Back in August Forbes.com published this article on preparing for the upturn but so far there has been little evidence that companies are making the changes they need to retain their high performers. So in case you've decided to take a wait and see attitude with respect to making sure your best workers are not eyeballing the exit, consider this quote from Richard Martin on the State of HR: From Recession to Recovery survey completed by Speechly Bircham and King's College London HRM Learning Board:
Pressure is building and there are indicators throughout the survey findings that 2010 may see a huge release in pent-up discontent and a surge in employees looking to move on.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, voluntary turnover averaged between 20-23% between 2001 and 2006. If you assume that your high performers are also your highest flight risks, consider the impact of losing your top 20%, especially when most organizations are already coping with staffing shortages and limited resources.
So what can you do? Simple. Talk to your people. Today. Schedule a meeting with each member of your team and ask them these three questions:
I can see you rolling your eyes you know... Most companies and managers don't ask these questions because they don't want to hear that their employees are unhappy and because they don't have resources to offer training or compensation increases. Why ask the question if you can't do anything about it? Here's why:
Money is not the only metric by which people measure their job satisfaction. Most employees, whether they do it consciously or not, have five factors that add up to their overall employment happiness quotient. They are (in no particular order) opportunity to learn new things, opportunity to gain new responsibilities, stress, money and people. So while you may not have the resources to make a big change to each person's salary, you can certainly find ways to move the needle on the other four metrics.
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