September 24, 2022 / VOLUME NO. 228

The Hidden Costs of Hoarding

Could talent hoarding be worsening your workforce woes? 

The practice — where managers fail to develop talent for new roles because they fear losing them to another team or department — is prevalent in many organizations, but “I think banks are somewhat more likely to do this,” says Ed O’Boyle, a global practice leader with the research and consulting firm Gallup. 

Consider this hypothetical: A talented branch manager seems less engaged with their work. Perhaps this person wants to tackle a new professional challenge within the bank, but their manager doesn’t let them move to a different part of the company. Talent hoarding doesn’t help the employee — and it doesn’t help the bank. In fact, it’s a threat that could be costing your organization talent in the long run. 

O’Boyle, who went through a big bank management training program early in his own career, says that departing employees often cite frustrations with career progress as their reason for leaving a company. Moreover, many of those workers say their company could have done something to keep them, but their manager didn’t discuss their role, performance or career development in the months leading to their departure. 

This came up in my conversation with O’Boyle for the upcoming issue of Bank Director magazine, where I explore some of the ways that bankers are trying to pique younger generations’ interest in the field.

The conversation reminded me of a story I wrote a few years ago. Tulsa, Oklahoma-based BOK Financial Corp. had launched an internal training program for mid-career employees who wanted a change in work but didn’t want to leave the company altogether. Executives at the $45 billion financial company reasoned that it was worth the time and expense of training those workers for other roles, especially if the alternative was losing a fairly young employee who was otherwise a great cultural fit. 

Not every bank can launch an extensive internal training program. And in some cases, it may really be time for an employee to leave. But companies should avoid inadvertently fostering a scarcity mindset that keeps talented workers siloed in one role, team or department. 

Otherwise, they may find employees voting with their feet. 

• Laura Alix, director of research for Bank Director

Research Report: An Uphill Struggle for Talent

Banks confront a challenging landscape for talent, from entry-level staff to commercial lenders — leading to increased compensation costs, according to the 2022 Compensation Survey. 

“In many of our markets we’re not just competing with banks anymore. We’re competing with the grocery store that’s now offering $20 an hour.”  Eric Thompson, Vantage Bank Texas

• Laura Alix, director of research for Bank Director

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