How to Combat the Worker Shortage and Retain Great Talent

According to Forbes, employers are getting desperate for workers here in the United States. At the end of April 2021, job openings were at an unprecedented 9.3 million, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. This worker shortage has affected the restaurant, retail, and entertainment industries by a much higher percentage. 

Companies everywhere are becoming more creative about how they go about hiring and keeping employees. In this article, we’ll discuss ways that companies can make their jobs, and themselves, more attractive to qualified employees. 

How can I find good help? 

1. Referral bonuses. 

Now that the regular ways of attracting job applicants aren’t working as well, many businesses are turning to employee referral bonuses. Offering a bonus to employees who refer someone you hire is a great way of finding employees. The employee referral will come into the company with an emotional connection to the person who referred them, which will create some sense of loyalty. 

2. Signing bonus. 

Another tactic is the signing bonus. Times are feeling desperate for some employers, who can’t seem to hire enough employees. Offering a signing bonus is one way to attract willing employees. Some companies offer part of the bonus up-front with the rest coming after 3 or 6 months of employment. 

3. Offer better benefits.

One thing this labor shortage is showing about American workers is that company culture and benefits offer as much if not more incentive than competitive pay. Benefits and perks are all part of creating a company culture that is supportive and healthy. There are endless options for perks and health benefits. Benefits range from paying for a monthly gym pass to corporate-sponsored massages at the office. They can also be very health-focused, like having a dedicated registered nurse available as well as telehealth doctors. Health-focused benefits not only show your employee that your company cares but can also lower healthcare costs in the long run. For example, offering functionally optimized massage to your employees at no cost will reduce the amount of pain everyone is in, lower the rates of musculoskeletal disorders, and will increase employee morale and loyalty. Happier, pain-free employees are more productive. What if your employees are injury-free? There are many health assessments available that can assess employees’ health and help prevent injuries, which is a win-win for everyone. 

Ergonomic support is a great employee benefit to offer. Who wouldn’t want to come and work for a company that provides an ergonomic office chair, and the help to adjust it properly? Offering your employees ergonomic accessories like lumbar support cushions, wrist-safe keyboards, and footrests go far towards assuring employees and potential employees that they will be cared for and seen at this company. This tells employees that you know what they know; that working 8 hours a day at a keyboard or doing manual labor takes a toll on the body. And again, an ergonomics program also prevents costs associated with musculoskeletal injuries. 

Will Only Improving Pay Improve My Employee Count?

Improving pay is just one way to attract more employees. While it differs from industry to industry, many companies in the restaurant/retail industries and others are doing just that. For example, Chipotle announced in May that they will raise hourly wages to an average of $15, in addition to offering their employees referral bonuses. McDonald's is raising its hourly wages by an average of 10%. Southwest Airlines, Walmart, and Costco are joining Chipotle in raising their minimum wages to at least $15. 

However, this is one of the reasons that the labor shortage is hitting small businesses the most. They don’t have the deep pockets of a big corporation and may not be able to keep up with the financial moves these larger businesses are making. 

And, pay isn’t the only, or main reason, people are taking jobs these days. While offering more money, including signing bonuses, will improve your chances of hiring employees, you’ll need to look at the other reasons people are taking jobs these days. 

Workplace Culture And Employee Count

So you’re offering a job with a good wage, and perhaps a signing bonus of some kind. Why can’t you find qualified workers? Workers are looking for more than good pay these days. Other benefits like flexible working hours and the option to work remotely allow people to have a better work/life balance. 

While some people simply enjoy a better quality of life, for many people, including parents, it’s a necessity, not a luxury. With the impact Covid-19 has had on schools and childcare, many people, primarily women, have been forced to choose between their jobs and their families. By creating job structures that give your employees greater freedom and flexibility, you will make your job more attractive. And, it will widen the pool of people capable of taking that job. 

All of these options create a culture that points towards employers who care. Company culture has a large impact on how employees view their jobs. Within a strong company culture, employees feel valued and empowered. E.g. if you’re offering flexible working hours and remote work options, your employee will have the choice to do what they want, and they will feel like they are being trusted to do their job well on their own schedule. In essence, they have more control over their job and that creates a great symbiotic relationship between employer and employee. This also impacts remote workers who will feel more valued and achieve greater levels of performance. A strong employee culture not only challenges its employees to do better, but it supports them along the way.  

And, since the pandemic, many employers can’t justify requiring employees to come into the office. The norms have changed, and people know they can do their jobs from the comfort of their own homes just as well if not better than in the office. If a job you’re offering can’t be fully remote, consider only requiring a few days a week in the office. This labor market will require companies like yours to think outside the box and consider their employees' quality of life. In addition, taking into account the extra demands on people with children or elderly parents will make your position more attractive and accessible to people who are looking for jobs. 

Consider your Company Culture

Not only will reconsidering your company culture help you hire the people you need too but it can positively impact the future growth and direction of your whole company. Your current company culture has likely evolved organically, but it’s possible to shape culture intentionally. It’s largely about the relationship your company has with its employees and the messages it sends. Paying more money does send the message that a person’s job is valuable, but it doesn’t guarantee respect or autonomy. Giving your employees flexible working hours, or the option to work remotely, does communicate trust and respect, and offering benefits like corporate massages, ergonomic chairs, and accessories, or free gym passes sends the message that not just employee health is important, but that employee pain is important and will be addressed. Here are some of the benefits of strong employee culture.

  • Employee retention

A company that values its employees will in turn create more employee morale. Employees who feel valued are more likely to feel loyalty to their company, which lowers the number of employees who leave their jobs. The lower the rate of turnover, the greater the savings. 

  • Reputation

A company that values its employees through attitudes of mutual respect, benefits, and perks will create good word of mouth about itself from its employees. This kind of word of mouth is priceless and will motivate other people to seek jobs with the company. In addition, this kind of positive reputation spreads out to clients, and can even allow a company to charge higher rates for its services. 

  • Employee unity

A company with a healthy culture will foster a sense of unity. This leads to feeling like a valued member of a team, which leads to a greater desire to be productive because employees feel invested in the success of the company. 

Attract and Retain Good Employees with Help from BioFunctional Health Solutions

BioFunctional Health Solutions has been helping businesses offer wellness-related perks, benefits like corporate massage and dedicated registered nurses since 2005. They’ve seen time after time how offering benefits that support employee health improves company culture and helps businesses attract and retain the qualified employees that they need. They’ve worked with Fortune 500 businesses as well as small, mom and pop businesses, so they’re ready to work with an organization your size. Our employee health solutions can walk you through how offering perks can lower your business’s bottom line while improving employee morale overall. Offering prevention for musculoskeletal disorders, among other health benefits, helps employees know that they are seen and cared for by upper management. This fosters a sense of loyalty, which will lower the costs associated with losing personnel. Reach out to BioFunctional Health Solutions and get started on your customized plan today.

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