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US Bureau of Labor Statistics Reports Decrease in Unemployment Rate

Companies Have Potential to Lose Best and Brightest Workers as Rates Fall

New York, NY. March 4, 2011 — As the U.S. employment situation begins to brighten with the unemployment rate dropping from 9% to 8.9% in February, companies may now face the unexpected exit of top talent. Unsatisfied employee departure could signal serious concerns for many firms, notes Madison Performance Group, which specializes in workforce engagement and sales incentive marketing.

Madison Performance Group is the worldwide leader in developing employee engagement and incentive marketing programs for Fortune 1000 corporations, including CA, Citigroup, Kawasaki and Siemens. The firm implements customized strategies to motivate workers, applying proprietary sales and marketing techniques to maximize their success.

“During uncertain economic times, it’s crucial for companies to retain their most valuable employees in order to continue the firm’s success. Employers can reduce the turnover of star employees and control the high costs associated with recruiting and training new hires by enlisting specific measures to retain these workers,” advises Mike Ryan, Senior Vice President of Madison.

To help combat an exodus of a company’s most prized employees, Madison Performance Group suggests using a few simple engagement and retention methods, especially during thus uncertain times.

Re-recruit the best. Overachievers feel under-appreciated and in many organizations they have been picking up the slack caused by workforce reductions. Target this group immediately and begin to think of your recognition program as your key retention vehicle.

Reaffirm your high performers’ role in making the firm what it is. Target them with personal messages from senior executives. Use a “show” strategy for this segment; profile their stories, their accomplishments. In profiling success you can also calm anxiety across the employee population, define your culture and promote best practices across all work groups.

Re-engineer the process. Progressive firms have consciously designed reinforcement levers into the employee experience. Evaluate your tools. The mechanics within should be highly automated, minimizing the effort and maximizing the impact. Reducing administrative steps, streamlining approvals and eligibility and segmenting messages through a database make recognition activity efficient and impactful. Make sure your tools integrated into the normal administrative workflow. This overcomes the objection of “recognition takes too much time and effort” sometimes voiced by managers.

Re-vamp your message. On one hand managers are inundated with cost cutting mandates; on the other they are the critical link in generating employee performance. So how do you reconcile the message? Emphasize the investment value of recognizing employees. Your managers are your best business people. Instinctively they know it’s a good idea. Reinforce that it’s also good business. Then assure them that they have the authority as well. Deliver the message from the executive suite with messages that correlate recognition activity with other critical metrics.

“The best-of-the-best have been picking up the slack by taking on the work of those who were laid off,” notes Ryan. Ryan also mentions, “Inundated with additional responsibilities, they have become increasingly dissatisfied, but have remained in their positions due to poor job prospects. The corporations themselves must take proactive measures regarding employee retention rates to avoid the large expenses associated with losing their most productive people.”

Ryan expects that even a slightly brighter employment picture and a strengthening economy will result in a shift in the employee-employer power structure. “The highest potential company employees will be in a stronger position. Employers will now find themselves in an unexpected battle to retain key talent,” he concludes.

Media Contact: Gina Jessica Smith Marketing Director 212.419.1388

About Madison

As a global leader in Social Recognition, Madison provides enterprise-class organizations with employee recognition, incentives and service anniversary programs designed for the needs of today’s ever-changing workforce. Madison’s recognition strategy focuses on making managers mentors, reinforcing a sense of belonging, celebrating personal and professional milestones and emphasizing inclusion and diversity.

For more information: Madison Email: Phone: 866.535.2543 Fax: 212.308.0646

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