‘Hug your employees’

Most employers haven’t had employee retention on their minds. Last year, it’s been quite the opposite. Many employers have had to reduce their workforce to remain in business.

But by the close of 2010, retention and turnover will be foremost on their minds, and here’s why…

Organizations where there have been layoffs will often find the remaining employees feeling a bit over-worked and under-appreciated, some even being told by a superior ,”Just be glad you have a job.”

Instead of cutting jobs, some organizations cut salaries and benefits. While employees can understand why this was done, it’s still hard to take, and again, this will leave some employees feeling a bit over-worked and under-appreciated, and most will be looking for a “make-up” raise in pay when business starts rolling again.

Every year there is a certain amount of “normal” voluntary turnover. This year has had some of the lowest voluntary turnover on record, but that wasn’t because everyone was happy in their jobs. It was because everyone was scared.

We all watched the unemployment rate soar. We all know of someone whose spouse, parent, friend or neighbor was laid off. We all watched the news reports of how this recession was the new Great Depression. This touches our core human instinct of basic survival – food and shelter.

We all needed to remain employed, no matter how much we hated our jobs.

Just a few short years ago, the Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics predicted that by 2010 there was going to be shortfall of workers because of the exiting baby boomers.

There will be less workers entering the workforce than leaving the workforce. This is still going to happen. As a matter of fact, it will probably be worse because there were many workers, close to retirement age, who were some of the first workers to get cut because they were typically the highest paid and unfortunately, although this shouldn’t be, but it probably will be, these workers will not be able to be re-employed, at least to the level they were at.

And some workers won’t be able to be re-employed for a whole host of other reasons.

So while employers are currently feeling there’s so much talent out there to choose from when they have an opening and are confident in the loyalty of their employees, I caution you to start hugging your employees.

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