Staffing and employee retention are two of the biggest problems that UK businesses face in 2021. It’s extremely difficult to find and attract top talent. Once you’ve done those things, you need to do everything you can to retain those people, or you’ll end up starting the entire process over when they leave. With those factors in play, many companies around the world are facing the very real possibility that they’ll have insufficient staff to fully meet customer demand during the holiday buying season. Failure to maximise revenue during the biggest shopping season of the year creates financial problems that compound themselves and ultimately affect the company’s ability to continue trading at all – so retaining the employees you have is of vital importance.
If you want to prevent a staffing crisis before it happens, this is the article for you. Here are some helpful ideas that can increase your company’s workforce morale and employee retention.
Scheduled Breaks for All Employees
One of the things that consistently irks workers is watching other people step away from their desks constantly to enjoy cigarettes or some vape juice. They, meanwhile, are expected to stay at their desks and remain productive until it’s time for their lunch breaks. When employees begin to get the feeling that break times aren’t being doled out evenly, that breeds resentment – and when smokers can leave their desks any time and non-smokers can’t, that’s going to lead to poor employee morale. Instead, schedule break times for all employees in advance. That way, everyone has an equal opportunity to step away from their desks when they need a breather.
Vesting Stock Options or Bonuses
In the past, vesting stock options and bonuses were perks that businesses traditionally used to attract and retain executives. It wasn’t necessary to offer those perks to lower-level employees because it was relatively easy to replace those people if they left the company. In 2021, however, many companies are finding that employee retention is a problem at all levels. Even order packers, delivery drivers, wait staff and cashiers are leaving companies around the world in search of greener pastures – and staff departure at any level is a major problem for a business that’s already having trouble satisfying customer demand.
If you want to retain your employees – particularly during the holiday shopping season – offering a financial incentive is one of the best ways to do so. One way to do that is by offering all employees the same vesting stock options that you give to your executives. People invariably do their best work when their employer’s performance is directly tied to their own financial outlook. If you aren’t set up to offer stock options to your employees, though, offering bonuses that automatically vest after a certain number of months with the company is a perfect alternative.
Logical Safety Measures
Your employees don’t just want to feel valued and well compensated – they also want to feel safe at work during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The best way to handle employee safety is with a consistent and well-documented safety policy that’s completely understood by your workers and your customers. In order to ensure 100-percent employee adoption and buy-in, it’s also a good idea to solicit comments and feedback for every policy you’re planning to implement.
One example of a safety policy that you might consider implementing is a facemask requirement. Many people who deal directly with customers feel safer with a facemask requirement in place. People tend to have very strong views, on the other hand, both for and against vaccine requirements. Instead of requiring a COVID-19 vaccine as a condition of employment, you might consider offering financial incentives for those who receive the vaccine and offering free testing for those who choose not to become vaccinated. You should also have a clearly documented policy about what you’re doing to ensure that your facilities are cleaned and disinfected throughout the day.
With everything that’s going on in the world these days, one sure thing is that the traditional 9-to-5 work schedule isn’t a good fit for everyone – and if your company has overly rigid employee scheduling, it’s going to hurt your ability to attract top talent. You’ll have an easier time attracting and retaining employees if you can offer some level of schedule flexibility. For some types of employees, it might make sense to offer a hybrid schedule that involves coming into the office on some days and telecommuting from home on other days. In other cases, it might make sense to hire people who don’t work in the office at all. Anything that you can offer to make your employees’ lives easier will help you attract the talent you need.
Promote from Within
No employee feels good about the prospect of being trapped in a dead-end job with no possibility for advancement. At the same time, no one enjoys having a manager who keeps his or her subordinates happy by dangling the prospect of a promotion that the employee knows is never really going to happen. Rewarding your employees in the present – with perks like seasonal bonuses and vesting stock options – is a great way to keep them happy for the first few months or years that they’re with your company. If you really want people to stick around for the long term, though, they need to know that they’re not stuck in their current position forever.
An employee wants to feel valued, and that person wants to think of their position in your company as a career rather than a job. To cultivate that level of long-term employee retention, the best thing that you can do is promote from within instead of going to an outside talent agency when your company has an upper-level opening. Consider establishing an official policy stating that you’ll always interview internal candidates first when opportunities for advancement are available. It’s a great way to keep your employees motivated and thinking about their prospects for the future.