The talent shortage epidemic: Why you must retain your employees

After five years of a slow and struggling economy, corporate restructuring and layoffs are commonplace. The current unemployment rate hovers at 8.2%, which translates into 12.7 million Americans looking for work. With such a large pool of available candidates, you would think that a talent shortage wouldn’t be an issue, right? Unfortunately, this assumption is wrong.

The ManpowerGroup recently released the results of its seventh-annual Talent Shortage Survey, which reveals that 49% of U.S. employers are experiencing difficulty filling positions within their organizations. The reality is that U.S. employers continue to face hiring challenges despite the high unemployment rate. That is why it is more important than ever for employers to retain their top talent. Companies who cannot retain their employees will face high turnover costs and the challenge of replacing talent.

How can employers retain their top talent? Smart corporate leaders are taking a proactive approach and developing workforce strategies that create happy and engaged employees. Building an engaged workforce requires an understanding of what employees want and need in their jobs. One key component is employee recognition. Many CEOs or HR leaders assume that managers are recognizing employees, but in reality, this is not happening. According to the Department of Labor, 64% of Americans leave their jobs because they don’t feel appreciated. Can you imagine losing one of your top employees because you simply forgot to say “thank you?” Now imagine the harsher reality: you won’t be able to replace them.

Valuing and rewarding employees is an easy and cost effective way to retain talent. CEOs and HR leaders need to ensure employees are recognized for their contributions and hard work. Since your top employees could walk out of the door tomorrow, you need to meet their needs today. Recognition needs to be frequent and timely. This will not be achieved through years of service programs or annual performance reviews that are set on yearly timers. Your top talent won’t wait around for it. Business leaders need to incorporate employee recognition and rewards programs with real-time feedback and praise for employee contributions. This will retain top talent, drive business success and save on turnover costs.

What are some strategies your company uses to retain top talent? Have you experienced hiring difficulties with the talent shortages?

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