Your Employees are The Key to Your Success!
by Bonnie Janzen
Employees are the lifeblood of any business. Fostering employee relationships is much like planting and caring for a garden.
We want to create, maintain, and nurture each relationship between the company and its managers and its employees. Investing in employees’ growth and training as they take on new tasks and challenges is a crucial element of cultivating a successful company.
If we have learned anything in the past two years, it is that things can and do change quickly! Families struggled with significant shortages of key products to maintain their households—and are still doing so—just as product shortages continue to plague businesses. In addition, companies are now experiencing drastic shifts in the labor market, which is the tightest it’s been in a half-century, according to the Wall Street Journal (May 19, 2022, “In This Economy, Getting Fired Takes Hard Work”). For large retail organizations and restaurants (such as Target or McDonald’s), and small businesses alike, maintaining adequate staffing has become so difficult that some companies have resorted to shortened hours, just to ensure that the employees they have can support their customers during peak times. Teachers, healthcare and transportation workers, among others, have also been impacted significantly. These industries suffered great losses due to COVID-19 and have not yet fully recovered. All this, coupled with employee burnout, has created a labor crisis across various industries and organizations of all sizes.
According to the latest tracking data from Decision Analyst, 45% of workers report they are very or somewhat likely to change jobs in 2022 (reported in May 2022). This number is up significantly from 40% in January 2022.
Higher wages and overall benefits packages (including 401(k) matching and health insurance) are critical components of new job searches, but beyond those elements, employees state they are also looking for a company that:
- Cares for their well-being.
- Allows for work/life balance.
- Offers protections from contracting COVID-19.
- Has a management team they feel confident in.
- Offers flexibility of work hours and locations.
- Focuses on employee diversity and inclusion.
- Offers them a position that plays to their strengths.
- Offers job security.
- Demonstrates a career path.
- Offers recognition for a job well done, as well as recognition for employee tenure.
How can your organization help address these shifts in employee desires and attitudes? One approach is to survey your organization to identify which factors you are performing well on, and which ones still need improvement. What are your biggest gaps? Review your Glassdoor and other employee ratings. Spend time with employees and provide a forum where they can provide feedback without fear of retribution. Numerous non-proprietary surveys have been conducted that indicate employees are not aware of, or do not understand, the benefits they already have access to through their employers. Therefore, it is important to continue to educate your employees about the health and wellness options available, as well as the 401(k) options provided by your organization and how they work.
Training and maintaining company culture are important aspects of employee engagement. It is a difficult task training new employees when there are many to onboard at a given time, and resources are stretched thin. This presents a less than optimal start for many new employees. In addition, maintaining your company culture can be tough no matter what type of business you have, or what business model you use (all employees in the office, all working from home, or some type of hybrid).
As shortages of labor, products and materials put increasing pressure on their employees, management should continue to keep the lines of communication open and regularly reach out with genuine concern to team members. Remember, nurturing employee relationships—as part of your company culture—is critical to cultivating long-term success. Decision Analyst has conducted numerous research and consulting engagements to help our clients:
- Reduce employee turnover.
- Improve engagement.
- Optimize benefits.
- Improve retention.
- Assist with training.
As we navigate this very tight labor market and continue to live in a COVID-19 world, organizations need to evolve and work as a team. With a positive attitude and a commitment to team excellence, companies will continue to improve their human resources, benefits, and employee relations, as well as business outcomes. Ultimately, your company’s success depends on how well you tend to your ‘garden’ and improve employee engagement.
What is an idea that you can share to help improve employee engagement on your team this week?
About the Author
Bonnie Janzen (email@example.com) is an Executive Vice President at Decision Analyst. You may contact her at either 1-800-262-5974 or 1-817-640-6166.
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