Global HR trend 2: Impact of unemployment

Arne Barends

Unemployment is rising in many countries (source: ILO). The economic crisis is leaving its mark, the impact of this growing unemployment is clearly visible in the results. People with a job are staying right where they are, regardless of their degree of satisfaction or engagement. It is precisely the group of dissatisfied and uninvolved employees that you, as an organisation, would prefer to see move on.

As the situation currently stands, the growth and development of positive and engaged employees are being impeded. Young employees, more often, have to content themselves with a position beneath their level and abilities – which isn’t conducive to their satisfaction.

Job uncertainty due to the economic situation can have a strong influence on ‘survival syndrome’. This term describes the impact of the change in attitude and behavior of an employee who remains after a layoff. The feeling of job uncertainty and the poor labor market,
result in high levels of psychological stress. Failure to manage ‘survival syndrome’ can cause unwanted costs and loss of key employees for the organisation.