Looming Turnover in Financial Services Jobs Will Spell Trouble for Employers

The month of January saw a flurry of informative surveys about the state of the employee union.

Ignites reported new research from The Conference Board about overall job satisfaction. The study suggested that 54.7% of respondents are “dissatisfied” at work.

Gallup Management Journal, on the other hand, suggested that even at the height of the recession employees were, and still are, engaged.

A Kathy Freeman Company survey of leaders in financial services revealed that more than 75% of these leaders were considering a job change in 2010.

Could it be that employees are, all at once, engaged, dissatisfied and looking to make a change?

In order to know more about this potential onslaught of “musical job chairs,” I called Michael Brown at Management Recruiters in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

shorespeak: Do you find potential candidates more or less receptive to your calls today versus pre-Great Meltdown?

Mike: Almost everyone is open to conversation and there are very few folks that don’t want to listen. Pre-Meltdown it had to be a cream of the crop job with top-flight pay to engage a candidate. Today it can be simply a very good job with pay that is in-line.

shorespeak: Why the overwhelming receptivity?

Mike: There is a high level of dissatisfaction among employees with how they were treated during the last two years.

Employees feel as though they have been treated as a commodity.

That, and there is still a sizeable feeling of instability that employees have about their present firm.

Lastly, there is pent-up demand. Employees held on to the positions that they otherwise would have left during the recession. Now that the sky is starting to clear they are looking for the first chance to leave.

shorespeak: The employee dissatisfaction with how they were treated sounds analogous to the attitude of the consumers toward their financial advisors.

Mike: Exactly. How many FC’s lost clients because they were not aggressively and frequently communicating with their book?

Left to their own devices, the client formed their own reality.

shorespeak: So management at some firms are guilty of spending time with their outside constituents (brokers, clients, key account contacts) and not enough time with their own employees?

Mike: True. And now the employees have formed their own reality that says, “I’m going to look out for me.”
Maybe in the midst of the turmoil to keep our clients loyal to our brands we have overlooked our most important resource – our people.

Seven points to check against your firm’s current dealing with employees are:

• Make your performance expectations for managers and individual contributors crystal clear.

• Give concise and frequent feedback regarding job performance

• Offer deserved praise in liberal doses.

• Offer professional development, even if the budget is tighter than in years past.

• Allow employees to have a clear line of sight from their responsibilities to the greater purpose of the division, or the firm.

• Make employees aware of their advancement opportunities within the firm.

• Ask for oral and written employee feedback – and then respond.

Ignites, Gallop and Kathy Freeman Company all agree that it’s not too late.

Don’t let the hard work of digging out from the recession wreckage get undermined by 2010 employee turnover.

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