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10 Career Management Tips to Help You Overcome Talent Shortages

  • March 15, 2024
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As the talent shortage wears on, something’s got to give. Workforce career management can be the key to attracting and retaining a skilled workforce. While career management provides employees with a vision showing where they can go within the company—both vertically and laterally—it’s so much more than that. 

Workforce career management is a strategic approach where organizations assist employees in developing their careers by aligning individual career aspirations with organizational goals, and offering development tools, training, resources and opportunities. This approach boosts job satisfaction, retention, and ensures a skilled workforce to meet organizational objectives.  

Recent research from the American Psychological Association indicates that workers who are satisfied with their opportunities for growth and development are far more likely to report being very or somewhat satisfied with their jobs (96%) than those who were not (64%). 


Workforce Challenges Facing HR Leaders Today  

 Talent shortages continue to challenge organizations globally 

According to ManpowerGroup’s latest Employment Outlook Survey, organizations today face the highest global talent shortage in 16 years. Three-quarters of companies report challenges in finding and retaining skilled talent. That percentage is over double what businesses reported in 2010. 

The top roles that companies are most interested in filling are: 

  • IT and data 
  • Sales and marketing 
  • Operations and logistics 
  • Manufacturing and production 
  • Customer facing and front office 

There are several factors impacting current talent shortages and retention. 

  • Current employees are retiring. Baby boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, are reaching retirement age and leaving the workforce. According to Pew Research, the number of retired Baby Boomers increased more from 2019 to 2020 (3.2%) than in previous years. And while some of this was caused by Covid-19, only a few are returning; those who do tend to seek part-time jobs. There are simply not enough younger workers available to replace them. 
  • New talent does not have the training. As a result of the mass exodus, businesses are not finding talent matching the experience and training of the retirees. 

The current workforce pool is small, with the next generations still working in entry-level and intermediate positions. Therefore, companies are left with a talent gap.  

Employee Expectations Are Changing 

Employees' needs and wants have shifted from what they used to be. In the past, an employer may have been able to attract  employees with high salaries alone. Now, employees value other factors. 

A ManpowerGroup study on what workers want found most workers expect the following in their careers to encourage them to stay: 

  • Workplace flexibility: 92% of respondents now see flexibility as important to their working lives 
  • Meaningful work: 74% want to find meaning in their daily work and the majority seek an organization that shares their values 
  • Career opportunities: Opportunities for career progression and to move within the company 
  • Support for families: Working parents want employers to better support a balance of home and working lives, like flexible work times and caregiving support.


7 Career Management Strategies to Improve Retention Rates 

Use these strategies to enhance develop the careers of your employees and drive the success of your organization.  

1. Enable Career Mobility

Career mobility can be your greatest resource for new talent if you plan the position shifts correctly. With career mobility, you empower current employees to move throughout the organization. This provides new internal opportunities for your workers, keeping them engaged and less likely to switch companies for advancement opportunities. 

Position changes also keep the job fresh and exciting, which promotes employee engagement. While it varies from person to person, employees who work in the same role for too long and do not see a clear career path for themself within the organization, may start to look outside of it for new opportunities. 

Instead, invest in your employees through training, advancement, and the opportunity for lateral role changes so they feel challenged and excited about their job and future in the business. They will come to work each day with renewed motivation because you offered a goal to work towards. 

2. Support a Flexible Work Environment

ManpowerGroup’s The New Human Age workforce trends report showed that employees value flexibility in the workplace. Flexibility means something different for everyone. However, here are some of the top flexible work experiences employees prefer: 
  • 61% of employees think asynchronous work creates a better work/life balance and 42% believe it is the future of work 
  • 64% would consider looking for a new job if they were forced to return to the office part-time 
  • 31% would take another role in the next month if it offered a better work/life balance 

While the traditional on-site workplace might have worked in the past, try adopting some flexible options to keep your employees happy and prevent high attrition rates. 

3. Invest in the Development of Your Leaders 

Are you confident in the capabilities of your company’s leaders? Many organizations are not. In fact, a startling statistic from DDI’s Global Leadership Forecast states only 40% of leaders reported their company had high-quality leads. That’s a 17% decline and the steepest decline in leadership quality in more than 10 years. 

One of the ways that HR and functional leaders are investing in their leadership pipeline while also achieving more immediate results is by incorporating coaching into their talent development plan.  Coaching delivers the most immediate improvements to leader performance through individualized support. And often is available specifically for executives and leaders. 

In an era when it seems anyone can be a career coach, put the success of your leadership development in the hands of proven coaches who have earned their credentials. Look for coaches who are certified, such as those who maintain CCF certified by the Certified Coaches Federation.  (Fun fact: All Right Management coaches are CCF-certified or equivalent).   

 4. Promote Your Company’s Purpose

Employees want to feel a sense of purpose at work. As a result, many workers are no longer content to only work for a paycheck. Instead, today’s workforce is more aware of businesses' social and economic impact and wants to contribute to society. 

Our What Workers Want report says 75% of workers are passionate about their work, and 70% feel what they do is essential. In addition, 64% of employees want their work to improve society, and two-thirds of employees are looking an employer with similar values. 

Focusing on your company’s purpose builds a greater sense of value for employees. Your purpose is what your company stands for. According to our 2022 The Great Realization report, 60% of companies are including Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) goals in their business purpose. 

For example, an environmentally conscious shoe retailer is more than a shoe store. It is a company that builds a healthier environmental future through sustainable footwear options. Employees know that every shoe they sell does not just increase the business’s profit; Those shoes also reduce the environmental impact of the shoe industry. 

Managers can encourage employees by consistently promoting the company’s purpose as part of their overall company culture. You can also keep employees updated on the impact of their work through ESG reports or other insights into how the business is bettering society. 

5. Prioritize Personal Health

Mental health support is no longer optional in the workplace. Before the Covid-19 pandemic, health and mental well-being benefits were a nice add-on for employees. However, with mental illnesses soaring and overwhelming news distracting employees, your workers may be secretly struggling.  

A Mental Health America report showed an overwhelming 20.78% of adults experience a mental illness. This includes depression and anxiety. Yet, despite the significant need, over half of adults do not receive any treatment. 

Preventing burnout from mental and physical illness is easier than convincing an exhausted or ill employee to stay at your company. Investing in your employees’ health is an investment in your company because healthy employees are happier, stay longer, and are more productive in their roles. 

For example, ManpowerGroup’s What Workers Want report showed that 30% of employees want more mental health days. Days off to rest the mind prevent burnout, so employees come back refreshed and ready to work. 

Other ideas for promoting greater employee health include: 

  • Gym membership discounts 
  • Quality healthcare benefits 
  • Healthy food options in the workplace 

Johnson & Johnson instituted a wellness program that over a 10-year period cut the number of employees with high blood pressure in half and cumulatively saved the company $250 million on health care costs. The company realized a return of $2.71 for every dollar spent. 

Wellness programs cut down on attrition across the board as well. The Harvard Business Review cites several companies that cut their voluntary attrition rates through wellness programs, some by as much as half.  

 6. Build a Family-Friendly Workplace

For many employees, family comes first, with 45% of employees ranking work-life balance as the most important factor in career choices. A healthy balance of work obligations and life responsibilities improves employee job satisfaction, and can help organizations attract new talent.  

Many of your employees are also caregivers. They might be parents with younger children or be caring for an elderly relative. These workers need more flexibility and benefits to aid in their supportive role. 

For example, parents need a salary or benefits to cover childcare costs. They also need more flexible work schedules to account for sick children, school holidays, and appointments. 

 7. Train and Develop Employees

Successful employees power successful businesses. You can invest in your company’s growth by training and equipping your employees to succeed in their role both today and tomorrow. Offering ways to improve their current roles, learn new skills, and prepare for career advancements builds an internal talent pool for your business. 

Not only do you have more talent to promote and move around within your company, but you also increase the satisfaction of employees. When employees can grow within their current roles, they are less likely to look externally for growth opportunities. 

Some ways to offer training and development include: 

  • Company training 
  • Online resource libraries 
  • Mentorship programs 
  • Coaching programs 
  • Educational courses and programs 
  • College reimbursement programs 


Invest in Your Career Management Strategy 

What is your career management strategy missing, and how can you strengthen your workforce? 

We power careers so individuals grow and organizations thrive.  

Named by Forbes as one of America’s Best Management Consulting Firms, Right Management offers talent and workforce solutions that will develop and strengthen your talent strategy. With best-in-class technology and a human-centric approach, we offer proven solutions in assessment, coaching, leadership, career development, mobility and outplacement that help organizations translate business needs into impactful talent programs.  

Get in touch to talk with our experts about how we can contribute to your success.  



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