Are You At Risk of Losing Your Top Performers?

The recession is officially over. As we begin the New Year, cautious optimism appears to be the prevailing sentiment among business leaders and key managers.  2014 should be a year for growth and increased profitability.  One key factor for success will be the retention and engagement of your top performers. As recruiters, we approach successful professionals about new career opportunities on a daily basis.  Within the last six months we've noticed a significant shift in the willingness of individuals to seriously consider a change.  In a healthier economy, they are less worried about the risk of changing jobs and more excited about a change of scenery with new challenges and opportunities for growth.  Many have felt over-worked and underappreciated. Now is a good time for you to take a hard look at your leadership team and other key players to determine if you are at risk of losing any of your best people.  Ask yourself the following questions: -          Are we providing meaningful growth opportunities (professional and financial)? -          Should we invest in additional training and development programs to demonstrate our commitment to our people? -          Are our salary, bonus, and overall compensation programs competitive? -          Do we do a good job of recognizing excellence and showing our appreciation? -          Is our performance review and feedback process meaningful or outdated? -          Do we have any non-performers who are impeding our progress or creating barriers for others? All of these factors help define the company culture and the overall employee experience.  Today's top performers are looking for more than just a healthy paycheck.  They want "a seat at the table", the ability to make key decisions, some control over their schedule, and the ever-elusive "work-life balance".  If they don't find these at their current job, they are willing to consider a change.  With the emergence of LinkedIn and other social media, it is easier than ever for your top talent to identify new opportunities and test the market. In addition to taking steps to address retention and engagement, now is a good time to evaluate your bench strength and succession plans.  Do you have quality middle managers who are poised to move up as opportunities arise?  They will also be looking for career advancement and evidence that the company values their contribution.  These are your next wave of top performers if you can provide the professional development and career advancement that they seek. So, with an improving economy come new challenges to retain and develop your top talent.  Now is a great time to take a step back and make sure you're positioned for success.