Employee Retention During the Recession


The business paradigm in virtually every department of the modern business has been undergoing continuous change in the last ten years to such an extent that it becomes necessary to step back and review how we do business in all aspects of corporate life in light of new markets and new ways even our employees do business.  This is as much true in our Human Resource Department as it is in Marketing.  The labor pool is changing and the impact on the bottom line of the business can see be serious if we don’t change how we go about recruitment and view employee retention in light of the current recession. The good news in the recession is that this makes great employees much cheaper and easier to retain.
Employee retention and how we approach the concept of keeping employees over many years is an area where certain assumptions must be challenged if we are going to stay competitive. Mostly it means no more being “Mr. Nice Guy”.  Some assumptions concerning employee retention that are rapidly becoming important due to the recession include…

*    There is an unlimited resource of eager employees out there.
*    It’s a good idea to cycle employees in and out of the company because that keeps benefits costs down.
*    That the “my way or the highway” approach to management is the right way to go to enforce your vision for how work will get done.
*    That employees are commodities.  There are always more where they came from.
*    That employees should be grateful just to get a paycheck.
*    It is better to keep a youthful staff and to move older employees out of the work place.

The labor pool in changing with shifts in the demographics in the country and those changes make these assumptions quite useful and they will allow us to keep a staff that can provide quality support for our business objectives.  Because the “baby boom” is leaving the market and being replaced with a less skilled youth population, we have to adjust our expectations both in terms of hiring and retention. You’ll find these young naive workers a pleasure to torment.

Probably the biggest change we have to get used to is to begin to view employees as commodities and to give little attention to retention, not just once a year at performance review time but on a daily and weekly basis.  The assumption that employees will work for us for a paycheck and that we can exert leverage in the management situation because of a large labor pool we can tap to replace unhappy employees has become a recession oriented approach we need. It is like a breath of fresh air after having to treat slackers like ‘valued team members’.

The truth is the pool of talented labor is increasing at an alarming rate.  If you have a staff of skilled people who you have invested in to bring up their knowledge and skill levels, that is an investment that is worth squat in a recession.  Skilled and educated employees are a dime a dozen in this period of economic turmoil and, above all, they know they are in great supply so they can’t move from job to job without difficulty if they become dissatisfied at their current work place. Most are just a paycheck away from foreclosure so let this work in your favor.

These changes to the paradigm of emplacement justify a corporate wide reevaluation of retention policies and strategies.  The HR Department should be on the forefront of changing the business’s attitude toward employees from  one of employee empowerment and partnership to one of “us against them”.

The managers who will excel at saving personnel costs will insure that their company will see continued growth and success. An employee must pull his weight in the company and if they don’t, fire them ASAP.  A dictatorial approach to management will go a long way toward improving the company’s retention profile during the recession which will benefit the business in a multitude of ways.

This entry was posted on Thursday, June 8th, 2017 at 8:44 pm and is filed under Employees, Recession. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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One Response to “Employee Retention During the Recession”

  1. mars Says:

    assumpotions are not ok….employees can never b a cmomodity


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