As 2012 is creeping up, many employers are now in budgeting mode, with compensation being a major expense under review. A recent compensation survey by Buck Consultants shows that retaining top talent is the No. 1 employee engagement goal in 2012, which suggests employers must find ways to remain competitive.

Of course, offering salary increases is necessary for talent retention, but this is especially true for high performers, says Ken Abosch, compensation group leader for Aon Hewitt. In a down economy, holding onto top performers is more important than ever, and those top performers won’t be satisfied with stagnant incentives. The job market may be bleak, but top performers always have other opportunities, regardless of the economy.

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