If you survived the Great Recession then you’ve obviously done some things right. Well done, and grats! I bet one of the things you did right was keeping a lid on labor costs and focusing on business and customers that paid off. In a brutal recession, you are in driver’s seat in terms of labor. You can pick and choose among the cream of the crop for rock-bottom, bargain wages. The question is how will you survive and thrive as the recession comes to an end?
Because my guess is around half of you are at risk of fucking that up royally. One of the ways you might fuck it up is by not adjusting to the reality of fuller employment. It makes sense ethically to reward those employees who stuck with you through the darkest days. It makes business sense to pony up to retain and/or attract the higher performing employees who can carry your business to ever greater profitability in the expanding earnings environment ahead. And the companies that do the latter first will be able to pick and choose among the best and brightest in their respective fields at reasonable wages. The companies that drag their feet might end up fighting over the scraps left behind for premium pay. How you act now may well determine which group you fall into next quarter and next year.