It is always the same. The people you want to stay are tempted to leave, while those you could do without seem unable to do without you. All of us want the best and the brightest and there are not enough to go round.
So how do you find them and keep them? What makes people leave an organisation? Money, challenge, status? Owners and managers of businesses ought to know the answers to these problems. You also need to know for yourself. What works for you is likely to work for your colleagues. Management Today is going to help you find solutions. Our objective is to shed light on issues surrounding recruitment, retention and motivation of key management staff. For a second time we have joined with Ceridien Performance Partners, providers of corporate work/life consulting services, to carry out a comprehensive survey. We call it 'The Price of Success'. Many of you will get a questionnaire with this edition. Others who would like one, call: 0181 267 4956.
We aim to build up a picture of what makes you join an organisation, why you stay and for what reasons you might leave. How important are financial rewards compared to other benefits? How much of a difference does workload make to your happiness? Would you be tempted by a more flexible package? A year ago Management Today launched an initiative to create a better balance between work and life. We called it 'The Great Work/Life Debate', a phrase unfamiliar at the time which has since become part of the language. The balancing act is increasingly difficult, particularly for younger managers who are establishing new families at what is often the most demanding and important period of their careers.
Shirley Conran, author of Superwoman, believes the issue has implications for industry and individuals alike. In an article How Does She Manage, she asks why management skills of working mothers are not recognised and put to better use. She is organising a conference aimed at mothers in management and their employers. If you want to attend, ring 0171 628 2128 or write to 45 Beech Street London EC2Y 8AD.
The work/life balance issue is important not only for our quality of life but for productivity. We have the measure of the scale of the problem. Now we need to find better ways forward as managers and as people. One of the few things we can be sure about in the future is that the battle for talent will intensify. In this issue, Matthew Lynn says human capital and technology will be the scarce resources of the next century - to the extent that they will reduce the power that capital markets now exert over companies.
That may sound far-fetched. But those who best understand what people want from their work will be the winners. We will report on what we find in our August issue.