Look, I am all about being honest. This especially comes to my high potentials. I am not going to BS them, and in return I hope that I am the first one they run to when they start getting the eventual offers from the outside. So here is the deal, there are two types of employees:
1. Employees with options
2. Employees with no options
Nuff said, that is all there is to it. I don't care what industry you are in or what your "niche" is. Employees with options reap the rewards of "choosing" to stay with their current company (until they inevitably leave) and employees who have no choice but to stay get nothing (or less) than their counterparts who have options.
Cold you say? I am definitely putting on the Darth Vader Mask here, for sure. But do the mental exercise for me just for fun. Which of your employees have options and which don't? Then adjust your retention efforts accordingly. I was at the BCHRMA conference today and had a speaker say that younger people don't expect to work for a company for 35 years anymore. I found this amusing because I don't expect people to work for me for more than five years (I think I can keep people around for that long) after that I expect them to move on without a promotion or significant change of some sort.
Keep it fluid my brothers and sisters.