A recent article in Talent Management Magazine reports that the number of people quitting their jobs rose to 2.1 million in April. And skilled professionals are one of the fastest-growing segments of the workforce who are quitting.

It states in the article that a staggering 43% of hiring personnel are concerned that many of the top workers will voluntarily leave their organization in 2012, according to a CareerBuilder survey.  The median unemployment rating for the U.S. stands at 7.69%, according to the Department of Labor for the month of October.  Which raises the question: If unemployment rates remain high, why are skilled professionals quitting their jobs?

So what constitutes a skilled professional?  I would define a skilled professional as someone who has mastered a specific trade or vocation – for instance, getting a nursing certification, a CPA accreditation, etc. Anyone from any background can become a skilled professional, but it often requires a high level of education.

So what needs to be done to retain these individuals who have mastered their craft and have significant institutional knowledge? For some employees, benefits can be critical, depending on their personal situation.  While monetary rewards are great, benefits can set a company apart from its competitors – benefits such as:

  • Health Care
  • Life Insurance
  • Disability Insurance
  • Child Care
  • Work Life Balance
  • Telecommuting

Unusual benefits can include small things such as a free lifetime membership at the company fitness center, a bonus for team members who drive hybrid or electrical cars, or paid time off for volunteer work.

But it is the benefits of working for a great manager who appreciates and rewards great work, as well as having the opportunity to develop and grow within one’s profession, that many skilled professionals are looking for in a company.

If you give your team members the tools as well as the recognition to do their job, they will be more inclined to stay.  Nobody wants to work for a company where they do not feel appreciated.  Benefits show employees why they should work for you instead of anywhere else.

As a leader, what do you need to change to retain your top talent?

Picture credit: Stock Exchange (www.sxc.hu) user: ElvisFan76

Click here to read the Talent Management Magazine Article.
Click here to read a NY Times article comparing Vocation vs Education.