As the hiring outlook improves with anticipation of the new calendar year on the horizon, election dust settling and corporate tax liability gaining clarity, the talent exodus will begin in next few months.

Are you ready?

If your organization has not installed proactive mitigation efforts, you could lose your best talent over the next 2 quarters (in other words, if your not doing something now, you’re going to pay for it later).  Successful recession recovery strategy should not ignore the critical variable of having the best talent on-board as well as engaging the “survivors”, lest ye not forget;

“High-commitment organizations outperform low-commitment organizations by 47%”

Watson Wyatt

“Engaged  employees are 43% more productive.”

The Hay Group

Our research shows that engaged employees can increase your financial position by almost 200% while disengaged employees can decrease your financial position by almost 25%. employees.

“In high-growth organizations, 84% of employees know where the organization is headed. In low-growth organizations, only 52% do.”

In Momentum

“Dependence  on remote forms of communication has left many younger workers bereft of interpersonal skills.:

Fast Company

“Camaraderie  between co-workers fuels much more than new business leads – relationships are also key drivers for recruiting, engagement and retention.”

Talent Management Magazine

Must we go on with the quotes? These are some pretty credible sources I might add.

Leaders are key

My first challenge to your organization would be…are your leaders fully engaged? If your leaders are not engaged in activities that drive sustainable success – then nobody else will be engaged.

So how do you get leaders engaged?

I would suggest the concept of “Process Based Leadership.” Simply put, managers need to be involved in the development and deployment of non-negotiable, sustainable processes, which will engage their people. Those processes can be created to drive just about anything, but especially Employee Engagement.

“Process Based Leadership” provides tools and culture-forming processes that bring visibility and a personal connection between the organization and the individual employee without blowing talent management budgets. Empowering your managers and employees to design and implement creative short-term initiatives will be engaging unto itself.

In the long, term leaders won’t have to continually “influence” people and unleash complicated and resource rich programs to make an impact on engagement and retention – the processes themselves will create this environment and culture of engagement! So, you may be asking yourself what are some things inside of my span of control and as a talent manager, what tools can I provide to managers to reduce short-term damage?

Here are a few ideas, however I’m relying on YOU to provide additional creative ideas for the greater benefit to us all:

1.       Empower your managers! Create an engagement “council” to begin to craft some ideas that can be implemented on the short-term yet building for a longer-term culture of engagement. Remember, managers will become engaged themselves if you ask them to get involved and if you give them an opportunity to authentically lead their people

2.       Provide them with the resources for discretionary rewards and recognition; a small monthly budget is all it takes to get the ball rolling. This works really well with Generation Y and Millenials when they least expect something

3.       Engagement idea-generation programs; start on the team level and build towards a front-line employee suggestion program (when budgets return)

4.       Manager should have regular “off the record” career discussions with their direct reports; provide them with a simple template to begin the discussion and build towards more meaningful and structured support systems so they know the organization is committed to them long-term. Be careful however not to set short-term expectations too-high and then not gain organizational support

5.       Communicate, communicate, communicate! Regular team meetings beginning with a “state of the state” address about current strategy, issues and discussion around how we can each individually make an impact is the first step towards the employee value proposition. Once direct reports have a sense of connection to current strategy and are empowered to participate, this is when engagement becomes free

Today’s economic marketplace has created the need to re-evaluate our past, current and future talent needs. While millions of qualified applicants are available, it’s important that you assess, engage and retain the talent that aligns with future strategy.

Blog away with your ideas and comments (click comments below).