Now more than ever, employers are struggling not only to find quality candidates, but to keep them around once they’ve been hired. By now, it’s unlikely that you haven’t heard someone talk about the great resignation.
Last year in 2021, over 68.9 million people left their jobs. Of the nearly 70 million jobs that were vacated, about 48 million of them were left by choice of the employee. So what does this mean for employers trying to fill all these positions? It means that employers have to do everything they can to make their employees feel happy, satisfied and valued at work.
So how can investing in your employees help scale your business?
The current job seeker wants to feel valued and fulfilled in the next position they accept. When browsing the overwhelming sea of job listings, the companies that can effectively prove and communicate that they genuinely care about their employees happiness and development will always stand out.
The type of candidate that is attracted to these types of benefits is going to be a high-quality hire for a number of reasons.
- It shows that they are interested in and have a desire to grow both personally and professionally.
- It shows that they are responsible and think strategically about their future.
- It shows that they understand that your investment in them requires a reciprocal investment in your organization as well.
How will candidates like these benefit your business in the long term and contribute to scaling your business? When a company invests in its people by offering great benefits and satisfaction strategies, employees are incentivized to perform their best in order to keep those benefits and perks. This results in a lower turnover rate and improved quality and quantity of productivity.
It’s easier said than done, but transforming your company culture to an environment that heavily invests in it’s employees may be more achievable than you think. Here are a few examples of how employers can invest in their employees to attract and retain high-quality talent.
First, let’s state the obvious – providing enticing employee benefits and satisfaction strategies isn’t free. Some methods may actually be quite expensive. Aside from the fact that there are many low cost ways employers can invest in their employees, if done well, the return can greatly surpass the initial investment of time and money.
So let’s begin with some low cost examples to make your employees feel valued and increased satisfaction:
1. Facilitate employee recognition and appreciation programs
This is non-negotiably something that every employer should be doing, but putting a strategic program in place can more effectively improve employee satisfaction, productivity and quality of work produced. There are a variety of ways that employers can implement a strategic approach to employee recognition and appreciation programs.
The simplest way to facilitate employee recognition and appreciation is by scheduling monthly check-in meetings with employees and their managers or senior level colleagues. Throughout the month, managers can keep track of the employee’s achievements and jobs well done and tell them in a face-to-face conversation that they appreciate their hard work and acknowledge the way in which it benefited the overall organization.
Depending on the size of your organization and budget, incorporating rewards or incentives for employees accomplishments can increase the effectiveness of your program. To take it a step further, many companies incentivize their employees to participate in activities and make decisions that promote personal health.
2. Offer flexibility
The pandemic made many people reevaluate where they wanted to spend their time and what type of environment they felt best in. Offering employees flexibility can provide employees with a sense of freedom that many job seekers these days are actively searching for. It can also instill a sense of trust and confidence that the organization has in them and their ability to deliver and decide for themselves where they will be most productive.
3. Conduct strategic pulse surveys
Pulse surveys are a great low-cost method of gauging your team’s current sense of satisfaction and fulfillment in relation to their individual role and the company as a whole. Surveys need to be more complex than asking “are you happy, yes or no?” so they do require somewhat of a time investment.
When designed and implemented correctly, pulse surveys can help determine what’s working, what can be improved and what is missing from your company culture, structure, etc. Some examples of strategic questions to include are:
- Please rate your current level of satisfaction in your role (using a scale of 1-10)
- Are there any specific areas of your position or workload you feel could be modified to improve your level of satisfaction in this position?
- What would you say are the most and least fulfilling aspects of your role?
- What in your personal life brings you joy that could be incorporated into your role at this company?
And then of course, data collected is useless unless it can be properly and strategically analyzed to produce actionable steps to a solution. Choose a clear and concise purpose for your survey, a plan for how the data will be sorted and what you will do with that information to improve your employees’ experience before creating the survey.
Some more expensive, but subsequently more effective, approaches
4.Professional Development Stipends
The best quality talent is highly curious, motivated to develop new skills and seek opportunities for improvement. Offering stipends for professional development not only shows employees how much you value them as an individual, but it also helps attract higher-quality talent to begin with.
There are many ways to invest in the professional development of your employees. A lower cost approach is to offer your team “lunch and learn” opportunities. This method will require more work on the administrative end, but is a more cost-friendly option when your budget is limited. Lunch and learns are a fun and engaging way to develop employees skills and knowledge of your company.
Another method of offering professional development opportunities to your employees is by setting a budget for each employee to spend on skills and knowledge building such as conferences, courses, workshops, books, classes, etc. For example, if you’re a tech company hiring someone you feel has high potential, but limited experience, paying for them to take a coding course or attend a marketing workshop could help enhance their performance and contributions to the company.
5. Offer ownership and financial incentives
Think about what motivates you to care about something most or try your hardest to succeed. For most of us, it’s when we have a financial stake in the success or failure of something. Offering employees equity in your company might sound a bit scary, but there are many types of equity programs a company can offer to employees that are little to no cost. When you look deeper into the concept of offering equity, you can see that it’s a low or no cost method because your employees only make money if you do.
Employees are encouraged to do their best work and motivated to hit goals because their achievements and successes are directly linked to their personal financial gain. Knowing that when the company makes more money, they’ll make more money instills a stronger sense of motivation to exceed expectations of their role.
The companies that understand the importance of investing in their employees and how it benefits them are struggling the least when it comes to finding and retaining high-quality talent. If you find yourself and your organization struggling to find candidates you feel confident in, consider taking a step back to observe ways in which you can improve and invest more in the satisfaction and professional growth of your people.