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On November 6th at this year’s Presidents Conference, IFMA is doing something we’ve never done before: a program on personal branding designed expressly for your top talent, led by International Keynoter and Consultant, Sima Dahl. Why? Because we are in the throes of a Talent Crisis and while recruiting is critical, retaining your emerging leaders is just as important; for some, it’s mission-critical.

When we talk about retention strategies we discuss creating a positive culture, aligning roles with corporate vision, maintaining honest and open communications, and increasing salaries, perks and benefits. But seldom do we talk about training our top talent to manage their own career… about teaching them how to stand out, stay relevant, and create demand for their skills within the company. So they can advance. And grow. And stay.

Exit interview after exit interview, high potential leaders cite “the opportunity for advancement” as their reason for leaving, and there’s no crime in that. But what is criminal is when no one had an inkling, not the supervisor nor the HR business partner, that this go-getter was ready to tackle something new. And when word gets out that this rock star is leaving, leaders throughout the organization may vaguely recall their name, but not their skills or talent.

That’s a problem with an easy solution. Progressive companies understand that to keep their best, they have to teach their best how to show up, speak up, get connected, and raise their visibility in order to attract opportunity. Call it personal branding, call it career management or even executive presence… it’s a soft skill that isn’t taught in any school, so the onus is on you.

And the bigger picture win? Your employee’s personal brands are inextricably interwoven with both your Employer brand and your Business brand. Strong, sticky brands make a clear, consistent promise of value, and that promise is only made possible by your people.

If you have prized talent joining you in Phoenix, encourage them attend the only session that is designed to teach them personal branding fundamentals. Through interactive, hands-on exercises, attendees will sharpen their understanding of how to articulate their value, convey their skills and talent, build their intracompany network, and chart a clear course forward as the newly appointed CEO of their career.