This site has many recurring themes, but here are 2 of the most popular:
- There’s a talent drain and it’s only getting worse.
- Compensation is no way to retain your highest performers.
Obviously I was struck when I read “Stopping the Talent Drain” in Business 2.0 magazine. ((Pfeffer, Jeffrey, July 2006. “Stopping the Talent Drain.” Business 2.0, Volume 7, Number 6. Page 80.)) In it, they say, “Law firms and other professional services firms have a hard time holding on to their stars. The solution? Generosity.” The author then goes on to describe the example company saying, “At LEGG, director level employees receive 70 to 80 percent of their hourly billings as compensation.”
I’ve always held firm that compensation is an attraction agent in the recruitment process, but it is not a retention agent in the talent management process. While the tagline of the article points to compensation, I think the author stumbles upon the real retention agent without recognizing it.
…Because employes are given autonomy and held responsible for their results, LEGG has an attractive work environment for top talent. Highly skilled people – actually all people – like autonomy. At this company they actually get it. ((Ibid))
Don’t trick yourself into thinking that compensation will keep talent around. It’s true that people like to be rewarded and recognized for their work, but more important is the work environment including how people work and who they work with.