Risk of Losing High Performers Increases Post-Recession

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A new study by global consulting firm BlessingWhite finds that high performing employees in North America are twice as likely to leave their organizations now than before the recession.

Stated intent to stay - 2008 v 2010

If management doesn’t present employees with the opportunity to pursue personal development or to engage in work that’s interesting or worthwhile, these individuals are going to take their knowledge and skills elsewhere.

A new study shows, 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.

An alarming 19% of high performers who scored low on job satisfaction indicate plans to leave. Another 48% are non-committal, saying they’ll “probably” stay.

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 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 to 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.

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. The full global report based on more than 10,000 survey respondents and interviews with senior leaders will be available November 2010 on BlessingWhite's research website.

BlessingWhite is a global consulting firm dedicated to creating sustainable high-performance organizations. Based in Princeton, NJ, with locations in London, Chicago, San Francisco and Melbourne, the firm has worked with almost three million professionals in thousands of organizations since its founding in 1973.

Contact: Mary Ann Masarech, Employee Engagement Practice Leader, 203-368-6694, maryannm(at)bwinc(dot)com

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Mary Ann Masarech
BlessingWhite
908-904-1000 ext. 8013
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Christopher Rice
BlessingWhite
908-904-1000 ext. 8000
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