesion and offer a Cohesion Culture Talent Retention Model™. The model is a guide as to how organizations can modify or create a culture where every employee has the opportunity to be their best selves. The model focuses on the types of activities that support the learning and relating aspects of employee development with mentoring as the first prong.

To understand how cohesion is defined, let’s consider these three distinct elements:

1) a sense of belonging
2) value
3) commitment

When cohesion is present, it positively impacts performance in all stages of the work that produces the desired organizational outcome. Of the three, commitment is the most misunderstood element.

For the most part, leaders consider the commitment to what the employee can do for them. When, in fact, a transformative shift must occur in how the leader thinks about commitment to achieve the type of engagement expected from its workers. This is done when leaders consider what they can do for the employee first by identifying employee needs and then aligning employee development goals with the desired business outcomes.

With a transformative philosophy in place, the leader takes care of the employee first, and the rest quickly falls into place.

Mentoring: Learning and Relating

Through mentoring, the employer offers a platform that promotes the act of helping the employee learn.

Mentoring allows for the safe exchange of ideas and development geared toward the success of the mentee. Throughout the mentoring experience, both the mentee and mentor should foster collaboration, give to each other more than what the other received, trust the process, pursue performance, not perfection, and seek the truth.

It is of no value for people to be “hoarders of knowledge.” Instead, the individual must process the newly-acquired information by finding a way to internalize and implement the acquired knowledge. That is the value of mentoring and why it is an essential component of the Cohesion Culture Talent Retention Model™.

Cohesive Teams Contain Top Talent

As the mentoring experience evolves, individuals develop a stronger sense of belonging. The employee begins to feel they have a place within the organization and their level of commitment to stay increases. Equally important, this sense of being part of something creates a value proposition for the employee and contributes to them finding or expressing their purpose.

Through purpose and value, the employee demonstrates passion because they clearly understand why they are needed and how their work fits into the bigger picture of what the organization does and for whom.

Both belonging and value set the stage for commitment, which happens when individuals have witnessed successful one-on-one development. These individuals tend to operate with intention toward the success of the common goal and become your top talent—worthy of being retained.

What’s your experience with mentoring? Have you been given the opportunity to demonstrate passion because you clearly understand the bigger picture of the organization? 

To learn more about the leadership values that can positively impact your team and create a Cohesion Culture™️, connect with Dr. Troy here.


Dr. Troy Hall is the Chief Strategy Officer for South Carolina Federal Credit Union, a $1.8B financial cooperative with over 165,000 members. With a Ph.D. in Global Leadership and Entrepreneurship, Dr. Troy has earned the designation as an International Development Educator. As the author of Cohesion Culture: Proven Principles to Retain Your Top Talent, his book showcases how and why South Carolina Federal Credit Union has been named a “Best Places To Work” by Glassdoor, the Credit Union Industry, and State of South Carolina.

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