Despite the slower job market, three out of four organizations unwillingly lost high-performing employees during the past year, according to a survey by Right Management.

The survey includes responses from nearly 270 companies nationwide. Only 13% of organizations saw no departures of top talent over the same time period, while 12% reported they did not know.

The number of businesses reporting top talent loss is up significantly compared to a similar Right Management survey conducted a year ago, when only 54% reported losing talent.

An organization's challenge is always to retain its best contributors, says Right Management, to target them for development and show them they have a future with the company. It's really not enough to tell them to wait until the economy improves, especially if they're newer employees and more impatient for opportunity and advancement.

Previous research findings show there is a restive workforce overall, Right Management observes, so employers must take the steps needed to preserve their key competitive advantage: their talent.