There’s been some discussion lately that, as employees start to see signs of economic recovery, they’ll begin to dust off their resumes and start searching for a new opportunity. If you want to read more about this, check out the posts here and here.
(Insert sarcasm here.) Frankly, I’m shocked. The implication that companies have used this near-catastrophic recession to undercut and deflate employee salaries, bully employees into thinking that they’re damn lucky to have a job, withhold training and development, etc. is just beyond my comprehension. Come on Corporate America…you wouldn’t think of doing this stuff, right?! (nudge, nudge, wink, wink) Stand up and tell the world why your employees aren’t going to jump ship at the very first sign of economic prosperity.
(Back to professional tone.) Alright. So maybe one or two businesses have taken advantage. Let’s not completely pick on them.
(Insert skepticism here.) How many employees who are getting ready to look for greener pastures told their companies during the interview process that they were fine with taking a cut in pay? Or a reduction in benefits? Or driving double the distance to work? And, now they're planning to bail after they convinced some business owner they wouldn’t?
(Resume serious tone.) Something tells me that both employees and employers are a little guilty right now of being less than completely open, honest, and transparent. If companies want to avoid a train wreck in terms of mass exodus, now is the time to engage in some dialogue with employees about what they want in terms of job/pay/benefits and what you as the company can afford. In turn, employees need to be forthright with their managers about their expectations and goals for the future.
It is possible to mitigate the mass turnover that’s being predicted. Organizations and employees can work together and create compromise. Start having some very honest conversations. Do it now. Don’t wait until it’s too late.