Year of the … Workforce?

I have a good friend who just celebrated her “real” New Year kickoff – 2012 is apparently the Year of the Dragon, which kicked off on Monday, January 23rdShe’d had a tough 2011 and believed that celebrating the Chinese New Year kickoff would really get her in a different gear for the year ahead.

I hate New Year’s resolutions on or around January 1st – to me they’re much more the result of too much food, drink or gift buying – and aren’t grounded in practical goals that can succeed. However, after talking to her, I started thinking about the year ahead for my clients and so many of the clients our PeopleResults team serves.

What kind of year ahead do we foresee? I see big initiatives and projects on the horizon for my clients, and all the changes that will impact employees along the way to implementation. My clients are finalizing their strategies and tactics to achieve their goals – and some are preparing to hire key talent for the first time in a long time.

I recently came across an article in Forbes that outlines the thinking of some experts about the year ahead. Could it be that  2012 will really be a year of employee paybacks, when fed-up folks get the heck outta dodge? It will be interesting to see if this truly is the the year that fed-up employees bail out of companies that they’ve been stuck in for a long time.

My challenge to my clients is to think about some new ways to engage talented employees and maintain company loyalty, keeping the best talent as part of the team. There’s a lot more to solving this puzzle than just focusing on compensation – and great leaders know how to make great investments in their people to avoid the highs and lows of hiring and job bailouts that can quickly escalate into a crisis.

What are you doing to engage your employees? I’d love to hear your plans. After all, it is the Year of the Dragon …”the year for great deeds, innovative ideas and big projects.”