The signs of a better economy are here. I’ve read several articles in the last 12 hours about the sharp reversal from the previous 15 months in that more people quit their jobs in the past three months than were laid off. Nearly 2 million people quit their jobs in April, the highest number of resignations in more than a year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). By contrast, 1.75 million people were laid off in April, the fewest since January 2007. Some are leaving for new jobs, but others are confident enough to leave with no offer in hand. Now is the time for employers to implement the programs, policies and processes necessary to keep their good employees satisfied and productive and to capture the institutional knowledge of employees in case they do leave.
The economy has played a huge part in employee retention and has given some employers a false sense of confidence in that employees are staying, working harder and longer and in some cases for less pay or benefits. These same employers are in for a shock as the economy starts to recover. Employees don’t forget. They talk to each other, their friends and families. This is especially true in smaller cities and towns. You may have no good candidates in your recruiting pool next year because of the reputation you gained when employees really needed to know how valuable they were to you.