There Goes the Talent… What’s Bugging Your Best People?

There Goes the Talent… What’s Bugging Your Best People?

June 17, 2015

“Looking across all global employee work experience indicators, we see that the net change shows a negative trend of 28 points.” That sobering statement was made in Aon Hewitt’s recently released report 2015 Trends in Global Employee Engagement.

Europe, in particular, has a serious problem, as the engagement indicators are pretty consistently down across the board.

In North America, the Aon Hewitt research shows a slight increase of highly or moderately engaged employees which is good news for business, since there are strong correlations between employee engagement and organizational success.

There are, however, some significant engagement drivers showing a downward trend that is likely to frustrate your top performers. The greatest areas of concern are:

  • Autonomy/Choice
  • Sense of Accomplishment
  • Career Opportunities

In other words, as the economy recovers, many North American workers are finding they don’t have the resources or freedom to do their jobs well, that no one acknowledges the work that they do, and that they don’t have a clear career path ahead of them.

Unemployment currently stands at 5.5% in the U.S. In fact, it’s 2.7% among workers with a college degree or higher. Add that the steady departure of the Baby Boomers, the relatively small size of Gen X, and the influx of the hard-working, but less experienced Millennials and your knowledge base is slowly eroding. Employees of these two younger generations are known to be less likely to stay at your company, if it doesn’t suit their needs.

At the same time, business is up and demands are increasing. Is this really the time to frustrate your best people? Not if you want your business to thrive. It is critical to be the employer of choice. And that means being sure you’ve got the following covered:

  • Offer fair and competitive compensation and benefits
  • Infuse work with purpose and meaning
  • Give employees the autonomy to do their jobs without interference and with your mutual success in mind
  • Gain the insights of those on the front lines
  • Recognize the accomplishments of those who make the effort
  • Provide a vision of each employee’s future and how to get there
  • Treat employees as well as you expect them to treat your customers

Employees have a lot of options these days – and the best ones are probably already being contacted by recruiters or your competitors. But you can do a great deal to remain the employer of choice and avoid turning your office into a ghost town. Make employee drivers and aspirations part of your strategy before it’s a problem. It’s that or watch your best people walk away, taking their knowledge and experience with them.

Previously published on LinkedIn.