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CEO Turnover Predicted to Rise: How to Retain Top Executives After the Pandemic

Early in 2021, the pace of CEO turnover hit record highs. The pandemic had put a hold on many transition plans, as economic conditions became murky and many executives battened down the hatches to weather the COVID storm. Now that the outbreak finally seems to be passing, turnover in the top corporate ranks looks ready to explode.

Are you positioned to retain your top executive talent after the pandemic?

It’s a crucial question. Maintaining leadership continuity lets you develop a deep institutional memory and promote a vibrant corporate culture. You also avoid the costs and headaches associated with recruiting new executive talent.

But how do you achieve this? Here are a few tips to retain top executives as the pandemic starts to wane:

Five Tips For Retaining Top Executive Talent

Anticipate Potential Problems

Retention isn’t a series of singular acts. It’s an ongoing process. You need to create an overall culture that encourages executives to stay for the long haul.

Anticipate potential problems before they manifest themselves. This way, you can prevent your top talent from wanting to leave in the first place. Here are a few strategies to keep in mind:

  • Keep the Lines of Communication Open: Frequently talk to your key leaders. Understand their goals and consider how you can help them achieve those objectives.
  • Avoid Burn Out: As a group, executives tend to be Type-A workaholics. As a result, you need to watch out for signs of burnout and step in before the situation becomes toxic.
  • Minimize Office Politics: Encourage collaboration and teamwork among your executives. As much as possible, sidestep the power grabs and jealousy that can send frustrated talent out the door.
  • Target the Individual: Each one of your executives is different. Don’t take a one-size-fits-all approach to retention. Instead, tailor your approach to the individual.

Consider Compromise Options

Even if you can’t convince an executive to stay in their current role, you still have options. A complete break might not be necessary. Based on the circumstances, a compromise position could be possible.

If the executive wants more time with their family, maybe you could arrange a co-responsibility situation. They can share duties with another executive. Or if a disgruntled leader wants an additional challenge, maybe you can give them a startup project to oversee.

You might not keep their attention entirely focused where you’d want. But you can hold them within the organization and take advantage of their unique skills.

Try to Keep Them…But Stay Prepared

Hopefully, you’ll be able to mollify your disgruntled executives. After a few conversations, any issues will get smoothed over and everyone can get back to driving the company forward.

However, that might not happen. No executive should become irreplaceable. In the grand tradition of “the show must go on,” you should organize your firm so that it can easily withstand any departure.

There are a few steps you should take if it becomes clear you won’t be able to retain a key executive:

Plan a Smooth Transition

Have contingency plans in place for executive departures. Know how you’ll shift duties and who will step into the leadership role. This way, you can quickly recover from any departure.

Maintain a Deep Talent Pool

Cultivate a strong bench of executive talent. Have processes in place to recognize high-quality leadership candidates within your organization. From there, provide the proper training to make sure you have substitutes ready to go if a key manager leaves.

Partnering with a Recruiting Agency Like Elby Professional Recruitment

A staffing agency can help fill executive vacancies. A top recruiter, like Elby Professional Recruitment, can identify the perfect executive talent for your company.

Contact Elby today to find out more.