Monday, January 11, 2010

Top Talent: Keeping Top Talent Engaged in Tight Times

Economist Sylvia Ann Hewitt, founder and President of the Center For Worklife Policy, has written a new book based upon a study she conducted for a major Wall Street firm which has implications for all organizations impacted by the recession:

Top Talent: Keeping Performance Up When Business Is Down

The CEO of the Wall Street firm was concerned that his leaders seemed demoralized and he sensed a flight risk. The unexpected outcome of Hewitt's study was that folks with other options did have one foot out the door and those who didn't leave were seriously underperforming. In assessing individuals loyalty, trust and level of engagement, she found that top talent during the recession feels neglected and betrayed - no one is paying attention to them.

Beyond just morale and psychological well being, the recession is taking a physical toll on people as well. High stress levels are leading to health problems. As Hewitt states, "Leaders cannot lead if they are so depleted that they cannot lead."

Her book focuses on how to re-engage them. Many times re-engagement can be simple with minimal or no cost. She offers several ideas in Harvard Business Publishing's video interview of her about her work:

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