With economic recovery on the horizon, some company owners are voicing concern about pent-up employee turnover. The fear is that people who were reluctant to leave in a recession will head for the exits at the first sign of an upturn. It's a real danger, says Richard Chanick, an Inc. 500 veteran and a partner in VSP International, a training and consulting firm. How to avoid it? The best way, he says, is to address employees' growing demands for control over what they do and how they're paid. For example:
* Link pay as directly as possible to performance.
* Give employees more choice in their benefits.
* Place less emphasis on promotion and more on training, defining professional growth in terms of knowledge and expertise, rather than money and title.
The most important step, Chanick adds, is the one most often overlooked: setting up a system to provide top managers with accurate information about what employees really want. It can be as simple as a suggestion box or as elaborate as a formal survey, but without it you're asking for trouble.