Cocooning is Over!

 I’ve been reading the weekly newsletter for The Herman Group for several years now, and when they first began talking about employees that are “cocooning” until things got better I was more than fascinated with their take on the subject.

Cocooning (in my words) is the act of staying put in a job, company or position for fear that the grass is browner on the other side, and that no matter how bad the current job is, things could be worse.  For the past several years employees have been cocooning all across the country in small, medium and large companies waiting for the economy to change and feel more comfortable taking the risk of changing jobs.

For all of these same years, consultants like myself have been trying to get companies to change their ways and use this cocooning environment to their advantage to find ways to keep their employees even after the economy gets better.

Well, even though the economy is not even close to a recovery, employees are breaking free of their cocoons and taking the risk of job changes.  So the window to change the work environment is slamming shut while senior managers are standing around losing employees and completely dumbfounded as to why.

According to The Herman Group, about 1/3 of the Baby Boomers are set to leave their jobs because their past hard work and loyalty has not been rewarded and appreciated by their employers.  About 2/3 of the X Generation are leaving because of a complete Lack of Career Progression.

The millennial generation, which has been the hardest so far to keep, is only going to hang on to about 1/3.  This 1/3 does feel that they have a career path, leadership development and a trust in corporate leaders.  But what does that say about the 2/3 that are ready to bolt?

Attention must be paid to the retention efforts of existing employees!  If your Human Resources and Training Function is doing nothing, they are either unaware of how to change the environment, or they are looking to create their own job security by a constant revolving door of employees coming and going.

Are you worried about the future of your workforce?  If so, it is time to do more than worry.  Cocooning is over!


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