My blogging buddy Laura and I were having one of eclectic conversations a couple weeks ago and she asked me, what is a hot topic at conferences theses days? I told her this. For better than two years I have heard a theory that is routinely espoused by many writers and speakers here in the HR space. I will call this theory the Katy Bar the Door Concept. It centers on this. HR pros need to prepare for the coming mass Exodus of nearly all of our top talent from our organizations, when the economy turns around.
As the theory goes, the top talent, and others have hung around your shop because the economy is in such bad shape that nearly everyone is afraid to leave the comfort of a known pay check, regardless of how repressive your workplace is perceived to be. But, when things take off, watch out boys and girls.
Well here is my take on the Katy Bar the Door theory. I am not an economist, but it doesn’t appear that the economy is soon going to turn around and blast off in an upward direction. It will be a gradual transition, if and when the turnaround occurs. Further, the economy has been in the doldrums so long the business prospectives on staffing has forever changed. Companies, Not for Profits, and even government agencies have all learned how to do more with less. AND they will never return to those days of bloated staffs where we have staff for everything. Going forward, we will all be leaner and meaner and that’s the way we business is going to get done now. We will use contingent workers, freelancers to fill in the holes.
So I do not agree with the KBTD theory and do not think it will come to fruition in catastrophic manner as has been predicted. But just because your employees will not have an opportunity leave by the bus load does not give your HR department license to treat your staff poorly. You had still better do your damnedest to keep and engage your top talent, or you might be the one getting shown the door. That is my take on KBTD, check out what Laura has to say on the matter at her blog Working Girl.