Don't Let Your Best Employees Jump Ship: What You Can Do

By Bruce L. Katcher, Ph.D. President of The Discovery Group

THE PROBLEM:

The last few years have been very difficult for employees. They have experienced large scale layoffs, the outsourcing of their jobs, limited advancement opportunities, and low, if any, pay increases. In private, many have said to their colleagues, "When the economy turns around, I'm outta here." In fact, our research in 60 organizations over the past 10 years shows that 32 percent of employees claim that they plan to leave within the foreseeable future.

Will these employees follow through on their intentions to leave as the economy begins to pick up?

Unfortunately, those most likely to leave are the superior, not the mediocre or poor performers. Needless to say, this is not healthy for any organization.

WHAT CAN BE DONE:

 

  • Tell Your Best Employees that You Value their Contributions

    All employees thirst for positive recognition. Let your best employees know that they are appreciated. A periodic pat on the back and words such as, "nice job" and "well done" are more powerful than recognition plaques on the wall, special parking spots, or a mention in the company newsletter.

     

  • Provide Advancement Opportunities to Strong Performers

    Your best employees want to move up in the organization. If no spot exists, make one. Continuously monitor who deserves promotions and who, given the right opportunity, would increase their contributions to the organization.

     

  • Start a "Top-Performer Support and Development Group"

    Create a special group of your elite performers. These can be managers as well as solid individual contributors. Provide special training and development for these top performers. Also, arrange for them to receive frequent briefings about the company's plans and progress.

    An invitation to join this type of group is a clear statement of positive recognition for superior employees. It can also strengthen their bonds to the organization by improving the cohesiveness and personal relationships of the top performers.

     

  • Develop a Series of Succession Plans

    Some organizations create succession plans for the top few positions in their organizations but very few create similar plans for departments, office locations or plants. Wouldn't top performers be more likely to stay with the organization if they knew they were next in line for a promotion?

     

  • Move Top Performers out of Dead-end Jobs

    Be certain that your best employees are placed in a position to be as productive as possible. Move these employees into positions where they can do the most for the organization and where advancement is most likely.

 


Contact Bruce L. Katcher, Ph.D., "The Survey Doctor"
President DISCOVERY SURVEYS, INC.
9 Blair Circle Sharon, MA 02067
Voice - 781-784-4367 Fax - 781-784-6450
E-mail - BKatcher@DiscoverySurveys.com Web - www.DiscoverySurveys.com

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