Well, the folks over at The Economist just put out an article saying the same thing I've been saying for the last few months. Namely that the workers that survived the layoffs and cut-backs are overworked and are really starting to chafe at the pressure of doing more with less. "The Hay survey notes that 63% of workers say that their employers do not appreciate their extra effort. And 57% feel that employees are treated like dispensable commodities. Half report that their current level of work is unsustainable." The good news is that some companies are starting to see the signs. Absenteeism is on the rise. Low-level corporate crime is growing. Corporate loyalty is on the wane. "The biggest danger for companies is if workers head for the door as the economy picks up. The Hay Group reports that 59% of its sample are either considering leaving or actively looking for a new job—and more than 85% of those who are not in the job market are staying only because that market is so dismal."
If your high potential employees start heading for the door, you've got problems. And they're starting to look too, because many companies have eliminated any type of career path - there is no where to go but OUT if they want to go UP.
What to do? Make sure your employees feel appreciated. There are tons of books and web sites that talk about low-cost recognition programs you can institute. And talk with your employees. And LISTEN to what they have to say and then do what you can to keep them happy.
If you don't, you may just find yourself filling your day interviewing for their replacements...