Focusing on Talent Retention to Grow Your Organization

By Teh Leng Tan | May 16, 2023 | 0 Comments

Supply ChainPower of the Profession

Employee attrition in the Asia/Pacific region is a bigger problem when compared to other parts of the world. Only 26% of APAC employees indicated their intent to stay in their current organizations versus 38% globally, based on Gartner’s Global Talent Monitor quarterly survey. Although this difference has narrowed over the last three years, the gap is still significant.

More specifically, the average employment tenure varies across APAC countries. For example, the average employment in India is 1.5 years while in Japan, it’s 12 years. The developing and emerging countries also have a shorter average length of employment of fewer than three years and the developed countries have a longer tenure, with four years or more. This is against the U.S. average of four years and Germany’s average of more than 10 years for 50% of their employees.

Even within a country, the average employment tenure varies across the different age groups. Younger generations have shorter tenures than older generations.

Why is This Important?

This issue has huge implications to an organization’s supply chain strategy, capabilities and operations. To successfully accomplish a mission, good teamwork is key. Team building goes through forming, storming and norming phases before a team can perform.

Knowledge and experience are accumulated over time in a learning organization. High attrition impedes and disrupts them. Hence, the stability of the workforce is essential for the employees and organizations to grow and deliver.

In addition, the cost of recruitment will increase with higher attrition. Part of this is the expenses, including the time and effort needed in finding the replacement candidates, interviewing, recruiting, onboarding and training them.

Without a stable workforce, an organization won’t be able to perform optimally, impacting its maturity and development. This will, in turn, impact the company’s top and bottom lines and growth objectives.

What is Causing This?

The relatively high attrition rate in Asia is driven by three key organizational factors: compensation, people management/manager quality and respect, according to Gartner’s Q4 2022 Global Talent Monitor survey. Compensation is an important hygiene factor, but a good people manager who could lead their employees effectively, and respectfully, is a key differentiator in retaining those employees.

In addition, environmental factors such as job opportunities and a younger workforce are contributing to this. Many APAC countries are still in the developing/emerging phase, with respective governments investing heavily in infrastructure and rural area development.

With these investments, demand for talent is high and there are more job opportunities. As a result, key talents are subjected to poaching from other companies with better wages and compensation, roles and development. The younger workforce in these countries is more mobile in the job market and has created a more dynamic employment tenure.

What Can We Do to Improve?

While there’s not a lot that organizations can do with the job market opportunities and younger workforce, they can do better in a couple of areas besides compensation to reduce attrition.

Take genuine care of the employees and their wellbeing. As employees focused on doing their jobs, they must feel that their welfare is being taken care of by the organization. This includes compensation and benefits, work/life balance, heath and stress management and genuine concern for the individual. A comprehensive perspective of the employee-centric value proposition is shown in the following figure.

As the leader of the organization, it is important to “walk the talk” in showing genuine concern to employees and their wellbeing, as well as creating the work culture and environment that support this. The management team — especially the first-level managers — have an important role to play here.

Having people managers who can lead the team in achieving their mission is another critical factor. Even more importantly, they must be able to do so by communicating effectively, empathizing and taking care of the employees’ wellbeing. From the employees’ perspective, they must feel that they are growing and developing as individuals and that their contributions are being treasured and recognized. To achieve this, organizations should invest in developing their managers to systematically improve and upgrade their soft skills in these aspects, as part of their leadership development.


Teh Leng Tan
Sr Director Analyst
Gartner Supply Chain


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