Are Your Employees Ready to Leave When the Economy Picks Up?

For over a year, the recession wreaked havoc on the job market. If you were of working age in America, you either couldn’t find a job, got laid off, or if you were lucky enough to have a job…you knew that luck could run out any day. The fear of unemployment caused countless employees to cling to their jobs and hang on for dear life, whether they liked their position or not.

Fast forward to present day. The economy has finally begun to pick up and Americans can see the light at the end of the tunnel. For the chosen ones who have withstood layoffs, tight budgets, cut bonuses and dissolving pension plans – is the economic turnaround a green light to cut your losses with your employer and say “I’m outta here”?

People seem to think so; Right Management surveyed 904 workers in the fall of 2009, and according to the survey, sixty percent of employees plan to leave their jobs when economic conditions get better. Finnegan Mackenzie and ExecuNet polled 1,627 employed executives and found more than ninety percent would take an executive recruiter’s call. Additionally, more than fifty percent of the respondents said they are pursuing new job opportunities.

“Employees are clearly expressing their pent-up frustration with how they have been treated through the downturn. While employers may have taken the necessary steps to streamline operations to remain viable, it appears many employees may have felt neglected in the process. The result is a disengaged and disgruntled workforce” says Right Management president Doug Matthews.

Whose best Interest are we talking about here?

This statistic is staggering- A recent survey of 50,000 employees by the Corporate Leadership Council indicates that 42 percent of employees don't believe their employer looks out for their best interest. It seems the days of employee satisfaction are long gone and have been replaced by companies looking out for their overall wellbeing.

These negative feelings experienced by employees are not being pushed to the wayside; employees are letting these emotions affect their work ethic for the worse. The number of employees putting forth the highest levels of effort on the job has decreased by 50 percent since 2007, according to CEB research.

As a company, is it worth risking angering your employees to the extent that they only exude half of their potential? Should you be working to gratify your “A” workers and disengage the rest?

The MSNBC article “Workers May Jump Ship as Economy Improves” sums it up pretty well – “Organizations need to improve their employment value proposition — particularly by rebuilding social and working relationships within their work forces, providing employees with opportunities to define their roles, and enabling self-reliant development. This will not only avoid a potential turnover problem but also improve work force performance. Organizations that accomplish this will be the industry leaders coming out of the downturn.”

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