North American employees are twice as likely to head for the door as they were before the recession, according to the latest findings of global consulting firm BlessingWhite. And 19 percent of high performers who scored low on job satisfaction indicate plans to leave. Another 48 percent are non-committal, saying they’ll “probably” stay. These findings are based on the preliminary results of BlessingWhite’s latest employee engagement study, which compares more than 2,400 North American post-recession survey results with pre-recession data.
Christopher Rice, President and CEO of BlessingWhite, explains, “In attempts to survive the recession, organizations handed employees more work to complete with fewer resources. Now employees--especially the high performers--may be burnt out or under challenged, and they are seriously considering leaving at elevated rates.”
Rice cautions that leaders—-more than ever before—-should think about how to create growth opportunities and assign meaningful work to keep their top employees from walking out the door. “High performers, after months of heroics for their employers, are finally stepping back and asking, ‘What about me? What about my career?’” If management doesn’t present employees with the opportunity to pursue personal development or engage in work that’s interesting or worthwhile, these individuals are going to take their knowledge and skills elsewhere.”
Senior management has to address retention issues in their high-performing populations in a comprehensive way, believes Rice. “But even solitary efforts help. The objective is to minimize undesirable turnover and actively engage those employees who are on the fence. Individuals who are thinking about greener pastures aren’t engaged, and they’re not productive.”
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