Point Of View Excerpts – The Talent Toll
Question: What are typical patterns of behavior for talent management in tough times??
Gegenwarth: … During economic downturns, managing attrition becomes less of a priority because companies feel they do not have to– attrition takes care of itself. Employees have fewer alternatives available, become more risk adverse, and tend to hold on to their jobs, even if they are unhappy with their development and career advancement opportunities. … The behaviors of organizations and the emotional responses of employees during a downturn can create a perfect storm as both can support each other in a positive or negative way. When the market rebounds, there is usually a spike in voluntary attrition as result of pent up frustrations.
Question: Can firms avoid an exodus of talent when the economy improves?
Gegenwarth: Yes they can, if they manage employee engagement. During the down cycle, there is typically a “bunker mentality” that occurs on the part of organizations and employees. … While this pattern is understandable, it usually results in lower levels of engagement. Fortunately, there are ways to break out of that mentality and provide opportunities for employees to grow professionally, and increase their engagement. … Of course one tries to keep employees happy in a downturn but it may be unrealistic. However, it is definitely possible to engage them and, by doing so, organizations can redefine development expectations, give employees more control of their own skill building, and mitigate the risks of future attrition.