The good news in high unemployment is that your good people don’t have anywhere to go. The bad news is that they may be staying for the wrong reasons.
Tough times mean long hours for understaffed companies. They mean that employees are not doing what they were hired to do, but what is needed. The result is often a pent-up desire to move on a find a new opportunity. We work with enough companies to know that many managers are totally unaware of the level of dissatisfaction in their ranks. We can see it in the Predictive Index® reports we get from their employees. There is trouble brewing in many companies today.
The good news is that there is time to fix it. There is time to meet with your key people and talk honestly with them about the burden they have shouldered over the last few years and how much you appreciate it. Ask them how they would like their job changed as the economy improves. Make plans to make small positive adjustments now and more in the future. Your key people need to know that you know how tough it has been and that you are not going to continue the status quo forever. They are hearing on the news the companies have learned how to operate leaner and that they will not be rehiring as the economy improves. You need to set the record straight and turn on the light at the end of the tunnel, even if it is a small light.
Communicating is the key to understanding the needs of your people and determining what will keep them happy. Do it now while there is time and you’ll be the company that benefits from the recovery, rather than the one that is devastated by it.