Some managers believe we’ve returned to an employer-centric era and we’re here to stay. Why else would they think (sometimes even say) to their talented people, “Quit whining, be glad you have a job.”
I believe those managers are wrong and for a couple of reasons. First, employees have gained a lot in the past decade and they’re not about to give it up. Secondly, savvy employees know about the pending labor shortage. They know their turn will come and they will once again have many employment choices. Then their managers will ask, “How can I keep them here, happy and productive?” The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 10 million person labor shortage by 2010. (Watch for updated projections to be released in February ’04.) Despite mitigating factors such as globalization, technology and delayed retirements, the worker deficit could be staggering.
I’m not alone in this view. A Towers Perrin survey of 1300 global companies found that 75% cited retaining and rewarding top talent as their highest priority now and in the future. Granted those asked were top level Human Resources executives. Nonetheless, it’s comforting to know that employee engagement and retention remains on the radar screen.