By Geno Cutolo, CEO & President, Atterro, Advantage Resourcing & Staffmark
The US is facing a talent shortage — a shortage to the tune of 6.6 million jobs!
The competition is fierce. And that’s why employer branding has become an important part of talent acquisition and retention. In fact, it may be just as important as the marketing strategies you use to woo customers.
Here are my six go-to strategies that benefit both employers and employees:
1. Teach new skills
According to Work Institute’s 2018 Retention Report, 42 million people will leave their jobs this year. And the top reason: lack of opportunities to learn or develop new skills.
But don’t just train to train. Instead, think broader when creating an employee development program and cross-train your workforce. Cross-training improves employee career development while helping your business maximize its resources. Think about it, exposure to different roles and responsibilities helps staff see the bigger picture. They see how their contributions fit into the larger corporate strategy.
When employees can take on tasks and duties “not in their job descriptions,” they are more nimble. It allows everyone to strike a better work/life balance, and it’s much easier for employees to take time off, get additional training, and collaborate with new people.
2. Offer advancement opportunities
A Gallup survey found that 93 percent of Americans advanced in their careers by taking a job at another company. The opportunity for advancement is a huge factor in the decision to stay or join a company. In fact, 87 percent of millennials say professional growth opportunities are important in a job, and 69 percent of non-millennials say the same.
Ask yourself, “Where is my business headed? Are there any potential intersections between the direction of my business and the skills and interests of my employees?” This is the sweet spot to discover advancement opportunities that not only help improve retention but drive business growth. Advancement should be mutually beneficial.
Within our organization, we’ve found that promoting from within yields great results. All but one senior-level role created or filled in the last several years has been an internal promotion.
3. Make work fun
If you were to ask your employees what they love most about their job, the majority would say their co-workers. A TINYpulse survey found it was the number one answer — three times higher than the second most common response! Look for ways to build camaraderie by making fun a priority.
How you go about doing this is entirely up to you, but it doesn’t need to break the bank. Small activities can do wonders to improve workplace dynamics. Take a team out to lunch, host a happy hour, hold an office-wide Jeopardy game, or plan an ice cream social, as we recently did for our corporate office staff.
4. Be transparent
Trust takes center stage when building workplace relationships. And you can’t have trust without transparency. Keep everyone up to date with what’s happening in your organization. As you embrace transparency, you’ll also be more apt to share problems, which allows employees to step up and offer solutions. Two heads, as they say, are better than one!
As a result, your company will solve problems faster. And feeling more part of the business, employees will become more engaged. Transparency often has a ripple effect within an entire organization.
I’ve found one of the best ways to share company news is via a monthly internal memo. This message is posted to our company intranet and includes financial updates, challenges, successes, and more. I’ve found that the key to effective corporate transparency is to be consistent.
5. Show appreciation
There’s so much truth to the saying, “a person who feels appreciated will always do more than expected.” Ask each employee how they prefer to be recognized. In many cases, a simple ‘thank you’ goes a long way. This is especially true when employees are praised in front of their peers, which is something we’ve incorporated into our Crush It recognition program.
6. Make your employees’ lives easier
Show employees that you truly care by making their lives easier — both inside and outside the office. Not sure where to start? Look to the simple things like offering dry cleaning, onsite car services, or financial assistance with childcare. You may also consider tuition forgiveness, caregiver paid leave, or expectant-parent counseling.
Survey employees to see where they may need help, and then create a perks program around your findings. Otherwise, what you offer will just come off as an empty gesture and won’t do much to attract and retain quality talent.
If you’d like additional information on how to become a more employee-centric organization, or to discuss one of our many staffing solutions to build a stronger workforce, please feel free to contact us today. We would love to work with you to ensure you get the right people in the right roles to drive business growth.