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Performance Is Everything by Coral L. Rice, August J. Aquila

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1Workforce Trends in the Twenty-First Century

“Two things we know for sure: turnover is costly, and high performers drive business performance.”

—August Aquila and Coral Rice

There couldn’t be a better time to write a book about performance and compensation. One may argue we are amidst a perfect storm. On the one hand, firms are fighting a war for talent that may not end soon. On the other hand, employees (the talent) are increasing their demands in terms of what they want in the work environment.

Welcome to the twenty-first century with all its challenges and opportunities. As we begin this book, we can share immediately that creating a high-performance culture is more difficult than ever, and you can no longer evaluate, compensate, and reward owners and staff members the same way you did just a few years ago.

The only constant of which we’re aware at this time is change. The United States may or may not be moving out of a long and deep recession that began in late 2007. Although the stock market (Dow Jones Industrial Average) returned in late 2011 and early 2012 to its near historical highs, the number of unemployed people remains high by historical standards. The lingering question is, “Where are the jobs?”

The past few years (from 2009 to early 2012) have not been kind to the accounting profession. Many firms, especially those in the top 100, reported flat or declining revenue and find themselves in what some call a no-growth industry. This downturn came after significant layoffs ...

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