Letter from Debra
June 18, 2017


We are getting an early taste of beautiful summer weather here this week.  I'm enjoying it while it's here because I know the fog will be rolling in again soon. When it's warm out, I sometimes spend my lunch hour on a tranquil bench out under the trees at the Redwood Grove near the Transamerica Pyramid.  Here's a haiku I penned there recently:


We are in a very volatile world and the shooting events here and in DC this morning have shaken us all. This is a good time to show kindness to yourself and others. 

Best regards,


Debra Mugnani Monroe
President, C.E.S., C.P.C.
www.debramugnani.com  (my musical website)

P.S.  Need a temp right away?   Click here to list an order now! 

How Career Development Programs Support Employee Retention

This article was first published October 20, 2014 by the Association for Talent Development. 

Photo courtesy of the Association for Talent Development.

High employee turnover should be worrisome to any employer. Simply consider the expense to recruit, interview, and train new employees, not to mention that these employees may be less adept at their jobs than the experienced workers they are replacing. And as the economy improves and the job market grows, employees have more options-making employee retention even more challenging. 

When asked why they are looking for jobs at new companies, employees are most likely to explain that they want better pay and benefits, are unhappy with their career prospects with their current company, or want more challenges. Career development programs can address these concerns to reduce turnover. 

Develop specific career development strategies 

Career development also can help with retention because employees can develop a sense of loyalty for employers who are willing to invest in them. Likewise, when it is time to hire new employees, career development programs can be attractive to job-seekers. 
Your company can develop its own unique career development programs to increase employee retention-and hopefully increase productivity and profits. Organization leaders can use the following strategies to guide the development of its program. 

Open the door to conversations about careers

Annual or other regular performance evaluation talks can be the norm, and employees may be afraid to bring up the topic of career development with their managers. However, such talks can be healthy. Encourage them by training managers on how to handle these conversations in positive ways so that employees feel valued and empowered. 

Promote the idea of a career lattice 

The idea of the career ladder is ingrained in company culture, but it can stifle employees who want to explore different career paths. An alternative to the ladder is a career lattice, which encourages sideways moves in addition to upwards movement. Other characteristics of the career lattice include:
  • flexibility in progress, with any movement, whether up, sideways, or down, considered successful
  • allowing faster or slower career progression according to the employee's desires and current life situation
  • evaluating performance in outcomes, not in hours spent at work.
Evaluate career development programs 

As you build a career development program, include an evaluation plan to make sure the outcomes are as you hoped they would be. You want a favorable return-on-investment (ROI). If your goal is employee retention, you might measure changes in employee retention after implementing your program. Keep track of costs so you can determine whether the savings from reduced turnover outweigh the costs of the program. 

Career development programs help employees shine 

Talent management includes recognizing individual's talents and putting employees in positions that make the best use of their skills. Employees can feel more confident in their skills and enjoy using their strengths every day at work. 
When employees perceive that their organizations encourage career development, they feel more confident about their long-term career path. Unfortunately, this is not the case in many companies around the globe. Even a majority of employees in a  large survey in Australia and New Zealand  by Right Management reported that their leaders did not "have the tools and skills to promote career development." 

Employers can avoid this by integrating key features of career development support in the workplace: 
  • structured career mapping to put a tangible plan in place
  • leadership development to cultivate individuals to take charge of projects
  • succession planning, or prepping current employees to fill higher positions
  • online learning to offer skill development without placing extra pressure on employees to be present at work. 

According to the Right Management study, employees at a company with a favorable career climate are four times less likely to say that they are planning to stay with the company for less than one year than those at a company with a favorable career climate. Having these strategies present at their companies will help employees feel encouraged to advance in their career.  

Office Yoga

These refreshing eye exercises really work
  1. Refocus every 10 minutes by looking out the window or around the office.
  2. Each hour close your eyes, let your face soften.
  3. Slowly roll eyes in a circle.
  4. Take a few breaths, and return to action.
  5. For soothing relief, rub palms together very fast till they get warm, then place them gently over your eyes.

Inspired by Darrin Zeer's "Office Yoga: Simple Stretches for Busy People."

Top Candidates

Kurt E.
Kurt is a bright, young, emerging player in the fields of client acquisition and sports and entertainment marketing. A recent college graduate from Gonzaga University with a Bachelor's degree in Broadcast and Electronic Media Studies, Kurt has held internships with Bay Area institutions such as the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, Vektor Marketing, and 95.7 'The Game". As a Sports and Entertainment Representative for the SF Chamber of Commerce, Kurt worked with the VP of Sales and Marketing to acquire sponsors for high-profile events including the Golden State Warriors Tip-Off Lunch. With multiple summers of customer service and marketing experience, proficiency in Google docs, sheets, and calendar as well as Microsoft Office Suite, and experience with Adobe Illustrator, Prezi (and even a black belt in Kung Fu!) Kurt would be a productive, efficient, and all-around slam-dunk addition to your team.

Kent (Hongchao) M.
Kent is a high-level Executive Assistant with experience as Project Coordinator, Interpreter and Finance Trade Officer. Recently locating this year from Beijing to the Bay Area, Kent worked for the Bank of Communications until last month in the regulatory compliance department, diversifying an already impressive skill set. Possessing strong organization and administrative skills and comfortable working independently or in a collaborative environment, Kent would be a strong addition to your staff. A graduate of the Northern Consortium of the United Kingdom with a master's equivalent degree in International Business, Kent is a strong candidate for any executive assistant, administrative support, or financial associate position.

Patricia G.
Patricia is a highly adept senior legal secretary with almost twenty years of law firm experience. Patricia has expertly handled a wide variety of tasks such as covering the Litigation, Labor and Employment, Corporate, and Immigration desks of multiple firms, arranging travel, coordinating assignments with cross-country, partner offices, and acting as Project Group Leader for all of a firm's west coast offices. Despite her vast expertise, Patricia is excited about the possibility of challenging herself by exploring a new field. Patricia would be an analytical, organized, and energetic addition to your office team!

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