This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Leadership in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

October 17, 2012

Labor Market Churning Begins Next Quarter

The pieces are clearly in place: the long-awaited, significant employee turnover is going to happen next quarter. All the signs are there: a recovering United States economy, increasing job growth, and unhappy employees. In fact, in a recent study conducted by The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the majority of HR professionals and managers agreed that once the job market improved, they expected that employee turnover would rise significantly.

Now, the just-released 2012 Aflac WorkForces Report indicates that 49 percent of workers are "at least somewhat likely to look for a job this year". In addition, 50 percent of workers say employee benefits are "very or extremely influential on decision to leave".

Most employers have "no clue" how vulnerable they really are. They may lose valuable productivity, not to mention intellectual capital. Who will they lose? Most of the people who intend to leave describe themselves as "top talent", the kind of workers companies can least afford to lose. These workers are the highly valued employees companies need in order to remain competitive in a tight economy.

History is repeating itself, as we head into a new "Impending Crisis" situation. There are many similarities between the position we find ourselves in now and where we were in 2003---when we first published the business bestseller, "Impending Crisis: Too Many Jobs, Too Few People". We have experienced several years of recession and a painfully slow recovery. Top talent has been restless for a while. If nothing else catastrophic occurs, we believe there will be a major exodus of talent beginning in the first quarter of next year.

The difference is that now many employers are cutting back on healthcare and other employee benefits---obviously, not a very smart idea. The study also found, "Workers who are extremely or very satisfied with their benefits program are nine times more likely to stay with their employer than workers who are dissatisfied with their benefits program." Moreover, 76 percent of employees said they'd be at least somewhat likely to accept a job with a more robust benefits package but lower compensation."

Once more, the employment market is flipping. Once again, employees, especially talented ones, will be in the driver's seat.

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