Perception is reality and underappreciated employees move onto other opportunities.

Retaining top talent should always be a priority; however, in today’s market, losing even one top player can make the difference between success and failure.

Since the recession, employers have expected employees to be generalists. In essence, employees at all levels in an organization are expected to wear multiple hats seamlessly. At the same time, people are getting tired. In some cases, they’ve worked for years with minimal or no pay increases while expanding their responsibilities. Although they might be appreciated, often times, they do not know it. Perception is reality. Therefore, I’ve seen a trend in my clients and in my networks of folks beginning to change jobs. This is creating a panic as they leave huge gaps in their wake.

For example, at one of my clients, an entire department left the company over the course of 6 months. That might be considered a black hole! On the other hand, I know of folks in my networks who get job queries frequently who are committed and stay the course. Let’s guess which companies those are? The ones that have performance management systems in place with leaders who collaborate on goals, appreciate employees, provide challenges, address the roadblocks (even the unpleasant ones) etc. Interestingly, those who have managers who are willing to provide constructive feedback and address problem employees are much more likely to stay than those who steer clear of the conflicts.