Treating your workers well now may pay off when the economy recovers

Market economies go through up and down cycles.  While this meltdown has been a particularly brutal one, if history is any indication, the job market should make at least a modest recovery.  There may be evidence of that happening already in the fall monthly national jobs reports.

In the meantime, employers that have attempted to treat their workers well during the recession may reap the rewards in terms of employee loyalty, while those that have regarded the recession as an opportunity to crack down on their workers may pay a price as jobs become more plentiful.

In a wide-ranging Workforce Management blog post titled “The Rueff Truth on ‘Abusive’ Employers and the Talent Flight Ahead,” Ed Frauenheim quotes Rusty Rueff, former HR director for videogame company Electronic Arts, who claims that rounds of layoffs at some firms have helped to create an “abusive” employer-employee relationship.  Rueff labels some of the management practices during the recession “callous” and “insensitive” and done to please Wall Street at the cost of individual workers.

Frauenheim further suggests that bad management practices may result in greater attrition as the economy rebounds:

And many workers say they are ready to bolt. Sixty percent of employees intend to leave their firms as the economy improves next year, and an additional 27 percent are networking or have updated their résumés, according to a recent survey of 904 workers in North America by advisory firm Right Management.

Will some firms see a talent flight as the economy recovers?  What job opportunities open up will provide part of the answer.  But the other major factor will be whether their workers felt respected and valued even during the tough times.

Full post from Workforce Management:

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