The mantra of tight labor repeats itself over and over for now. Workers are in the driver’s seat when it comes to the hiring process. We all know that this is a tough situation for business, so let’s take a look at a solution that may help. In an economy where it is difficult to find skilled labor, it is all important to retain the workers you currently have.
To do this, you must be willing to perceive the workplace as your employees do and provide them with more than a modicum of freedom. There are few things as costly and disruptive as good people walking out the door. If you really get down to the crux of the matter, it isn’t that people don’t leave their jobs as much as they leave their managers. So what can you do about it?
Avoid Overworking People: Nothing burns good employees out quite like overworking them. Often times a good employee will be asked to perform additional tasks and work the related extra hours that go with it. They can look at this almost as being reprimanded, which is the last thing you want. Like the Laffer curve in economics, statistics show that the more you work, the less productive you will be. Research from Stanford University shows that productivity per hour declines sharply when the workweek exceeds 50 hours, and productivity drops off so much after 55 hours that you don’t get anything out of working more. Don’t just pile on the projects without communication. Raises, promotions, and title-changes are all acceptable ways to increase workload.
Reward Good Work: Yes, a pat on the back can make someone feel good, but it intrinsically won’t help performance in the long run. Perhaps the sales model should be adapted for all employees, or at least key employees that you can’t afford to lose. Monetary incentives like raises and bonuses will get their attention if money is there motivator. Just like a sales commission, establish what goals need to be hit individually and corporately to monetize their reward. If your business is able to give ownership in the form of options, warrants or the like, this could be the ultimate employee motivator. When the company succeeds they succeed, and vice versa. Give this perk some serious thought.
Pursue their Passions: You are an entrepreneur who started a business based on a passion you had, albeit a hobby, an interest or anything that you considered creating a business around. This is the magic muse that makes you tick and gives your business a much greater chance of success. You like doing what you do. Now think about your employees. Passion has actually been quantified. Studies show that people who are able to pursue their passions at work experience flow, a euphoric state of mind that is five times more productive than the norm. Sounds like the secret sauce to me.
Challenge People Intellectually: This is like a gifted and talented program, only for adults. Just as intelligent children get bored in class, if talented and intelligent adults find themselves doing things that are too easy or boring, they will seek other jobs that will challenge their intellects. Give them lofty goals and intimidating projects that will push them out of their comfort zone.