CEOs are being more forceful in their efforts to retain valuable workforce members now that the economic downturn appears to be lifting faster than most analysts previously thought. Pay raises and pay cuts are slowly being listed industry-wide, first quarter results show.

Last year was a different story: businesses and CEOs routinely used pay freezes or pay cuts to pull their already lean staff through the recession, despite fears that employees would burn out and turnover would skyrocket once the recession lifted. Such tactics no doubt helped business trim their budgets, but left CEOs anxious to quickly change direction once the economy showed signs of improving lest they lose employees.

Now first quarter reports show a new trend for 2010: pay freezes are being lifted and some employees are being given special bonuses.

Why the bonuses? Forward thinking managers understand that key employees’ efforts—in terms of sacrificing raises and in rethinking current business models—transformed their companies into the leaner and more productive companies they are today. CEOs are eager to reward these key employees for their work in an effort to staunch poaching and circumvent broad turnover increases as the economy climbs back from the downturn.

Many CEOs and managers are already finding that its more difficult to retain valued employees than it was before the recession hit and expect it to only become more difficult as the economy steadily improves. While turnover has only increased slightly in recent months, managers are attempting to ward off defections and build employee loyalty.

This increased willingness to reward current employees bodes well for new financial hires: not only does it illustrate that CEOs are much more confident about how 2010 will pan out, such internal corporate anxiety about potential turnover signals CEO anticipation of increasing job opportunities in the marketplace. Companies eager to show current workers they appreciate their contributions—and willing to make decided efforts to retain them—are also likely to recruit and reward new hires. It also means that CEOs and managers late to lift pay freezes and pay cuts are likely to lose employees as new, better opportunities surface in the job market.

With opportunities increasing, now is the perfect chance to find your dream job with a company like Michael King Associates. Contact us now to find out how we can help you today.

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