When Economy Recovers, Will You Have an Employee Exodus?
Catherine is a business owner we know who recently shared a concern that’s been on her mind; a fear that other employers probably share. Her staff of six has weathered the bad economy with her, through layoffs of a few of their friends, no raises for themselves, and increased job responsibilities. Catherine has expressed her appreciation for their sacrifices, but was also proud that she was able to keep six people employed through such a difficult time.
Catherine’s business looks like it will come through the recession in pretty good shape—and she will be relying on her seasoned staff to bring it back to its former level of profitability. Her main concern? That her staff will abandon her for other job opportunities, just when she needs them most.
Catherine’s story is not unique, and she’s smart to be thinking about this possible problem before it begins. Worrying about it, however, will not accomplish much. But what can Catherine and other employers do to keep good employees around after the economy recovers? How does an employer prevent a mass employee exodus?
First, recognize the reality: a survey last summer reported that nearly half of employees surveyed plan to seek a new job after the recession ends. 30% were already actively seeking new work. Generationally, the Xs are least likely to stay with their current employer, while the older Baby Boomers are most likely to stay.
Assure your staff of their job security. If your business is strong, let your workers know. Eliminating the unknown may be enough to keep your employees from bailing on you. Job security is the number one reason for employees to seek a new job. It’s not the increase in job responsibility or too much work for each staff member—employees do not see those as reasons to leave your company.
Find out what your staffers want. Now is a great time to sit down with your employees, either in a group brainstorming session, or one-on-one, and really understand what they want from their relationship with your company. Then, realign your procedures and retention strategy to match their most important wants and needs.
Employers don’t have to face the economic recovery by losing good employees. If retaining your best workers is important, find out what they need to stick around!