How To Retain Employees in a Tough Market

Imagine you’re a nursing home manager trying to replace a nurse’s aide. But the resumes aren’t coming in like they usually do. You can’t figure out why until an applicant points out that you’re offering the same hourly wage as McDonald’s and asks what you have that McDonald’s doesn’t. Lockdown-era furloughs forced huge numbers of people out of the hospitality industry, and now restaurants are hiking up wages to win them back. The effects of that wage hike resonate through the whole economy, and now you’re scrambling to explain to the applicant why scrubbing bedpans is more fun than working a cash register.

Hourly workers don’t tend to be wed to an industry. That means hiring managers are not only competing with other companies in your industry for those workers — they’re also competing with every other employer out there. There are many avenues for hourly employees to make a living.

If you’re having trouble hiring, open your mind to see the wider job possibilities workers are looking at. Show them the money, but just as key, show them the investments you plan to make in their careers. With an abundance of jobs and a dearth of workers to fill them, employees who aren’t happy with the pay, the hours, or their development opportunities at your place can easily get another job somewhere else.

Provide benefits employees want

Here are a few things to keep in mind when you’re creating a job posting for today’s market:

  • Flexible work arrangements are a key to the whole game. If an employee can’t work for you and also deal with child care or other obligations, he or she might be tempted to go drive for Uber. 
  • Invest in your people from their first day of employment. Engage employees from the start, whether they’re in the office or remote.
    • Studies show that companies that provide four or more hours of orientation have lower turnover rates than those with shorter orientations or no orientation.
    • Employees want training opportunities in order to develop in their job. Offer education reimbursement, onsite training or assistance with student loans.
    • Camaraderie and team-building events offer employees opportunities to get to know each other in a low-pressure environment.
    • If a job can be done remotely, provide that option. Even employees who don’t want to be fully remote may want to work at least two days a week from home.
  • Invest in technologies to help your people be more successful.
    • Offer technology and systems training. Companies that do so have 20% lower turnover than those that don’t.
    • Empower employees to swap shifts and communicate with management from their smartphones. Help workers achieve work/life balance. Give employees an engaging professional environment and solutions to help them succeed and keep them for the long haul.
  • Gather data on your workers. Find out how engaged they are, which benefits they’re using and which they value most. You’ll get a more accurate picture and be able to deliver an employee proposition that speaks to your employees’ needs and use these insights to improve employee engagement and productivity.
  • Employee benefits are playing an increasing role in employees’ perceptions of your firm, boosting feelings of loyalty and positivity.
    • Try a well-being app. Analyze login data to see if employees are using the app and to gauge whether your actions are yielding results.
    • Create targeted reward programs that meet your employees’ needs. Using data helps you be more strategic, offering benefits that prove valuable. You’ll likely discover that child care and education benefits are prized.
  • See your employees as your company’s ambassadors. Everywhere they go, they’re informing people what it’s like to work for your firm.
    • Make sure what they’re saying is positive. It’s super easy for candidates to see your online reputation as well.
    • Share challenges and achievements to build a sense of teamwork.

Take a long view

All your employees want to improve their future and see their jobs as a path to get there. Reinforce a promote-from-within culture, pushing aside anything that is the least bit unpleasant in anyone’s job duties. Do your damnedest to fix, mitigate or minimize disagreeable job responsibilities.

Workforce transience is here to stay. Keep your prized employees longer by making them feel recognized and valued, both monetarily and non-monetarily, with a productive and happy environment. Don’t just talk about your company’s culture, such as how you provide training, promote from within, and have an open-door policy — you need to walk the talk by actually doing these things.

Comments are closed.