Safeguarding Your Self-Storage Business Against Employee Turnover

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By Megan Stanish

At the end of 2010, the media began to declare that hiring was on the rise. A December Wall Street Journal article reported there was an increase in job postings across a number of industries. Then CNN stated in January that many economists and experts believed the coming year held the promise of dramatic hiring gains. These media organizations and others have predicted this turnaround for months, noting all sorts of indicators, such as a recent increase in the hiring of childcare workers.

While this is great news for many companies, employers who have used the downturn to justify squeezing every drop of productivity out of workers at the expense of the employees’ well-being ought to be nervous. The end is near for Scrooge-like practices as well as the peace of mind that staff will remain loyal under any circumstances.

For employers who took this tactic, voluntary turnover is almost certain to rise as employees learn there are new outlets for their efforts and talents. In addition, these employers likely will have a more challenging time hiring new employees as word of their actions gets around.

New Opportunities for Employees        

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the change in total separations year over year isn’t what is startling. In fact, total separations has remained relatively static. Instead, what tells the story is the proportion of quits to layoffs and discharges.

In October 2009, 50 percent of private-sector separations were due to layoffs and discharges, with 42 percent attributed to employees quitting. In October 2010, those figures flipped: 50 percent of separations were due to employees quitting, and 43 percent were due to layoffs and discharges. In other words, America’s workforce is beginning to recognize there are new opportunities, and employees are leaving the companies that have taken advantage of them for the last few years.

There are promising signs, specifically for the storage industry. For instance, in an article titled “Self-Storage State of the Industry 2011: Financing, Construction and Development,” published in the March 2011 issue of Inside Self-Storage, industry leaders indicated the financing market is improving. For certain, there are still significant concerns and challenges, particularly regarding new development, but many indicators point to hope for the immediate future.

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