Aside from the obvious impact the economy has had on the workplace—i.e. layoffs, furloughs and wage freezes—there could be longer-term effects in the aftermath of the recession. The headline of a study of 5,000 households recently released by the Conference Board read, “U.S. Job Satisfaction at Lowest Level in Two Decades.” According to the report, Americans of all ages and incomes continue to grow increasingly unhappy at work. This should be a red flag to employers. Here are some additional facts from the study:

The “pay attention” statistic that came out of the study is that 22 percent of respondents said they do not expect to be in their current job in a year. Guess which employees are the most anxious to move on? Most likely, the star performers. Insightful employers are those that were able to maintain an acceptable work culture during the recent economic downturn, positioning themselves to welcome those highly productive, dissatisfied employees looking for better opportunities.

As an employer or manager, what steps have you taken to retain the star performers in your organization or department? If this has not been on the radar screen, an organization of dissatisfied employees will have a negative impact on productivity, and ultimately, the bottom line. It is well worth it to maintain the talent you already have. Think of retention as re-recruiting your workforce. While compensation is a key consideration, especially if pay cuts and wage freezes were a part of your survival plan, pay alone will not be enough to come out of the trough ready for growth. Today’s employees are looking for a career package, including a good culture, career path, diversity of responsibilities and work/life balance. Below are some methods to consider for employee retention and reduced turnover:

Take a good look around your organization or department. How would you rate your organization or yourself for having the methods outlined above in place? The good news is that there is always an opportunity to put these initiatives into place, and you can make it happen! iBi