Thursday, July 16, 2009

Employee Retention in Recession – Part II

My last post was about the importance of keeping your best people, especially in a recession. Today I’ll focus on what motivates an “A” player. These factors need to be in place in order for you to keep your top people loyal. “A” players are motivated to stay with you when they are:

  • Inspired by your vision and leadership – make sure you articulate this clearly and stay positive in your communication.

  • Impressed by your business plan – You do have one, right? A roadmap to success must be part of your plan.

  • Part of a great team tackling a great challenge – an “A” player wants to be surrounded by other high quality teammates, who are operating at optimum performance.

  • Believing in the company’s potential to succeed – would you bet on your chances? Your “A” players can calculate the odds too.

  • In a stable, secure environment – have you been making people feel safe or not so safe in your comments about today’s situation?

  • Able to make a difference, to count – because you have clearly spelled out their objectives and shown them how the achievement of those aligns with corporate goals.

  • Have the right compensation – this is last on the list, because if the factors above are present, compensation becomes less important. The “right” compensation for a key manager includes incentives for their own performance objectives.
Take care of your people, mostly through excellent communication and the right attitude, and I believe they will stay loyal and take care of you!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Employee Retention in a Recession

Many employers are mistakenly feeling secure about their current workforce, under the possibly erroneous assumption that no one would dare leave now. There is in fact a real danger of losing great people within the next year.

Here’s my rationale. I’m assuming that any employer who has let people go has tried hard to keep the “A” players, and let go of only the poor performers. Now the “A”s are overworked, and possibly under-utilized or under-challenged. If your business is one of the many that have really taken a hit, your “A” players want out, and have probably felt that way for a while. Such people may be waiting out the recession, but many really have wanted to change jobs for over a year. The minute opportunities start to surface, those people could be gone.

And, there is pent up demand both ways: Employers have held off hiring, and there could be a rush for talent once the recovery begins. Companies that have any edge at all over your company will be trying to hire away your people.

It is really important not to be complacent about your key people even in tough times. Next week, I’ll write more about key retention tips.
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