Recent media comments suggest NZ companies face a serious business risk with almost 6 out of 10 (58.2%) employees either actively or passively seeking new roles. Indications are that business confidence is rising, and hiring expectations are positive in most regions of NZ.
Cynics would say this is about HR companies ‘talking up their own book’. In my view it is very much a reality for businesses as the country transitions into a ‘loosening’ labour market. In our own local markets we know there are some good people out there who are becoming restless and on the look out for a career or employment change.
It is hardly surprising! The last 5 – 6 years has seen one of the most difficult periods for trading that we have ever seen. Margins are lower. Compliance costs have crept. Companies have progressively held off investment and focussed on cost cutting and expenditure. Salary and wages have been in many cases frozen, in limited cases increased only marginally and in some companies even decreased.
The investment in people has noticeably dropped as organisations have focused on survival. So the patience of the workforce is naturally wearing thin as they feel they are bearing the brunt of the economic downturn.
Often it is the person you or your company would think would be the last person to resign. The most skilled, loyal, competent and, most likely, the ‘go to’ person will be the first one to go. It may indeed trigger a chain reaction as others, thinking along similar lines, follow suit. If you are thinking about your top talent …you’re probably too late. After a couple of weeks sitting on holiday enjoying a period of self absorption, or downloading their frustrations to those closest to them…they have probably already made their decision and are now actively hunting out new opportunities.
However it is may not be too late to consider strategies to retain key talent. Remember, though,it is not always about money, although for some that will be an issue. Get close to your good people – understand where they are, listen to their needs and share your thoughts if you are the employer…as we always say ‘it’s the little things that matter!’
If you can address the ‘Bitch’ and ‘Itch’ issues, you may just have time to avoid the ‘Ditch’ and ‘Switch’ decisions that your good people maybe making about their employment with you.
by Paul Bell