This way out . . . Is your talent pool about to start draining?

Posted: January 19, 2011 in career

A recent poll conducted by Manpower reported that 84% of 1400+ respondents indicated that they plan to look for a new job in 2011 (, up from 60% in 2010. Only about 5% indicated they intended to stay.

84%! If these numbers are even close to accurate, this could bode a significant “brain drain” for many organizations. What’s a company to do?! I’d like to suggest a couple of key steps that the forward thinking organization should consider:

Open a dialogue.

Ask what they think about what they do and what they would like to do. To be sure, no company can allow employees to selectively work out of their interests alone, but the vast majority of employees are likely just doing “what they are told” with little passion or enthusiasm. Imagine what could happen if most of your staff were asked to do things that energize and inspire them!

Invest in their development.

My experience shows that many individuals don’t have a clear sense of what they could and should be doing. A favorite author of mine, Barbara Sher, has a great book titled “I Could Do Anything, If I Only Knew What It Was” (check out my review on LinkedIn for more information). That’s not just a great title for a book, it’s the clarion call for many a worker. Why do you think Wednesday is known as “Hump Day?!” Provide assessment and consultation opportunities to help them understand what I like to call their “best stuff” and seek to capitalize on this information for everyone’s benefit.

Take action.

By investing time and energy in helping people decide “what they should be when they grow up,” you create the extraordinary opportunity to get the best out of folks. As you help them learn what their “best stuff” is, develop processes to find the best matches in the organization. To paraphrase the Corporate Curmudgeon Dale Dauten from his book “Great Employees Only” (need I tell you where to find my review?!), it’s easier to get 100% out of the right person than 10% more out of the “wrong” one.

84%… This is why the online shoe company, Zappos, offered new employees $1000 to quit after the first month (! They determined it would cost less to help them leave than try to get them to be something they are not!

Want to learn more? Give me a call, email, tweet, etc. My lines are open!


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