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RETENTION IN A RECESSION:
PAvINg ThE PATh TO COmPETITIvE AdvANTAgE




In a recession, many company leaders erroneously assume employees are happy to have a job and so re-
tention efforts are unimportant. Due to the dire psychological effects of the recession resulting from layoffs,
rumors and additional job duties, however, many employees are actively looking for work elsewhere while
still currently employed. These employees have disengaged from the company and its objectives.


“Even among the engaged, almost 40% are ‘passive job-seekers.’ Even worse, fully half of the disengaged have no plans to leave. Employers
face a real risk of losing the people they’d most like to keep - while retaining those who are not contributing as they should.”
                                                                                                                                               – Towers Perrin, 2008




ThE ImPORTANCE OF RETENTION IN A RECESSION
Keep your top performers engaged in                                                     Engage your middle tier of employees to
your organization and focused on your priorities.                                       create networks of success.
Your best people will always have options. If you do not offer them a                   Foster teamwork up and down the chain. After all, your top per-
culture they want to be a part of—a culture of appreciation that shows                  formers can’t deliver the results you need in a vacuum. While your
how individual efforts support company objectives—they will leave,                      middle tier may never perform at the level of top talent, ensuring
now or when the economy turns. Most of your top talent understand                       you have the right person, in the right job with the right attitude will
the need for cutbacks and even layoffs due to the recession. It is how                  deliver consistently better results across the board.
you treat your employees before, during and after those actions that
                                                                                        Ensure you are staffed appropriately for the upturn.
will have the most impact on their attitudes now and in the future. They
may forgive you for necessary layoffs, but they may not forgive lack of                 The company best poised to take advantage of the eventual upturn
appreciation for their extra effort after such actions. Make sure they                  is the one that does not have to seek out new talent, train them,
know you value them as well as their efforts and the company culture                    incorporate them into the company culture, steep them in the stra-
itself is solid, positive, and appreciative—even during a recession.
                                                                                        tegic priorities, and only then begin to see results. Watson Wyatt
                                                                                        Worldwide recently reported their clients’ biggest challenge to be
                                                                                        regaining momentum when business accelerates without needing
“Highly engaged employees are already working at or near their peak
                                                                                        to rehire large numbers of people.
but are often limited by their less engaged co-workers. Focusing on
engaging core contributors can improve both groups’ productivity.”

                                                     – Watson Wyatt, 2008




                                                                 © 2009 Globoforce Ltd. All rights reserved
              144 Turnpike Road, Suite 310, Southborough, MA, 01772 USA. t: +1 888 743 6723 f: +1 508 357 8964 e: info@globoforce.com www.globoforce.com
ThREE STEPS TO AChIEvINg RETENTION gOALS
By accomplishing the above points, you are more likely to keep                                      “You cannot save your way out of a recession, you can only invest
                                                                                                    your way out. … CEOs must screw up their courage and invest
competitors away from what makes you better than the rest—your
                                                                                                    through the downturn. It’s time for long-term thinking in an environ-
people. To retain your top talent, engage your middle tier and en-
                                                                                                    ment that has too often been dominated by quarterly statements.”
sure you are staffed appropriately for the upturn, your employees
must know you appreciate them and their efforts.                                                                                                                         – Craig Barrett,
                                                                                                                            former CEO, Intel, quoted in Newsweek, January 2009

1) demonstrably value your employees.
                                                                                                    3) Consistently and frequently recognize effort
Due to the recession, many employees take on the tasks of laid off
                                                                                                       and achievement.
co-workers. Show employees you know their strengths by giving
them opportunities in strategically important functions or in line
                                                                                                    Recognize effort frequently and appropriately. Say thank you. Let
with individual preferences and skills. Be sure to tell them you are
                                                                                                    people know their efforts are valid, worthy, noticed and, above all,
doing this because you recognize their talents and need their con-
                                                                                                    appreciated. To encourage employees to repeat specific behaviors
tributions to succeed. After layoffs, employee engagement levels
                                                                                                    or actions that will help your company achieve its strategic objec-
typically drop. Keep them from dropping further by ensuring peo-
                                                                                                    tives during this recession, be sure to frequently and opportunisti-
ple are doing tasks they enjoy doing.
                                                                                                    cally recognize them for precisely those behaviors.

                                                                                                    Are you ready to not only retain your top employees, but get ev-
2) Clearly communicate strategic objectives
                                                                                                    eryone united behind your strategic objectives and engaged in
   and employee contributions.
                                                                                                    the task at hand? Let our recognition experts help you commu-
Be accessible and address concerns openly. Pre-empt the rumor
                                                                                                    nicate clearly, consistently recognize and demonstrably your em-
mill by giving employees regular status updates. Research from
                                                                                                    ployees. Visit us on the web at www.globoforce.com or email us at
Quantum Workplace, the firm behind the Best Places to Work sur-
                                                                                                    corporate@globoforce.com. To speak to one of our global consul-
veys, reports “… employees are more highly engaged when they
                                                                                                    tants immediately, please call: +1 888-7-GFORCE.
see where the company is going and understand their roles in help-
ing the company go there.”




    About globoforce
    Globoforce is the leading worldwide provider of global strategic employee recognition and reward solutions for Global 2000 companies. Globoforce’s flexible and efficient recognition
    tool can scale from one user to millions of users with ease, offering global companies a powerful and secure solution to implement and manage their companywide or divisional em-
    ployee recognition programs. Through an easy-to-use, on-demand technology platform, Globoforce transforms the way companies engage, motivate and empower their workforces
    around the world. Co-headquartered in Southborough, Mass., and Dublin, Ireland, Globoforce was included in Inc. magazine’s 2008 Inc. 500 list of the fastest-growing private compa-
    nies in the U.S. Globoforce recently won two International Business Awards, including Best Multinational Company and Best Web Site (Writing/Content), and the company’s CEO, Eric
    Mosley, was named a finalist in the 2008 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award competition. Globoforce has also won Human Resource Executive magazine’s coveted “Top
    HR Product of the Year” award for its revolutionary on-demand software solution. Some of Globoforce’s world-class customers include Avnet, Dow Chemical, Global Crossing, Fairmont
    Hotels & Resorts, Intel, Intuit, Nortel, Procter & Gamble, Thomson Reuters and Wrigley. www.globoforce.com.




                                                                        © 2009 Globoforce Ltd. All rights reserved
                                                                                           2

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Globoforce Retention In Recession Na

  • 1. RETENTION IN A RECESSION: PAvINg ThE PATh TO COmPETITIvE AdvANTAgE In a recession, many company leaders erroneously assume employees are happy to have a job and so re- tention efforts are unimportant. Due to the dire psychological effects of the recession resulting from layoffs, rumors and additional job duties, however, many employees are actively looking for work elsewhere while still currently employed. These employees have disengaged from the company and its objectives. “Even among the engaged, almost 40% are ‘passive job-seekers.’ Even worse, fully half of the disengaged have no plans to leave. Employers face a real risk of losing the people they’d most like to keep - while retaining those who are not contributing as they should.” – Towers Perrin, 2008 ThE ImPORTANCE OF RETENTION IN A RECESSION Keep your top performers engaged in Engage your middle tier of employees to your organization and focused on your priorities. create networks of success. Your best people will always have options. If you do not offer them a Foster teamwork up and down the chain. After all, your top per- culture they want to be a part of—a culture of appreciation that shows formers can’t deliver the results you need in a vacuum. While your how individual efforts support company objectives—they will leave, middle tier may never perform at the level of top talent, ensuring now or when the economy turns. Most of your top talent understand you have the right person, in the right job with the right attitude will the need for cutbacks and even layoffs due to the recession. It is how deliver consistently better results across the board. you treat your employees before, during and after those actions that Ensure you are staffed appropriately for the upturn. will have the most impact on their attitudes now and in the future. They may forgive you for necessary layoffs, but they may not forgive lack of The company best poised to take advantage of the eventual upturn appreciation for their extra effort after such actions. Make sure they is the one that does not have to seek out new talent, train them, know you value them as well as their efforts and the company culture incorporate them into the company culture, steep them in the stra- itself is solid, positive, and appreciative—even during a recession. tegic priorities, and only then begin to see results. Watson Wyatt Worldwide recently reported their clients’ biggest challenge to be regaining momentum when business accelerates without needing “Highly engaged employees are already working at or near their peak to rehire large numbers of people. but are often limited by their less engaged co-workers. Focusing on engaging core contributors can improve both groups’ productivity.” – Watson Wyatt, 2008 © 2009 Globoforce Ltd. All rights reserved 144 Turnpike Road, Suite 310, Southborough, MA, 01772 USA. t: +1 888 743 6723 f: +1 508 357 8964 e: info@globoforce.com www.globoforce.com
  • 2. ThREE STEPS TO AChIEvINg RETENTION gOALS By accomplishing the above points, you are more likely to keep “You cannot save your way out of a recession, you can only invest your way out. … CEOs must screw up their courage and invest competitors away from what makes you better than the rest—your through the downturn. It’s time for long-term thinking in an environ- people. To retain your top talent, engage your middle tier and en- ment that has too often been dominated by quarterly statements.” sure you are staffed appropriately for the upturn, your employees must know you appreciate them and their efforts. – Craig Barrett, former CEO, Intel, quoted in Newsweek, January 2009 1) demonstrably value your employees. 3) Consistently and frequently recognize effort Due to the recession, many employees take on the tasks of laid off and achievement. co-workers. Show employees you know their strengths by giving them opportunities in strategically important functions or in line Recognize effort frequently and appropriately. Say thank you. Let with individual preferences and skills. Be sure to tell them you are people know their efforts are valid, worthy, noticed and, above all, doing this because you recognize their talents and need their con- appreciated. To encourage employees to repeat specific behaviors tributions to succeed. After layoffs, employee engagement levels or actions that will help your company achieve its strategic objec- typically drop. Keep them from dropping further by ensuring peo- tives during this recession, be sure to frequently and opportunisti- ple are doing tasks they enjoy doing. cally recognize them for precisely those behaviors. Are you ready to not only retain your top employees, but get ev- 2) Clearly communicate strategic objectives eryone united behind your strategic objectives and engaged in and employee contributions. the task at hand? Let our recognition experts help you commu- Be accessible and address concerns openly. Pre-empt the rumor nicate clearly, consistently recognize and demonstrably your em- mill by giving employees regular status updates. Research from ployees. Visit us on the web at www.globoforce.com or email us at Quantum Workplace, the firm behind the Best Places to Work sur- corporate@globoforce.com. To speak to one of our global consul- veys, reports “… employees are more highly engaged when they tants immediately, please call: +1 888-7-GFORCE. see where the company is going and understand their roles in help- ing the company go there.” About globoforce Globoforce is the leading worldwide provider of global strategic employee recognition and reward solutions for Global 2000 companies. Globoforce’s flexible and efficient recognition tool can scale from one user to millions of users with ease, offering global companies a powerful and secure solution to implement and manage their companywide or divisional em- ployee recognition programs. Through an easy-to-use, on-demand technology platform, Globoforce transforms the way companies engage, motivate and empower their workforces around the world. Co-headquartered in Southborough, Mass., and Dublin, Ireland, Globoforce was included in Inc. magazine’s 2008 Inc. 500 list of the fastest-growing private compa- nies in the U.S. Globoforce recently won two International Business Awards, including Best Multinational Company and Best Web Site (Writing/Content), and the company’s CEO, Eric Mosley, was named a finalist in the 2008 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award competition. Globoforce has also won Human Resource Executive magazine’s coveted “Top HR Product of the Year” award for its revolutionary on-demand software solution. Some of Globoforce’s world-class customers include Avnet, Dow Chemical, Global Crossing, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, Intel, Intuit, Nortel, Procter & Gamble, Thomson Reuters and Wrigley. www.globoforce.com. © 2009 Globoforce Ltd. All rights reserved 2