During the last year, companies have frozen pay increases and/or hiring and many performed large scale layoffs.  This left companies with no other option but to squeeze as much productivity out of the remaining employees. This was a wise move in a hostile economy, but at some point staff will begin to suffer. With the economy recovering, employees feel more freedom to leave their current position. Evidence of this is seen in the Quits Rate reported by the Department of Labor and numerous surveys that report anywhere from 30 to 84 percent of currently employed workers are seeking new positions.

In fact, a People Science survey from May 2010 observed this trend as well. When the news reported a steadying economy in the 2nd quarter, we measured a sudden increase of 45 percent of workers seeking new positions through a client poll.

Here is a list of several indicators you can examine as you determine:

Are we headed for a Mass Exodus?
• Do your employees take lunches at their desk or not at all?
• Have health insurance claims and sick days risen over time?
• Have overtime costs risen?
• How many temporary workers and consultants do you have working?
• How often have you missed or rescheduled a business production deadline?
• Have you considered restructuring?
• Is the growth of demand for your product or service increasing, and will it continue to do so?
• Is revenue projected to be above target?
• Has your staff increased in step with revenue increases?
• Has training spend decreased?

As the economy rebounds and employment opportunities increase, the first step to safeguarding your workforce is ensuring that employees concerns, complaints, and requests are heard. Our next entry will discuss solutions to deal with such issues.