I can’t think of a time when decisions made in Washington have so much impact on whether your employees stay or leave. Three areas of legislation come to mind that will likely make employee turnover even worse than it is today. And savvy executives better take actions now to retain their best workers and withstand this shock.
Chase Bank is running a commercial touting the hiring of 3,000 workers to staff 4,000 new branches, all based on the funding they’ve received from the recently-pass tax law. At first several companies announced one-time bonuses for employees, usually $1,000 each, which generate short-term smiles but don’t build more dollars into employees’ base pay. But this Chase-led trend of organizations funding additional jobs with new lower-tax money will likely whittle down our national unemployment rate from its current limbo-low level of 4.1%.
Meanwhile, those in power say their next major legislative move is to fund nationwide infrastructure fixes. Over the past few years, talk has included raising anywhere from $200 billion to one trillion dollars to then hire private contractors to fix dilapidated roads, bridges, and airports. Republicans control Washington and can likely muster the votes to put our cranes to work. And with those cranes come thousands of new jobs that offer some of your employees a big bump in pay…and more whittling of our already-low 4.1 % unemployment rate.
Third would be the continuing complexities of immigration policies, whether regarding the DACA dreamers or illegal immigrants who hold steady jobs but find themselves suddenly in handcuffs. Policies, practices, and the overall philosophy of who can live and work in our country is now a moving target, with a likely result that our number of workers will go down versus up.
For sure, those in Washington who have a vote must be pleased that our economy is strong and jobs are being added. One wonders, though, if they realize that the number of jobs increasing while the number of workers potentially decreasing could spell trouble, as productivity only happens when companies have enough qualified workers to work.
For employees, executives might finally raise pay to stop employee turnover. But like those one-time bonuses, pay bumps bring short-term smiles. Smart companies are instead proactively learning what each employee needs to stay and thrive, because Stay Interviews have taught us that each employee has a to-stay-here story, a set of unique needs that are disconnected from pay, and that must be solved during the course of the manager-employee relationship. Your employees might want specialized training, consideration for other jobs, or appointment to an important committee…or something as simple as a commitment they can pick up their kid at daycare each day without bearing a late-fee fine.
Helping organizations cut turnover and implement Stay Interviews fits squarely into our mission. The percentage of employees who voluntarily quit their jobs has already reached its all-time high. Please let us know if we can help you win your employee retention challenge.