Brain Drain and the Importance of Staying Connected

February 16, 2017
Bhumi is an Indian citizen and has recently completed her medical studies. Although she is from Delhi, India, she has now accepted a job in London on the NHS (Nation Health Services). Bhumi, like many other Indian nationals, represents a type of brain drain for the country of India. Brain Drain refers to the emigration of knowledgable, well-educated and skilled professionals from their home country to another country. Brain Drain doesn't just affect governments - it affects organizations as well. 


It's no surprise that employees will leave your organization. What's detrimental is when the brain drain phenomenon impacts your business, especially the exiting of your A and B team players. When they leave so does valuable information and intellectual property. Those skills and knowledge just walked out of the door. Are you prepared?

Without anticipating brain drain, skilled employees, like Bhumi, move on, leaving you with just a few, if any, top-skilled employees. A way to combat the issue is to stay connected with your current employees, or in other words have an effective employee engagement/retention strategy. This is where the old saying "people don't quit their job, they quit their boss" comes into play. You can't treat your employees badly and then, when they leave, expect them to be brand ambassadors. 


Competitive pay, career development, mentoring programs, coaching, and even career transition services are all important factors for current employees. But employees will still leave. Did you treat them well? If you did then you can continue to stay connected with them - continuing with an alumni relationship. Affiliation is important in the corporate world especially when that alumni works for a future business client. 


Staying connected with your employees involves three stages of an employee's career life: 


  1. Onboarding: This is where you set the tone of the relationship between the employee and the organization. Mentoring programs are great ways for newer employees to match with seniors to understand their organizations culture and also feel easement into their new career. 
  2. During employment: Career development programs and coaching are great tools for employees to successfully ladder upwards. It creates the feeling that the organization is involved in the growth of their people which similarly aids retention. Employees want to stay if they feel like their leaders care. 
  3. During their exit: It is inevitable to retain all your employees and it's harmful believing that you can, however if you've maintained a healthy relationship then your employees will want to represent you - even after the employment has ended. Career transition and alumni services are excellent ways to continue the relationship and for future recruitment. 

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