Are you Ready for the Recovery?

By Vicki Lauter

A lot has been written recently about the recovery of the economy. How it will translate to your organization? Will you be able to recruit and retain the people you need for future growth?

Your employees will have many more choices and an opportunity to leave your organization as the economy improves.  You must have a strategy in place to retain your best talent and attract top prospects.

A study in January 2010 by Deloitte indicated that executives were shifting their talent portfolios from “defensive measures” such as cutting headcount and costs, to “offensive” programs, including retention of critical leaders and workers and increased spending on training and development with a focus on leadership.

It is not too late to put a strategy in place for retention and development. However, as the economy improves, it is critical that you continue to refine and implement this strategy.

Why Employees Leave

Here are the top five reasons employees left their most recent positions according to Development Dimensions International:

1. Quality of relationship with immediate supervisor
2. Ability to balance work and home life
3. The feeling of making a difference
4. Level of teamwork and cooperation with coworkers
5. Level of trust in the workplace

Bernthal and Wellins. Retaining Talent: A Benchmarking Study.

Tips for Employee Retention

There are four tools you can use to improve retention rates:

1.  Look at all your critical positions. Identify people you know right now who are at risk of listening to the pitch from the headhunters that are at your door.

2.  Take all your position categories and order them most important to least important. Benchmark each of the roles. Assess all your candidates, including current employees against the benchmark for that specific role. Build your talent portfolio (pipeline) for the short and the long term.

3.  Assessment tools can help managers deploy new or existing employees in positions where they have the biggest impact on the bottom line.

4. Provide an on-boarding experience for employees to help you decrease employee rampup time, develop early bonding and create the vision for the future.

Only you can determine which individuals are at the highest risk for leaving. Don’t wait until they’ve handed in their resignation to start looking for their replacement. You just might find that it takes a lot longer than you bargained for.

Vicki Z. Lauter is a member of the HBA Atlanta chapter and Principal of Z=mc2

Z=mc2 is a strategic talent management solutions firm that helps companies select, develop and retain top talent by getting the right people in the right role with the right skills in a way that gives clients a competitive advantage.  Read Vicki’s blog.


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