Ready for Takeoff? Employers See Top Talent Fly
Despite the sagging job market and slow economic recovery, employers are seeing some of their best people head for greener -- or at least different -- pastures.
A new study by Right Management indicates that three-quarters of polled employers say they've lost a high-performing employee in the past year, compared with 54 percent in the previous year, according to an Employee Benefit News report.
After years of cost shifting, benefit cuts and longer hours, it appears many employees -- including the top performers -- are fed up and are eager to move on, even though the job market remains stagnant.
"We found that most organizations are finding it tough to hold onto their best people even when there are relatively few job openings," Bram Lowsky of Right Management told EBN. "Previous research findings tell us there's a furious war for top talent under way, constant poaching of high performers by competing companies and, overall, a very restive workforce."
Additional research found that voluntary separation rates for top talent are approaching pre-recession levels following years of decline. A study by PwC Saratoga, reported in Human Resource Executive Online, found that while overall turnover rates continued to decline, the turnover rate for high performers increased to 4.3 percent in 2010, up from 3.7 percent in the previous year.
Consultant firm Challenger Gray & Christmas noted that employers are becoming aware of the dangers of a talent exodus, with 42 percent of respondents to a recent poll saying they are increasingly worried about their competition luring away their top performers, according to a report in The Indianapolis Star.
"This may be the most important time for employers to hold on tight to their highest-skilled workers," John A. Challenger, the firm's chief executive, told the Star.
While the recession killed or shrank many employer-sponsored benefits, some companies are trying some innovative offerings to make up for those losses and to retain their best workers. For instance, drug maker Eli Lilly recently started to host a farmer's market, which offers fresh produce and a chance to "get away" for a few moments, Lilly spokeswoman Janice Chavers told the Star.
Challenger said employer-sponsored benefits and perks such as Lilly's market can be pivotal in maintaining a talented and productive workforce.
"Whether it's something simple like free bagels in the lunch room every morning or something more substantial such as tuition reimbursement or flexible scheduling, these perks can be an essential part of worker morale and job satisfaction," Challenger said.