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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Stemming the Tide of Employee Defections

As new opportunities begin to open up in the job market the loss of top performers has emerged as the top concern of employers across the country. As many as one in three senior executives and human resource professionals told us that defection top talent is their most pressing HR challenge. A further 30% are suffering from a lack of high-potential leaders in their organizations and 22% have low engagement and lagging productivity. Staggeringly, 18% reported that they have a shortage of talent at all levels

Loss of top talent will likely emerge as the most pressing concern for many employers in the year ahead. This seems particularly prevalent in the service industry whose growth largely depends on the creativity and knowledge of their key employees. In fact, it’s now more of an expectation. After all, it’s no secret there’s a lot of pent-up frustration in the workplace and that many, if not most, employees have been floating their resume.

Many employers find themselves faced with a dilemma. Right now they don’t want to do much hiring, but at the same time they think they will lose top people. If these defections play out, that in turn will mean more hiring to fill key gaps. It seems pretty sure that in the year ahead job churn and turnover will notch upward, which may harm growth at many organizations.

Those organizations that can evaluate what drives workforce engagement – and the lack of it – are in a much better position to mitigate the risks of top talent flight to competitors. Simply understanding what the current workforce engagement levels are is no longer a sufficient strategy to stem the tide of potential attrition. Organizations that can identify what drives engagement in actionable terms, so that those drivers can be leveraged in an overall retention strategy, will be the winners of the emerging talent migrations.

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