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During a recession, organizations tend to be less concerned about employee turnover than in a healthy economy. Employees have fewer options in a rigid job market, and many are not eager to risk leaving their current positions.


However, in this climate of layoffs and cutbacks and instability, doesn’t engagement suffer? A recent Center for Creative Leadership study  discovered a surprising conclusion: as layoffs increased, employee engagement actually improved. In fact, American workers are more engaged in their work now than they were at the beginning of 2008. This may seem like a paradox, but as job options narrowed during the recession, many employees focused more on what their current jobs offered and worked hard to keep those positions.


As the country slowly moves toward economic recovery, leaders in organizations must now work to keep employees engaged. In the CLC study, 15 percent of respondents said they would be looking for a new job in the near future and another 26 percent were neutral.


A strong positive relationship with a direct manager, however, has a significant impact on whether an employee chooses to leave or stay with an organization. Out of the employees who strongly agreed with the statement, “My manager really cares about my well-being,” 94 percent responded that they intend to stay with the organization. By contrast, 43 percent of employees who strongly disagreed with the statement said they intend to stay.


It is the ideal time to strengthen the relationships you have with your employees, both for the success of your organization and their continued happiness and productivity. Take a look at some of our other blog posts and resources to find new ideas to boost employee engagement and retention.


  • 3 Tips for Improving Management Coaching Skills 



  • Stay Current With the EDSI Professional Development Newsletter


  • Increasing Personal Effectiveness 


  • Team Building 

Are you concerned about retention as the economy improves? What are strategies you use to improve employee engagement?

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