As we head into the middle of the first quarter, all indicators point to job recovery. I saw this trend after the last recession in early 2002 as economic confidence returned; employees started looking at their job satisfaction and decided to seek greener pastures. In the annual SHRM survey worker’s job satisfaction is down five percentage points from its high in 2009 which is an early indicator that employee turnover is now poised to rise in 2013.
Now is the time to be evaluating your senior staff and meeting with them to take their “satisfaction temperature” and see what if any steps need to be taken to insure you retain them. Money is rarely the main factor in employee satisfaction. While we all work to earn a living, we also gain personal satisfaction from our jobs or at least we should. Take the time to sit down with your key people and don’t assume that just because they have been with you for years and years, they are happy and stable. In an interview with SHRM Workplace Trends Tony Schwartz, CEO of The Energy Project explains that a small minority of employees are fully engaged due to the fact that employers have lost sight of meeting basic, fundamental needs: feeling under-appreciated with a lack of meaning in their work.
The Generation Y and Gen X’rs are notorious for being restless when they feel stagnant and stuck. Make a list of your ‘up and comers’ and take each one out to lunch. Asking open-ended questions about how they feel in their current job just may open your eyes giving you a glimpse if they are looking at other opportunities. Employee turnover costs billions of dollars each year and is only predicted to rise in 2013. By addressing any items now, you could prevent turnover in some situations. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.