Positions of Power
New and better ways to keep top talent
One not-so-funny joke going around these days is that the bonus coming from your organization this year is that you get to keep your job. With the ebb and flow in demand for employees, employers currently reign supreme. They know they can hire fewer people to do more, for less. Employees have been forced to put on a happy face and deal with it.
Yet, for long-term sustainability and success, it’s essential that employers don’t become short-sighted when it comes to investing in the needs and well-being of employees. Finding ways to keep employees engaged and satisfied is as important in lean times as it is when business is booming—perhaps even more so.
The pathways to employee engagement and satisfaction need not be expensive or time consuming, either. It turns out that the easiest way to improve employee engagement is by offering career development opportunities and a plan for advancement.
"Opportunity for learning and development proved to be a top driver of engagement," according to the study referenced in the cover story, "Happiness Helps." Career development opportunities drive performance, productivity and retention and can also help organizations attract high-quality candidates. And while it might be true that power resides with employers at the moment, inevitably, employees will again achieve the upper hand. They’ll be able to find new jobs with higher pay, better benefits and more advancement opportunities. And they will—unless you give them a reason to stay.
Talent management has been a perennial hot topic among ASQ’s membership. The importance of managing talent effectively is also addressed in "Know More, Do More." " … Without a competent labor force, the success or even mere survival of an organization seems inconceivable," the authors write. "If organizations want to take advantage of a changing landscape dotted with new opportunities, products and services, they need to make a substantial investment in educating and retaining a competent labor force."
The article goes on to explain how to build an effective learning system.
Baldrige entered the spotlight recently when it appeared on a list of suggested cuts to the U.S. federal budget. Read more about the recommendation (which ultimately failed to move on to Congress) and ASQ’s opposition to the cut in "Baldrige on the Block." For further discourse on the topic, read ASQ CEO Paul Borawski’s blog post at http://asq.org/blog/2010/12/baldrige-at-risk-%e2%80%93-a-price-tag-on-quality.
In contrast to the controversy are the Baldrige successes. The names of this year’s seven recipients of the Baldrige National Quality Award appear in this month’s Keeping Current news section. This year’s group of recipients included three in the small business category—a record.