By Jim Baumer
We are all guilty of paying lip service to how much we value certain things. Take education, for instance. No one in their right mind is ever going to say, "I hate education." Yet, local school boards and school committees across the country are facing budget constraints requiring them to cut essential services that will affect students for the rest of their lives.
In much the same way, we hear employers talk about how important their employees are. Presidents and CEOs wax poetic about how essential their workers are for their company's continued success, and yet, we've all seen the news reports about employers large and small dramatically reducing their work forces, trying to cope with the economic downturn. What gives?
Positive Economic Signs
This article is too short to drill down and focus on some of the underlying structural issues affecting the economy. Instead, let's look at some of the encouraging reports coming out that companies, both large and small, are hiring again. According to a U.S.�Department of Labor report, U.S. employers added 227,000 jobs in February. This completes a three-month period representing the best months of hiring since before the recession began.
Keeping Your Employees
Because the employment market is loosening up, disgruntled employees and those who have been putting up with jobs that they consider less than ideal are likely to consider other options. If you're not careful, and don't cultivate a strong relationship with your current employees, you might find yourself struggling to keep qualified people on your payroll. In a labor market that has some documented skills gaps, filling those open positions might be harder than you think. Even in a down economy with so many out of work, it's getting harder to find qualified candidates for open positions. It makes more sense to tend to the ones you have, making sure they stay onboard.
There used to be a time when good pay and a solid benefits package was all it took to keep employees happy and employers were rewarded with loyalty. That's no longer the case. In last year's landmark Arnold Worldwide study, which included 3,000 employees and 500 executive leaders across a range of communication and advertising firms, 30 percent of this workforce was planning to leave within 12�months. With the cost of employee turnover being as high as five years' salary (depending on the position), retaining talent matters.
What You Can Do
Here are a few things you can do to ensure that your current workers feel appreciated and you are building a strong and stable workforce, thus growing your�business.
Create a Culture of Education
Employees that work in a place where education and training are priorities leave each day happier and feel enriched by their jobs
Provide Regular and Consistent Feedback
Feedback needs to be specific and actionable. Sadly that's often not the case, according to a study done by Leadership IQ, which found that 66�percent of employees say that they have too little interaction with their boss.
Reward the Group
Lastly, some really compelling data indicates that rewarding the group has a positive effect on morale and developing employees that want to stay. Remember, engaged employees are happy employees. Work at keeping them happy, and you'll reap the dividends.