Most of us agree that our lives are much easier when we enjoy our job. Going into a pleasant and supportive work environment motivates us to do our best, be productive, and commit to overtime or extra projects. When an employer is flexible and understands the importance of a work-life balance, employees are more likely to stay for the long term.
This, in turn, makes it more economical for management because they don’t have to spend time and money constantly training new people. This sounds like a simple formula for hiring and keeping great people, right? So the question is, why are employers having such a hard time finding and hiring that model of a wonderful worker?
The answer is complicated, but part of it stems from the fact that the younger generations have started to assert themselves and require that they be treated fairly by those who hire them. Workers want companies to acknowledge that a job is not all they have going on. They’re demanding better work environments, better training, and benefits. So, how can employers shift with the times and meet these needs? Below, we offer tips for hiring and keeping wonderful workers.
- 1. Create Good Retirement Benefits
1. Create Good Retirement Benefits
One way to attract and keep that wonderful worker you’ve been looking for is to offer a top-notch retirement package. Whether it’s a traditional pension, the famous 401K, or ideas, an employer must pay into retirement plans. Ideally, a company should be, at the very least, matching the employees’ contributions.
Workers want to know that they will have financial security upon retirement. Being secure in this knowledge is an incentive to keep up the excellent work all employers look for. Other ways to support workers in their quest to retire is to offer profit-sharing and stock options. These are great perks to tout during the hiring process.
You may also want to consider offering free financial and retirement planning services. While at it, offer free help drawing up wills and other documents. Paperwork can be confusing for the most savvy person, so assisting in these areas will surely be appreciated.
2. Manage a Positive Work Culture
Whether it’s a local roofing contractor or a big city police department, every employee deserves a positive work culture. Work should be a place where they feel safe and valued and know that they can trust and rely upon fellow workers and management. As an employer, it’s your job to create this environment with the help of everyone at the company. A big step to creating a positive culture is to have a set of core values and mission statements that everyone follows equally.
The entire team should have a shared set of goals and attitudes geared toward company success and everyone’s fulfillment. One of the most important ways to do this is to promote engagement and provide ways to help people connect. A few ideas are to have regular team meetings in an informal atmosphere, like the break room where refreshments are offered.
You can also create clubs or a company sports team to help bring people together. Encourage feedback from employees through anonymous surveys or a suggestion box. Have a firm zero-tolerance policy in which all employees feel safe and respected for who they are. Encourage humor and social interaction.
Consider turning the breakroom into an oasis where everyone can unwind during lunch or downtime. Put in a massage chair, a television, and a video game or two. Provide free snacks and soft drinks for workers to enjoy throughout the day. Most importantly, as an employer, make yourself visible and available. Walk around and listen to what everyone is telling you. Offer to get in the trenches and help without making them feel inferior.
3. Allow for a Flexible Work Schedule
One of the best perks an employer can offer is the coveted flexible work schedule. Since the pandemic, workers have realized they can get much, if not all, their work done from home, so there’s been resistance to returning to the office. While many companies are allowing for this, some are still holding out. If you’re unwilling to allow workers to complete assignments at home full-time, consider a hybrid schedule that only requires 2–3 days a week in the office.
Also, think about allowing workers to have flexible hours to suit their individual needs. Allow for later starting and ending times, the ability to shorten the day if all their work is done, and being able to leave without penalty in the event of an emergency or illness. Creating flexible work hours and location can mean the difference between snagging that wonderful worker or keeping the help wanted to sign up. Other forms of flexibility can include offering child care or even a dog boarding service for workers whose caretakers fall through and otherwise would need to take off work.
4. Make Job Applications Easy
According to Career Builder, about 48% of potential employees have had a negative experience with the job application process. Most of the complaints stem from the application being too long. Nobody wants to rent a portable dumpster service to dispose of a job application, so consider keeping it short. If you require a resume and cover letter, there’s no need for many questions.
The initial application action should include basic information and a few general questions. You should be able to tell if the candidate deserves an interview with that and a resume. If your application is not online yet, get it there quickly! Most potential employees now prefer doing paperless applications.
Making the application compatible with a smartphone will earn you brownie points. Finally, try switching your mode of communication from phone calls to text messaging. Many people appreciate the convenience of texting, and honestly, it’s less stressful.
5. Use Streamlined Recruiting Software
Our hats should all go off to the folks who work in human resources. These patient, well-organized workers oversee advertising open positions, recruiting new employees, and handling all the paperwork. Years ago, they needed to keep complex copy files for everyone and search through piles of papers.
Luckily, the approach has become much easier with the onset of recruiting software. Many of these programs are out there, so you must decide which is best for your company. This software helps human resources to efficiently manage everything concerning a potential employee, from application to hiring.
It helps with advertising open positions and emphasizes the recruiting process by encouraging employees to apply. The software will also sort candidates by experience, education, and other qualifications to make choosing candidates easier. For example, if you own a water restoration company and need someone experienced in flood damage, the software will sort out applications and resumes with those keywords.
6. Provide Constructive Feedback
Feedback is necessary for any workplace to function correctly. The area of constructive feedback (also known as constructive criticism) can be tricky if not handled right because you’re telling your workers what they need to improve. Constructive feedback can occur during several situations, like a performance review or after a specific incident.
It’s vital to give feedback in person and start with a positive comment. Offer the employee observations rather than opinions or accusations. Comments should be restricted to things you saw or can prove. For instance, if you own a paving company and your employee is rude to a customer, you can just state what the customer claims rather than accusing the outright.
Be direct with the workers, so they know exactly what needs improvement. Be empathetic while providing guidance and assistance for them to improve. The most critical thing you can do while giving feedback is to listen. Allow the employee to offer their side and offer to help remedy any issues that could improve their performance.
7. Recognize Achievements
Whether they work for a scrap metal company, doctor’s office, or a Fortune 500 company, all employees love it when their bosses recognize their achievements and hard work. Providing your workers with even small tokens of appreciation can go a long way to keeping them happy at their jobs. There are many ways to say “I appreciate you,” including actually saying it. But if you want to do a little extra, you might want to try some of these ideas (you can also amplify the fact that you provide recognition during the hiring process).
Start an employee of the month program. This could be as simple as having an area where you post the employee’s photo and give a certificate or plaque. You could also offer a gift card or lunch at a nice restaurant to the honored employee. If you’re looking for something more personal and economical, write your employees a note or a card expressing your thanks for their hard work.
Social media is another excellent way to give a worker some well-deserved props. Celebrating birthdays is a great way to honor employees and involve your whole team. If you run a larger company or facility, do monthly birthdays, getting one cake for everyone born that particular month. Everyone loves food, so consider springing for a catered breakfast or lunch now and then.
Another great idea is to hire a few good trucks during the warm weather. It will get everyone out in the fresh air and allow them to socialize and bond. Stress the fact that you understand the importance of family by organizing a family fun day. The event could be as elaborate as renting out a water park or as simple as having a barbeque in the park with some games and a splash pad.
Lastly, offer monetary rewards like holiday bonuses or gift cards for exceptional attendance. There are many ways to recognize your workers and make them feel appreciated. There’s no excuse not to do it.
8. Develop Leadership Opportunities
A critical factor in keeping an excellent worker is allowing them to shine. Give your employees a chance to shine, and those skills can help your business thrive. Ways that you can do this include having a mentor program. Matching new employees with seasoned ones can help them learn to take the reins and be independent.
Don’t be afraid to delegate responsibilities. Employees take that as a sign of respect and trust and will instill a sense of pride that will be appreciated. Give workers with a great work ethic the chance to coach and train other employees and offer an incentive for them to do it. Provide leadership workshops like management training to help employees advance in the company. If finding an affordable venue is an issue, find a church or community center that charges a minimal fee.
9. Allow Employees to Learn New Skills
Not only is providing employees with learning opportunities good for them, but it also benefits employers. Hold regular workshops and training where workers can stay updated on the latest technology, codes, and trends. Offer a stipend for them to go off-site to job-related classes of interest.
Say you own an asphalt company; you could send employees to OSHA training and have them turn-key the information to other workers. Consider a tuition reimbursement program as part of your benefits package. College is expensive, so helping out with tuition will surely attract some wonderful workers.
10. Prioritize Exit Interviews
When an employee leaves a position, an exit interview is usually scheduled. Employers must take this process seriously and record the feedback. Employee retention is essential in all businesses, and you should want to know why an employee was unhappy to leave.
Let’s say you have a power washing service, and the employee says they have gotten tired of providing their own safety gear; consider providing it in the future. Take the feedback to your human resource staff and managers and develop plans to improve upon what negative aspects the worker experienced. This can help avoid losing even more employees in the long run.
Finding good, hard-working employees is not that difficult. The main idea is to treat everyone with respect and recognize their needs as human beings. If you emphasize these points from the time of recruitment throughout their employment, chances are they will be that wonderful worker you’ve been dreaming of.