A little-known secret to team retention.

Here’s a statistic that every impact entrepreneur should know:

According to a LinkedIn poll, 94% of employees said they would stay at a company longer if it invested in helping them learn.


Yes, you read that correctly. 94%.

When you invest in your team’s development, you can increase their length of time at your company while improving their performance. As an entrepreneurial venture, you likely have millions of experiential learning opportunities to provide your team without having to invest in massive learning initiatives. The key is being intentional.

February is the perfect time to kick off a “development goals” discussion with your team. Development goals are specific to an individual and relate to a skillset or competency that will help them excel professionally – and contribute to your organization’s success.

Here are the steps:

First, carve out dedicated time to meet with your team member. Keep the conversation focused on agreeing to a development goal and timeframe. An hour is plenty.

Second, the best development goals come from triangulating between two key questions:

For the team member: “What do you want to learn or get good at, to continue to be excited about working here?”

For the manager: “In what skill or competency areas could the team member improve in order to (or continue to be) successful at the company or move into new roles?”

Third, brainstorm a plan and timeline for how and when to reach the goal.

TIP: Learning doesn’t only happen through formal instruction! Look for on-the-job learning opportunities like stretch assignments, cross-functional opportunities, mentorship, shadowing, etc.

Fourth, put a note in your calendar to check in with your team member on their development goals, perhaps the last day of the month for three months.

A final point: You can’t force someone to learn. Your role as a leader is to create space to discuss development, provide guidance on competency gaps, and brainstorm opportunities for learning. Encourage your team members to take responsibility for their own learning, emphasizing that you will support them along the way.

Here’s to a productive and fun 2023 filled with learning, coaching, strong financial performance, and positive people and planetary impact!

If you’d like to explore more about developing your team – or any other talent topic, feel free to email me at


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