I’ve read more articles, reports and blog posts than I can count about employee turnover and retention in the economic recovery (most recently in the WSJ: "More Workers Start to Quit"). I’m sure you have, too – the crux of all them is that employees will soon have a choice of employment and those employers who spent the last 1-2 years believing they could do what they want to employees who will take it just to “have a job” will end up holding the short end of the competitive advantage stick very soon.

Recent Deloitte research comes to much the same conclusion, but there are a couple of interesting points to highlight:

“When asked to rank their top three retention tactics, in every instance, employees chose different non-financial incentives than the executives.”

“What employees are saying is quite simple: Money is important, but greater compensation alone is not enough to keep them satisfied in their jobs. This is particularly true during tough economic times when companies are trying to squeeze more out of their workforces and employees have reached the limit of their ability to take on more work.”

It’s the questions for talent leaders highlighted in the report that set this study apart from so many similar ones. The final key question really drives the point home:

“Do you know what it takes to stay ahead of your competitors in retaining critical talent, developing new leaders, implementing workforce planning, and driving innovation?”

Did you notice the first three items in that list are classic talent management concerns, but the final one – driving innovation – hits the bottom line of every business, every organisation. If you can’t innovate to stay ahead of your competitors and lead the market, you will die. All the other points serve to drive that final one – the need to innovate.

Strategic recognition is a unique solution for encouraging, tracking and measuring all four elements:

Retaining critical talent – Through a culture of recognition, employees know they are appreciated and valued for their contributions, creating a unique employment value proposition and contributing to lower employee turnover.

Developing new leaders – Strategic recognition, properly applied with 80-90% of employees participating, uncovers hidden power players and true leaders through the wisdom of crowds , helping to target a broader spectrum of strong leaders and contributors for additional training & development.

Implementing workforce planning – Recognition uncovers both strong and weak areas of performance at the individual, team, group, division and company level to allow for very targeted intervention or reinforcement.

Driving innovation – By making “innovation” a reason for recognition, you can begin to understand where innovation may be lagging for targeted intervention, training and other appropriate steps.

How do you measure innovation in your organisation?

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