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Recruitment and retention of valued employees have been longstanding headaches for employers.

They have always worried about filling open slots and retaining their best workers. That was also true according to a 2012 survey of 526 human resources professionals.

Sixty-one percent indicated they were concerned about retention. That was the conclusion from the study, “Retention of Key Talent and the Role of Rewards.”

Only 49 percent were confident about retention efforts.

Hopefully, you’re able to retain key workers. If you’re finding it challenging to keep your best employees, you know the frustrations and cost of turnover.

It’s important to identify and retain excellent workers. You can if you know which employees are most-likely to quit.

You will profit by not letting your stars become free agents.

Indeed, 83 percent of the study’s respondents is aware of the costs associated with turnover. Two thirds say a salient issue for management is keeping top performers.

 The study was conducted by Dr. Dow Scott, professor of human resources at Loyola University Chicago and WorldatWork, Hay Group.

The No. 1 reason top talents leave? Pay.

Four other reasons:

  • Dissatisfaction with job and responsibilities
  • Perception that pay is unfair
  • Promotional opportunities
  • Concerns about the direction of the organization and its leaders

“Talent wars are going to become intense, not just this year but for the foreseeable future, because jobs are becoming more complex and demanding, Baby Boomers are retiring and Generation X has far fewer people who can fill this gap, and other countries are retaining their most talented people with great job opportunities of their own,” says Dr. Scott.

“Top talent can more easily compare the ‘deal’ or pay package they get from their employer with other organizations via social networking sites like, and,” says Tom McMullen, North America reward practice leader for Hay Group.

“If a company is to thrive in the next decade, they must learn how to recruit, develop and retain key talent in a much more competitive and transparent competitive environment,” he adds.

The study’s three main recommendations:

  • Identify key employees and discuss with them their future opportunities with the organization
  • Pay key employees above the labor market
  • Allow flexible hours or telecommuting

In addition, another proven solution is to power your brand with employee empowerment.

“Rewards professionals are under increased pressure to make counteroffers, increase new-hire offers, and offer special deals to retain key employees,” says Kerry Chou, a certified compensation professional and practice leader at WorldatWork.

“The most successful organizations moving forward will be those that develop a clear definition of what is considered key talent, identify them and make a concerted effort to ensure that those employees are engaged with their organization and satisfied with the full range of organization rewards,” he says.

The study included a cross section of respondents:

  • 47 percent – private sector-publicly traded
  • 26 percent – private sector-privately held
  • 26 percent – public sector and not-for-profit

From the Coach’s Corner, here are three related articles with solutions:

Are You Successful In Keeping Female Talent? Here’s How and Why You Should — Enlightened marketers know that women make 80 percent of household buying decisions. And in most cases, even when a husband goes to make a purchase, he often defers to his wife. Whether it’s a suit or a computer, she usually prevails on choosing the color and the price. So, if you want to be successful in attracting female customers, enhance your odds by making your company a great place for women to work.

Strategies: If a Valued Employee Wants a Raise, and Money’s Tight — In this economy, whether you operate a large or small company, trepidation of higher payroll expenses can turn your hands cold with perspiration. That’s especially true when talented employees suddenly ask for a raise. Talented workers are an asset – your human capital.

Human Resources: The Future of Performance Reviews — Here’s an interesting dilemma: Should performance reviews be fired? That’s the title of an article published by the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School in April, 2011. It’s an informative article and its premise continues to be thought-provoking.

“The Customer Comes Second: Put Your People First and Watch ’em Kick Butt.”

-Hal Rosenbluth


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.