I just read an interesting study about employee engagement and the impact on key talent. Once again this supports our conclusion that we are heading towards a crisis at the end of the tunnel.
The 2009-2010 U.S. Strategic Rewards Survey by Watson Wyatt and WorldatWork found that employee engagement levels for all workers at the surveyed companies have dropped 9% since last year – but the number was nearly 25% for top performers. This means that the high performers were disproportionately affected by the organizations’ responses to the recession. The impact of this was that the number of people who said they would recommend that others accept jobs at their companies declined by nearly 20%. This is catastrophic for not only attracting new talent, but for getting the most out of the talent you have.
Why does this happen? There are several reasons. First, talent is always asked to take on the lion’s share of the work when resources are reduced. Second, during tough times, companies stop investing in the development and sustainability of their talent. Third, companies under estimate the impact that investing in a key person’s own personal development has on their overall job satisfaction, company loyalty, and quality of life.
As one of our clients from IBM once said: “Sustainable high performance programs and leadership development programs should be the second to last thing that should be cut in tough times. The last thing to be cut is the toilet paper.”
What is your company’s approach? Do they see your sustainability and energy as a nice to have or a strategic must? Let us know your thoughts.
By Scott Peltin
Founder & Chief Performance Officer