Valorizing and retaining your experts

N°321a – Synopsis (8 p.) – Talents and Careers
Valorizing and retaining your experts
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As experts take on an increasingly crucial role in companies, their career development requires a differentiated approach. How can we set up dedicated channels to make them feel valued and retain this strategic human capital?

Experts play an ever more crucial part in companies. In recent years, many functions have become increasingly sophisticated. Regulations are gaining in complexity; digitization and artificial intelligence are creating new cutting-edge professions—or profoundly renewing established functions such as marketing or production; new and crucial challenges are emerging, such as cybersecurity or climate resilience. Faced with these issues, companies require the input of specialists, as much to guide their major strategic choices as to guarantee the quality of execution of day-to-day tasks. And these needs are so recurring and so central that externalization rarely appears to be a long-term option. Thus the necessity of attracting, developing and retaining experts within the company itself.

And yet, for a long time, this category of employees was not the subject of a differentiated approach. For the most promising among them, career evolution often meant leaving behind their expert functions in favor of managerial roles. This entailed a high risk of attrition for the company, as many experts have neither the inclination nor the aptitudes required to manage teams—and often prefer to then leave for a competitor. A particularly costly turnover when considering the time taken to form them—not to mention the impact on the company’s image: losing one’s key experts sends a troubling message, whether to teams, shareholders or the market.

Industrial companies and consulting and engineering firms are on the front line of these challenges. Some organizations, such as Airbus, Lafarge or Alten, have opted to respond by implementing dedicated career paths for their experts. They have marked out their professional trajectories, clarifying the type of contribution and the skills expected at each stage—without considering taking on a managerial position as a necessary step. They have also increased their support for experts’ development—learning opportunities, communities, coaching, etc. Use their examples to take stock of your own expert management and strengthen your value proposition as an employer.

In this synopsis:
– What value proposition for your experts?
– Offering your experts stimulating career paths
– Positioning yourself to manage an expert

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