In an online article for Human Resource Executive Online, Propping Up Employee Morale, author Lin Grensing-Pophal shares new research showing that engagement levels among high-performing employees have decreased at a higher rate than average performers during the recent downturn in the economy.
The 2009/2010 U.S. Strategic Rewards Survey by Watson Wyatt and WorldatWork found that “employee-engagement levels for all workers at the surveyed companies dropped 9 percent since last year — but the number was nearly 25 percent for top performers.”
In addition, “more than one-third (36 percent) of top performers said their employers’ situation had worsened during the past 12 months and the percentage who would recommend others accept jobs at their companies had declined by nearly 20 percent.”
Although HR leaders may be limited in what they can do financially, the article recommends getting creative in looking at other ways to help high performers feel valued. While money is important, and high performers need to feel that they are being treated fairly in this area, there are other factors to consider including reward, recognition, and growth opportunities.
Ryan Johnson, vice president of research at Scottsdale, Ariz.-based WorldatWork, says that “one of the easiest things to do in an environment like this is to sit down with someone and have a discussion about their career development and where they’re headed in the organization.”
Johnson also suggests that, “simply letting high performers know that their performance is recognized and that they’re important to the company can be motivating.”
For more ideas on how you can let your high performers know that you care about them during tough economic times, be sure to check out the entire article. For more information on other factors that lead to increased levels of engagement, also take a look at Employee Passion: The New Rules of Engagement on The Ken Blanchard Companies website. Both of these resources can help you identify ways to build (or rebuild) engagement levels in your organization.