This employee retention speaker and employee retention author recently read an article in the Wall Street Journal that speaks to the lengths that employers are starting to go to in order to staff their operations.  In this article, they discussed how Oshkosh Corporation, a manufacturer of heavy-duty vehicles for the US military, is moving welding operations to TN in order to access a greater labor pool because they were poaching welders from the very people who supply parts to them that are near their plant in WI.  That’s great for Oshkosh Corporation’s suppliers in WI…but not for the companies that are in the area where Oshkosh is going to go in TN.

Think about it for a minute.  If you are an employer near the new Oshkosh plant in TN and you have not been treating your people the way you should and then a big behemoth company like Oshkosh comes into the area and throws big wages at the local workforce, you WILL LOSE PEOPLE.  This is just one very visible example.  It has to be happening elsewhere too.  The key is to be proactive, and to change how you do things.  Treat your people well so that even when they get a pot of money thrown at them, they will not be enticed because your company is a great place to work at.

What you are seeing in this case is going to become more and more common place as employers try anything to deal with the labor shortage.  As this employee retention trainer tells his clients, the key is to be a good place to work, pay people well and have good supervisors who give their employees C.R.A.P. (Caring, Respect, Appreciation and Praise).  That is going to be the key to survival so that your people are not “poached” like is going to happen in this case.

What’s happening here should be a wake-up call for every employer.  Be proactive.  Get ahead of the curve and get your house in order if it isn’t already.  Remember, this is about survival, not just money.  When you run out of people to staff your facility or a major employer comes into the area and “poaches” them, it is too late to make changes.  It’s time to wake up and smell the coffee!