Leadership

Are You Prepared to Lose Some of Your Best Talent?

After each recession, there is typically a wave of turnover representing pent-up demand for employee dissatisfaction as advertised jobs increase.

Are you prepared for some of your best people to walk out the door?

What are you doing right now to ensure your company is capable of retaining your best talent as the job market expands?

I can’t predict whether the job market will bounce back in 6 months, 12 months, or 18 months. However, it will bounce back. You might say “Barry, we have very low turnover and I’m not concerned about losing some of our talent to competitors”. I would contend that since there are very few jobs available, most candidates have hunkered down and are waiting out the job market depression. Of course you don’t have turnover issues now. Plan on having those issues within the next 12-18 months.

We need to recognize a few factors and trends at play in this job market. First, the tools for candidates to find jobs has increased dramatically. Secondly, the tools for companies to find candidates have increased, particularly through social media channels. Third, employee satisfaction is at one of the lowest points since the Great Depression. These combined factors are unique for the coming job market improvement. I’m waving my hands in the air sounding the alarms of a dangerous combination of factors regarding your employee satisfaction and available jobs. Perhaps, you’ll write this off as the little boy who cried “wolf” too often. Perhaps, you’ll read this blog post, pull your management together, and start implementing programs to proactively raise your retention capability.

Recently, I’ve been giving our Vistage Talk “You’re the Person I Want to Keep”, a program of how to implement a structured process for retaining top talent.

I’ve noticed that many companies might be at risk to lose some of their most critical and important talent over the next 18 months. As I jump across the country in my Vistage Talks, I am stunned at the lack of attention being given to structured retention programs. Perhaps, many company executives feel that since there are no jobs available, there is no need to invest in retention programs – as in “our employees are not going anywhere.”

What if 1 or 2 of your top performing engineers, sales reps, or pivotal executives suddenly walked into your office and resigned tomorrow? Do you have a back-up plan in place? Maybe you’ve been working on a succession plan? What if the 1 or 2 leaving triggered a brain drain or exodus of talent?

I would like to suggest it might be time to review your current retention programs to update, improve, enhance, and implement changes to ensure your best talent does NOT leave as the job market rebounds.

Some best practice areas to focus on:

* Culture – is there dysfunction in your culture? Have you surveyed your employees for their satisfaction levels?

* Feedback – do you have a rigorous process for One-to-Ones for coaching, development, and success-based leadership?

* Non-Monetary Rewards and Recognition – top talent only performs to a standing ovation. Do you have a series of programs aimed at supervisory, team, and company-wide non-monetary recognition?

* Acceptance of Mediocrity – top talent wants to be in a success-based environment. Can you claim that you’ve embedded success-based management principles in the fabric of your business?

* Learning and Development – how aggressive are you pushing learning, training, and development throughout your organization? Your best people will stay in an organization that helps them grow at a high rate.

What are you doing right now to improve your ability to retain your best talent over the next 12-18 months?

Barry

Category: Leadership

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Barry Deutsch About the Author: Barry Deutsch

Barry Deutsch has been a popular Vistage Speaker for over a decade in the areas of hiring and retention. In recognition of the value of his presentations, Vistage has given him the prestigious IMPACT Speaker of the Year Award. He is a co-aut…

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  1. This is a great point and one too often ignored! The war for talent will soon be upon us…

  2. This is a great point and one too often ignored! The war for talent will soon be upon us…

  3. cristobal

    February 23, 2011 at 7:16 pm

    HAHA, I like reading articles like this. My old company saw it just to refuse raises to the top talent in the company. I ledt a few months back and they are now on credit hold with all of their suppliers. Liquidation of assets is right around the corner.

  4. cristobal

    February 23, 2011 at 7:16 pm

    HAHA, I like reading articles like this. My old company saw it just to refuse raises to the top talent in the company. I ledt a few months back and they are now on credit hold with all of their suppliers. Liquidation of assets is right around the corner.

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