With no disrespect to former President Clinton’s once-famous mantra, the most pressing issue facing American CEOs today isn’t the economy, it’s people.
Nearly every CEO or business owner I know pines about the challenges they face finding good, qualified employees to add to their staff. And once they find them, they’re even more concerned about how to keep them.
It’s no secret that retaining high performers is an ongoing process with no magic formula. A study of more than 16,000 employees nationwide by the Washington, D.C.-based research center Leadership IQ found that a startling 47 percent of high performers are actively looking for other jobs. That means they are posting and submitting resumes, and even going on interviews, often on your company’s time.
Compounding this are two other troubling bits of data. First, the problem appears to be generational. Sixty-one percent of recent college graduates say they expect to stay with their first employer for no more than three years. And from a slightly broader perspective, only 30 percent of workers between the ages of 21 and 30 say they would strongly recommend their current organization as a “good place to work.”
What’s truly disturbing is the second piece of data. While top talent packs their bags in anticipation of leaving, their counterparts at the other end of the performance pole are putting away their suitcases and settling in for the long haul. A meager 18 percent of low-performing employees say they are actively seeking other jobs, while only 25 percent of middle performers are actively hunting so-called greener pastures.
So what can you do to ensure you’re attracting and retaining the best and brightest people and aren’t either a leap pad for top performers or a repository for mediocrity?
Plenty, and it all starts with investing in your people and building an organization with a culture that screams, “I care about my employees.”
To better understand how Northeast Ohio CEOs are doing this, Smart Business has teamed up ERC to conduct our eighth annual Workplace Practices Survey. Take the survey online at www.sbnon-line.com/workplace and tell us how you approach work force issues. The results, along with an analysis of the state of human resources in Northeast Ohio, will be published in our August 2008 edition.
Contact Editor Dustin Klein at firstname.lastname@example.org