How can managers help retain top talent?

Discover some important insights from our 2022 Annual L&D Benchmark Report.

Written by Natalie Benfell
Published 01 August 2022
How can managers help retain top talent?

When asked about learning and development priorities, L&D leaders frequently talk about wanting to improve employee retention. And it’s no surprise as to why. According to Josh Bersin of Deloitte, the cost of losing and employee can range from tens of thousands of dollars to 1.5–2.0x the employee’s annual salary.

So, how can we stop our top talent from leaving? In our 2022 Annual L&D Benchmark report, we concluded that if top performing employees are to stick around, they require three things from their organization:

  1. To feel supported.
  2. A culture that focuses on learning and career development.
  3. Opportunities to learn at work.
Your managers play a key role in making your employees feel supported to grow and develop. So in this blog post, we explore three ways you can help your managers retain the top talent in your organization.

1. Get your managers on board

To keep your employees happy and engaged, you first need to make sure that your managers are committed to developing their teams. Our research shows that managers’ reluctance to make time for and encourage new ways of learning is one of the top main concerns among organizations.


If you want to create a learning culture within your organization, your managers first need to understand the positive impact that learning can have. Then they must make sure that their teams are equipped with the resources and support that they need to succeed.

2. Equip them with the right resources

According to our Annual L&D Benchmark report, 74 percent of learners have cited “support from my manager” as one of the most useful approaches when dealing with task and role challenges. And in our 2022 Learner Intelligence report, employees cited their manager as the top source when it came to finding out about learning opportunities.

But for managers to support their teams, they need the proper resources in place. This means that organizations need to invest in the “right resources” and make these readily available for managers.

This will not only benefit your employees, but can also contribute to the success of your organization. For example, when looking at the behaviors associated with high performing L&D teams, we found that 83 percent of those teams equipped their managers with the right resources.


Once you ensure that your managers are fully prepared, your employees will feel supported and fully aware of the opportunities to learn and develop themselves.

3. Encourage continual learning

When looking again at top performing organizations (who in turn have high retention rates), we consistently saw that top performers develop their people by treating this as a continual and holistic process.

As a form of coaching that goes beyond the standard appraisal process, the focus of performance management is getting the best out of employees through performance data. This involves continually reviewing and evaluating employee performance but using managers to facilitate this.


By developing your managers to be coaches, they’ll be able to help their team members better understand how they fit into the bigger, organizational picture.

Want to learn more about how Mind Tools for Business can help retain your top talent? Book a chat with one of team members today.

About the author

Natalie Benfell

Natalie Benfell

Content and Product Marketing Manager
Natalie is a passionate marketeer with over seven years of marketing experience. She enjoys copywriting, creative problem-solving and helping to build a strong brand presence.

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