Why the Weirdness of the 2019 Economy Makes Employee Retention a Huge Issue

The Chief Economist at MUFG in New York, Chris Rupkey, laments that the Federal Reserve may be “misreading the tea leaves on where the economy is going next.” This analogy is striking in more ways than one, as the stock market grows more volatile and the country is still reeling from an ongoing trade war with China. The confusion over the U.S. economic situation is merited, however, considering a unique and ever-growing amalgamation of circumstances.

On one hand, we’re only one month into 2019, and employers have reportedly added 304,000 jobs to the U.S. economy. On the other hand, reports say “the economy’s momentum is fading,” and despite employment levels, wage growth isn’t increasing rapidly enough to counter inflation. To top it all off, the recent government shut-down also threw the economy off-kilter.

It’s easy to get lost in reading the tea leaves. Some of us even decide we don’t need to read the tea leaves at all. Others of us avoid it because it’s just plain stressful. Now, the reality of the economy is becoming increasingly difficult to avoid.


Job Growth Complicates Hiring

Businesses wishing to respond to these changes are going to have to focus intensely on hiring and retention in 2019 now that there are more jobs to go around, but not always the funds expected to go with them.

There are two sides of the coin when it comes to recruiting, retention and the lower unemployment rate. Americans may have an easier time finding a job, but that also means that those who are unsatisfied with their current job may be less afraid to hunt for a new one.

This makes retaining a high-quality team a challenge. Employers will have to sweeten the deal to keep their talent around, and that can get expensive depending on the incentives that they choose.


The Evolution of the Workforce

The growing prominence of the millennial workforce is also working in tandem with economic conditions to impact hiring and retention. Approximately 40% of the US workforce consists of millennials, and that number is only expected to increase.

Older, more established talent is not only retiring, but also less likely to relocate for a job offer. Consequently, those with more extensive resumes and experience often take more effort to entice if you want to get them and keep them on your team.

Meanwhile, contrary to public perception, the millennial workforce holds its leaders to higher standards and advocates for a greater work-life balance than their predecessors. Employers need to offer a variety of benefits and professional development opportunities if they want the majority millennial talent on their side.

How You Can Improve Retention

The good news amid all of this social and economic change is that there are a variety of helpful ways to help meet the challenges of the new year. Technology is available to help you save money and closely monitor what’s working for your team, and what isn’t.

For example, Prodoscore can help retain employees in a variety of ways. Prodoscore monitors employee productivity and measures what actually benefits your business to create a single Productivity Score™ based on your success and not just who does the most busywork.

First off, thanks to Prodoscore, you can feel confident in providing a remote work option for your employees. Being able to work from home for part of the week is a highly desired perk for employees with long commutes or young children. The chance to better balance their life or save on childcare can be a huge incentive for retaining talented employees. Prodoscore helps you stay confident that work is still being done efficiently outside of the office.

Second, Prodoscore can both help you know who is a top priority to retain and who is showing early warning signs of leaving. Prodoscore accurately helps you realize which workers are giving strong, daily contributions and should be acknowledged and rewarded instead of just who is a favorite. Prodoscore helps managers give fair assessments of their teams and help their team feel appreciated.

If someone is starting to slip in their daily activities and productivity, this is a strong sign that something is off and management should step-in to improve conditions and retain that worker. Maybe there is dissatisfaction with current job processes or salary which can then be addressed to retain the worker instead of being blindsided when they leave.

Employees rarely want to shake the boat when they’re having issues or may feel like management is unlikely to take them seriously. By having Prodoscore to help focus your attention on where you can be proactive, managers can both know and retain their top talent.


Read ‘Em and Don’t Weep

Employers will definitely have to step up their game to keep up with the unpredictable economy in 2019. Don’t panic, but don’t let talent jump ship for better shores. Read the tea leaves and act accordingly, before it's too late.

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