In recent years, our beloved country has been grappling with a pressing issue that has far-reaching consequences for its socio-economic development: brain drain. The phenomenon of brain drain, where our young and skilled professionals leave their home country in pursuit of better opportunities abroad, has become more pronounced than ever in Mauritius. This exodus not only impacts the nation’s workforce but also poses challenges to its sustainable growth and progress. As Mauritius seeks to mitigate the effects of brain drain, it is crucial to develop comprehensive and effective talent retention strategies that operate not only at the corporate level but also at the national level.
Why Mauritius is unable to retain its people?
1. Limitations to excel in their field. When the local job market cannot offer positions that match their skills, qualifications, and career aspirations, they are more likely to seek employment in countries where such opportunities are abundant. We see a lot of them moving to Canada but also to France, Australia, and Malaysia for better career prospects. It’s all about their dream, ambitions and aspirations.
2. Gen Z and early Millennials believe that they lack the opportunity to self-actualize. Since their childhood, they often have to choose between their passion (sports, arts, music) and academics.
3. Young professionals are attracted by more lucrative opportunities overseas. They want to fully flourish as an individual. Higher salaries & earning potential draws them to leave their home country.
4. Quality of life. We often hear that Mauritius fails to provide a high quality of life. Factors such as quality of healthcare, living conditions, safety, economic stability, and overall standard of living play a crucial role in deciding where professionals choose to settle. For example, the US is sucking talent from the rest of the world by providing an attractive lifestyle. This definitely attracts young talent seeking a better environment for themselves and their families.
5. Perceived lack of recognition. Some workers feel that their skills and contributions are not adequately recognized or valued in Mauritius, so they prefer to move to environments where they receive more acknowledgment for their work.
6. Global Mobility: With advancements in technology and increased connectivity, the ease of international travel and work has grown. This mobility makes it easier for young professionals to explore opportunities in different countries.
Best Practices for Comprehensive Retention Strategy
1. Enhance the quality of education and vocational training programs to equip the local workforce with cutting-edge skills that align with emerging industries and global trends. Collaborate with educational institutions and industry experts to create curricula that meet industry demands.
2. Promote Research and Innovation: Establish research hubs, innovation centers, and technology parks that provide a conducive environment for talented individuals to conduct groundbreaking research, collaborate with peers, and develop innovative solutions.
3. Offer attractive compensation packages and benefits for professionals that are on par with international standards.
4. Facilitate Entrepreneurship: Foster an entrepreneurial ecosystem that supports startups and small businesses. Provide access to funding, mentorship, and resources to encourage talented individuals to create their ventures and contribute to economic growth.
5. Recognize and reward talents for their hard work and contribution to society. Recognition is proven to develop a sense of belonging, which encourages young talents to keep giving their best. The last 2 years have sharply awakened their innate hunger for meaning and purpose.
6. Civic Engagement and Participation: Involve young professionals in decision-making processes related to policy formulation and national development. Provide opportunities for them to contribute their ideas and expertise to address societal challenges.
As Mauritius navigates the challenges of brain drain, a proactive and multipronged approach is essential. By implementing a comprehensive retention strategy that encompasses education, innovation, compensation, work-life balance, entrepreneurship, networking, immigration, and civic engagement, the nation can counteract the brain drain’s negative effects. Retaining our skilled professionals will not only strengthen the economy but also preserve cultural diversity, encourage innovation, and pave the way for sustainable growth. Ultimately, Mauritius can transform brain drain into a brain gain, capitalizing on its own talents to create a brighter future for its citizens and the nation as a whole.