Retaining Knowledge Workers

In addition to generating results, hiring and retaining people is another key, critical task of management.

From my own experience of managing technical professionals, I have the following three general observations.

First, knowledge workers appreciate knowing what the organization wants to accomplish and where it would like to go. They calibrate their output to try to match the effort required.

Second, knowledge workers are interested in personal accountability and achievement. It is important for the managers to put the talent in the right slot for maximum productivity.

Finally, knowledge workers expect continuous education and skill growth. They want to hone their craft and always put themselves in the best position to contribute positive results.

To effectively retain top talent, it is the manager’s responsibility to provide opportunities to her people on all three fronts.

Sure, pay still matters to many but bribery alone quickly loses its appeal. Knowledge workers know they have the option to leave. They have the self-confidence and mobility, especially the good ones.

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