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Hiring and Retaining Employees in Today’s Economy:
Posted by Insightlink on 08/13/21
Is your small business hiring? Join the club. With the economy in recovery and society anticipating a widespread reopening, businesses of all types are scrambling to engage workers. Some are staffing up after a prolonged closure, others have found their ranks decreased due to caregiving and other family responsibilities, while others are enjoying the fruits of a growing business or even a new one they established during the pandemic.
But getting people in the door might be tougher than ever, considering the need for employment after pandemic closures and downsizing. In fact, Indeed.com says that the share of job postings with phrases like "hiring urgently" has risen over 50% since the start of 2021.
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
But remember the flip side of that: An astounding 95% of workers say they have considered leaving their jobs in 2021. It's important to ensure your current employees feel happy, comfortable, and settled, so that you retain the great talent you already have.
Here are some ways to stand out in the race for top talent:
Raise your wages
Of course, not every small business can afford to boost their payroll, but it’s one of the best ways to get prospective workers in the door. It will also help you keep your existing staff from looking elsewhere for work. A recent survey of small business employees found that 48% of workers say they would stay at their current job if their employee matched a higher offer from somewhere else.
Job boards. Virtual job fairs. Community college listings. Social media. The more you can get your name out, the better chance you’ll have of filling openings. Try getting creative…many employers are finding prospects on TikTok or YouTube. And consider the story your own website and social media are telling. Do your employees make it look like an inviting and inclusive place to work?
Encourage your current employees to offer referrals
No one can better sell your company to a prospect than a current happy staffer. The new person is highly likely to join the team because they already know something about your workplace and presumably have heard positive things (and possibly even the negative and overlooked them…no employee is ecstatic 100% of the time).
Consider non-traditional staff
Parents have left the workforce in droves, spurred by continuing childcare crises and inflexible employers. But many of them may be ready to burnish their resumes and look for new opportunities in the next few months as schools increasingly appear likely to open. Tout your flexibility and family-friendly schedules, if you can provide those perks, to help appeal to workers who are eager to return to the workforce, yet wary about the implications. Another resource for seasoned employees is looking to the older demographic, many of whom also left their workplaces for safety reasons but might welcome part-time work.
It’s well-known that it costs less to retain a valued employee than to hire and train a new one. But an additional expense you might have been overlooking is the cost to your reputation if your workers aren’t happy. Consider one recent study which found that 64% of workers say their employee experience affects the way they are able to serve customers. That’s why successful small businesses make a point of shifting their focus to consider their employees as a set of “customers,” as well. Here are some ways to help keep them happy and engaged:
Offer as much schedule flexibility as you can.
Many workers have grown accustomed to work days that follow their own customized patterns, allowing them to duck out for a quick walk midday and finish up reports in the evening hours. Of course, you still must prioritize client service, which could mean your employees have to be in-person or covering set hours. But even if your model doesn’t support a virtual workplace, consider how you can allow schedule flexibility, such as letting them choose shifts that are most convenient for them or implementing a 9/80 schedule.
Cross train your team
Having employees who know more about your business is good for everyone—you are able to better serve your customers and cover absences, while they find satisfaction in developing new skills and exploring fresh opportunities. Continuous learning—whether through job rotations, online courses or other development opportunities—might be just what your staff needs to feel re-invigorated, considering that 86% of workers said they think their career has stalled during the pandemic.
Consider the “whole person”
Today’s employees are attracted to workplaces that address their financial, physical and mental well-being. A study by QuickBooks found that 48% of employees would stay at their current job, even if they were offered higher pay elsewhere. That’s as long as their current employer offered a better benefits package. The good news is these benefits don’t have to break the bank either. If you have a retirement plan, see if the provider has online resources you can share with your team or invite a local investment professional to hold a virtual webinar to present advice and answer questions. Offer access to apps with workouts or meditation sessions to tend to their physical and mental demands. Above all, ask them what would be meaningful and find a way to add it if you can.
Ask your employees how you can improve their experience
On that note, make sure you keep in close contact with your workers, whether it’s through anonymous pulse surveys or one-on-ones to make sure you’re addressing issues or challenges as they arise. The last thing you want is to be blindsided by an employee whom you assumed was happy leaving over something you potentially could have addressed. Let your staff know they are a valued, indispensable part of your team in both words and actions to help keep them there for the long run.
Where does your company stand on each of the critical "4Cs" of employee engagement and satisfaction?
How many of each do you have?
AboutInsightlink Communications are experts in employee survey design, data collection and analysis. Since 2001 we've helped companies of all sizes measure and improve their employee satisfaction and engagement.
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