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Employee Retention in a Recession

Many employers are mistakenly feeling secure about their current workforce, under the possibly erroneous assumption that no one would dare leave now. There is in fact a real danger of losing great people within the next year.

Here’s my rationale. I’m assuming that any employer who has let people go has tried hard to keep the “A” players, and let go of only the poor performers. Now the “A”s are overworked, and possibly under-utilized or under-challenged. If your business is one of the many that have really taken a hit, your “A” players want out, and have probably felt that way for a while. Such people may be waiting out the recession, but many really have wanted to change jobs for over a year. The minute opportunities start to surface, those people could be gone.

And, there is pent up demand both ways: Employers have held off hiring, and there could be a rush for talent once the recovery begins. Companies that have any edge at all over your company will be trying to hire away your people.

It is really important not to be complacent about your key people even in tough times. Next week, I’ll write more about key retention tips.