The Most Serious Threat to Employers in this Recession May Be its End

May 2010 HRMarketer

Employees leave when times are good

Employers need to stay connected to their employees in order to stop them from jumping ship once the job market rebounds.

A recent workplace study by the Adecco Group, a global recruitment firm, found that more than half (54%) of employed adults report they are likely to look for new jobs once the economy turns around. This should be warning to employers that they risk losing their top performers if employee engagement and job satisfaction does not remain a priority.

Why jump ship?

The recession has meant longer hours and increased stress for those employees who are being asked to take on more with less by their employer. This leads to low morale, decreasing engagement and job dissatisfaction – all factors that cause employees to look for greener pastures elsewhere. The last thing employers want are their top performers leaving for a competitor when the job market picks up and the “war on talent” resumes.

If there is one thing employers need to know…It’s that retaining employees after the recession means staying connected to them during the recession when times are tough.

Some employees may not feel comfortable speaking to their managers about their frustrations and lack of motivation in fear it will increase their chances of being let go, should the company need to make cuts. This is where the CEO needs to step in to help managers and the organisation as a whole stay connected to their employees.

How can employers stay connected?

  1. Have regular conversations
  2. Open the lines of communication by ensuring managers meet with employees on a one-on-one basis to talk about their role in the organisation.
  3. Executives must also communicate the company’s plans for the future to the company in order to keep everyone informed and aligned to current corporate objectives. When employees know what is going on they will focus on getting the most important things done.
  4. Provide the resources employees need.

    Employees are not always prepared or trained for the new responsibilities or tasks that are thrust upon them by their managers. A lack of training leads to frustration and resentment because employees feel left in the dark with no one they can go to for help.

    The CEO needs to find the needed resources and offer opportunities that allow employees learn the skills required to perform their new tasks. This may include a mentor, company training sessions or cross-departmental team support.

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