The vast amount of lay-offs have left remaining employees in a conundrum juggling staying in their current unstable environment or risk searching out a more promising, supportive job opportunity. However, most employees are still not afraid to see what alluring options are available despite weathering conditions within current companies. As organizations are making cutbacks and each remaining employee is carrying the burden of each previous employee’s responsibilities, employees become more aware of the benefits of working with a stable company who can maintain a stable employee base. With the work demand piling up and the pressures increasing to run companies on as little as possible, employees are under extreme stress and overload. So why wouldn’t they be open to more stable job opportunities?

Employers are making the mistake of thinking current employees will not be open to new job opportunities because the job market is viewed as bleak, and consequently, employers are not appreciating and investing in their current employee base. The remaining employees within a company are typically the most valuable and essential employees that are keeping the company running, thus as the employee base dwindles, there would be a detrimental impact if a current employee chose to leave. As many companies are decreasing benefits and perks, the retention rate of key employees is also decreasing. Employees are working longer hours, under more stress, carrying more responsibility and not being overly compensated for their extra efforts. Many companies are in ‘survival mode,’ which is causing them to loose sight of employee fatigue. Amidst the instability of company structure, employees may loose confidence in their job and may be enticed to move to your competitor.

Struggling companies will all value the same qualified employee; the best of the best that can bring in the cash flow through contacts, strategy, and skill. If you don’t provide the compensation your ‘star’ employee is looking for, you can be sure a competing company will make the investment. But you may be asking yourself, when is the investment worth the risk?

Retaining current employees is a cost efficient method of management as the search, hiring, and training process all take time and money away from company productivity and revenue. Thus, employers who are making high demands of their current employees should implement management strategies that commend each step towards success, foster a personal relationship between the manager and the employee, and inform all levels of employees regarding company goals. Involving employees in the company’s vision and potential changes allows employees to feel personally invested in the company as well as respected within the company. Verbal affirmation is the cheapest, but most efficient form of employee benefits contributing towards employee satisfaction. Even if employees do remain at a company through the recession, this does not solidify their retention after the recession. Employees who have a personal relationship with their direct supervisor are more apt to remain with a company because feeling valued, appreciated, and supported are essential components to long-term employee satisfaction.