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The following is a column by Dr. Robert Hogan, that recently appeared in the "2009 Forecast" edition of Human Resources Executive. Dr. Hogan was asked to comment on what he sees as the most significant change affecting the HR community in the future. By now, everyone is aware of the coming demographic tsunami which will be defined by the retirement of the baby boomer generation. On the one hand, this means that a lot of talent and institutional memory will walk out the doors. On the other hand, the replacement pool—composed of the young, the inexperienced, and the untried—will grow steadily smaller. The generic answer to dealing with this looming problem is called talent retention, and a number of talent retention models are available for commercial consumption. Talent retention can be broken down into two generic strategies. The first concerns how to retain older workers past their normal retirement date. The second strategy concerns how to attract and retain talented replacements for the retirees. Standard talent retention solutions involve special training, on boarding, compensation, and career pathing packages, all of which are sensible structural solutions. However, what is missing from most talent retention packages is a careful consideration of the human factor. The critical insight comes from the Gallup research, which shows quite clearly that people don’t quit organizations, they quit their immediate bosses. Unless and until talent retention programs take this crucial generalization into account, they will not be effective tools in the coming war for talent. Research data gathered over the past three decades clearly indicate three conclusions. Read More »