Play Me or Trade Me?

Posted: May 4, 2010 in career, Uncategorized

It seems so mercantile. In this challenging economy, you would think that employees should be happy to be working!

And, I suppose, many of them are. But, according to a Global Workforce report from Towers Watson (free download available at, 48% see no advancement at their current job and 42% think they will have to change employers to get ahead.

The potential “punchline” – They are not looking for a new job but they want one!

Some of the pundits out there have posited the theory that, when the economy starts to rebound and the potential for new opportunities emerges, some of your key employees may become key ex-employees! These could very well be the individuals that I described as “Stars” in an earlier post.

What’s a company to do? To revisit the Towers Watson study, throwing money at them is not necessarily the answer. In what are described as “emerging economies, ” those at the head of the curve (not the U.S., by the way), the data from the report suggests that issues like career advancement, opportunities to develop and challenging work eclipse the more traditional pay and benefits mantra.

To paraphrase two of my favorite authors (Kaye and Jordan-Evans) in Love ‘Em or Lose ‘Em from their first three guidelines for addressing this quandary –

1) Have you talked to them?

2) Do you know that you are in charge of keeping them?

3) Are you developing them or in their way? (See this excellent book for the other 23 suggestions. My review is on Linkedin as well.)

THAT’S why the term employee engagement is so hot these days! The organization that fails to invest in assisting their employees in these areas may end up with a “Help Wanted” sign on their front lawn!

  1. Barry, this blog posting was right on and nicely timed to what is occurring in the job market and workplace today.

    Now more than ever we need to engage employees. Employees are struggling with local issues, national issues and are concerned about global issues as well. Never in the history of this country have we experienced so many stressors at one time! Although we live in difficult economic times, leadership must continually engage employees even if it is difficult and painful. Town Hall Meetings, employee newsletters, supervisory meetings, they all add up to engaging employees in a thoughtful consistent and meaningful manner. Let’s make sure we challenge the leaders we work with to maintain communications even in the face of negativity.

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