business news in context, analysis with attitude

From the Wall Street Journal:

"The U.S. food industry is tapping a new pool of workers to staff plants and grocery warehouses: their former employees.

"Kroger Co.the biggest U.S. supermarket operator by sales, is staying in touch with ex-employees and bringing some back. Cereal maker General Mills Inc. has persuaded some retirees to return to plant jobs, and other food-company recruiters have combed social media for former workers who might be open to coming back.

"Companies across the U.S. economy have faced a severe shortage of workers since the onset of the pandemic as people left the workforce in record numbers. Employees quit because they were worried about contracting Covid-19 or received government incentives, or they switched industries seeking better working conditions or pay. 

"Cincinnati-based Kroger has been working harder since the pandemic to follow up with employees who leave, and maintaining contact with them, said Tim Massa, chief people officer at the grocer. Kroger is reaching out to some former employees via text and email, he said, helping return the company’s staffing to near its prepandemic level … Kroger has seen a significant increase in the number of former employees of various demographics returning to the company - so-called boomerangs - and people are typically coming back within six months of leaving, Mr. Massa said."

KC's View:

I wonder if there could be lessons learned from this situation about how existing employees are valued … how they are afforded new opportunities and challenges … and the degree to which employees are seen by any organization as investments, not costs.