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Businesses that are finally beginning to see signs of recovery are now facing a new threat—losing their most valued employees to a new job. Job satisfaction data shows that employee morale is lower than it has been in two decades and that nearly 22 percent of employees do not expect to be at their job a year from now. This is a trend we’ve seen time and time again: As soon as consumer confidence starts to recover, quit rates begin to rise.
The good news is that employees most likely to leave can often be reliably identified by a combination of factors. The secret is knowing which factors are most important and having the right plans in place to stem the tide before it starts. So what does it take to avoid losing your best, brightest, and most valuable employees to a new "recovery" job? Here are four essential strategies for staying ahead of the rush out your door:
1. Target the talent pools. Be strategic and rational as you make employee investments. Look closely to determine which talent pools in the company are truly critical to future success. Often companies don’t realize that the critical talent pool for future success may not be in the jobs that are critical right now.
2. Work the data. Measure and analyze potential drivers of employee turnover both externally and internally. Externally, companies should look at job markets, functions, and managers. Internally, managers should review data on employee personality, education, experience, and promotion history.
3. "Embed" your employees. Motivation and morale are good, but companies looking to keep employees long term need to be focused on job "embeddedness." That means considering: fit, how well employees fit with their work, workplace, and community; links, the richness of their personal relationships with co-workers and the degree to which others depend on them; and sacrifice, the things they would need to give up if they left their job.
4. Identify growth opportunities. Survey findings consistently indicate that providing superior growth and development opportunities can reduce turnover. Incorporate training and development opportunities into the total rewards package that is offered. Be sure to explore development at all levels and age groups. Too often companies overfocus their development and training efforts on new employees and the younger workforce.
Dr. Todd Harris
Director of research
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