Unemployment Rate: How Does the Recent Decline Impact Employee Engagement?

Friday, November 2nd, 2018

Although always important, employee engagement takes on an even greater sense of urgency when unemployment is low.

The unusually tight job market means employee engagement and retention are more important than ever. According to The U.S. Department of Labor, the unemployment rate declined by 0.2 percentage point to 3.7 percent in September, and the number of unemployed persons decreased by 270,000 to 6.0 million. During recent political campaigns, many politicians have addressed the need to create jobs to get Americans back to work. The job market has recovered significantly since the most recent recession ended in 2009, but job growth is still a critical issue.

As companies continue to recover from the economic hardships created by the recession, many parts of the U.S. economy have yet to return to their pre-recession values. In addition to managing to succeed during the lengthy recovery from the recession, organizations are also faced with the challenge of disengaged employees.

Retaining top talent is even more difficult in times of low unemployment.

While the economy has bounced back from the recession, the effects of the recession are still evident in many organizations. Companies who survived the financial struggles of the recession are now working to overcome the impact to their workforce.

During the recession, employee morale and engagement took a hit across the nation. Organizations were forced to conduct mass layoffs and many permanently closed their doors. Employees who were fortunate enough to remain employed felt the burden and pressures of maintaining their position in light of the circumstances. Financial performance has improved more quickly than employee performance.

Nearly ten years after the end of the economic downturn, employee engagement has finally started to climb and companies are seeing positive financial gains. Just as companies and employees have recovered, economists say that another recession is likely in the future.

Now is the time for organizational leaders to take the reins on ensuring that employee engagement levels steadily increase because a future recession is inevitable. While a market adjustment may be looming, improving employee engagement before that happens is one step that can be taken to improve the odds of an organization surviving whatever the economy throws its way. Sustaining employee engagement levels plays a large role in organizational success, especially when the economy takes a turn for the worst.

Organizations must take the time to explore what is happening at the employee level. Without employee feedback, it is difficult to make decisions about the organization’s future.

With unemployment rates at historical lows, employee engagement and talent retention is more important than ever. Prepare today for potential hits to the bottom line by listening to employee feedback and taking action.

EngagedMetrics’ innovative employee survey platform delivers the data and analytics needed to understand employees’ commitment and connection to the organization. Take a test drive of the platform with a quick demo. The tools and resources available on this platform provide insight to help organizations identify potential obstacles to improving workplace culture and employee engagement. Many economic hardships are unavoidable, but companies can be prepared to take on whatever comes next if the workforce is highly engaged.

Resources
https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf

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