State of the Workforce – Status & Actions for TODAY

The method of “do more with less” is running rampant in the workplace today as more and more positions are open, applicants are few, and turnover is at an all-time high. Executives and employees alike are all banding together and going to the front-line to tackle responsibilities that used to be shared amongst many people instead of only a few. Why is the participating labor force continuing to dwindle so drastically, and what in the world can you, as leaders in your organizations, do about it? Workforce thought leader, Cara Silletto, MBA, CSP, offered some insights in her most recent webinar, State of the Workforce: Status & Actions for TODAY. (Watch the webinar here!)

The state of today’s workforce is not solely the result of stimulus checks and people choosing to stay at home rather than work. The shortages we’re facing are more complex than that.

  • 3 million women left the workforce last year
  • 2 million Boomers retired earlier than expected
  • Covid-19 and policy changes minimized immigration
  • 3% of the entire workforce quit their jobs in August 2021
  • Child Tax Credits are producing higher volume of call-offs around the 15th of each month

Now is the time to get back to the fundamentals of good leadership and get innovative with how to put them in action. Here are some suggestions that you can do today to be an even more effective leader and work to retain the employees you do still have on board.

1. Show that you care. (And actually care!)

It’s understandable – you may be jaded from all the quick turnover and the copious amounts of calls off. But take a moment to reset, take a breath and remember, we must care about our people if we have any chance of keeping them – especially now. Dig deep, find gratitude, and show appreciation to those people who are in fact showing up and doing their job. Are there simple ways you can lighten their load? Childcare? Work from home options? Oil change discounts? Care about what your people care about and they will care about what you care about. And remember, you won’t know what they care about if you don’t schedule time to check in!

2. Offer competitive wages.

Your competitor down the street could be offering their employees higher compensation. The truth is that we may have to increase wages to accommodate labor costs at the expense of profit margins. Keep in mind too, that in recent years, the small average wage increases (3%) are not even meeting a cost-of-living adjustment… so really, they’re not a raise. If this is true, then employees literally can’t stay in their organization life-long and ever get ahead financially.

Now is the time to be innovative and consider new revenue streams. What are some potential opportunities for additional revenue that are not traditional? Memberships? Partnerships? Is there some building space you could put up for lease? On the other hand, could you save revenue long-term by investing in more efficient software or technology? Desperate times call for innovativemeasures.

3. Keep training leaders.

Don’t make the same mistake of cutting training from your budget and priorities as many did in the last recession. Good management is the key to retaining the talent you can’t afford to lose. Because time and money are tight, you might need to get innovative here too. Consider including training and mentoring into existing meetings. A few minutes here and there with quality content, like micro-learning videos and discussion questions, will add up and go a long way in the end.

No doubt, you are juggling more now than you thought you would when you took your position initially. Maybe even these suggestions feel like added burdens to your plate. Magnet Culture’s advice is to get innovative. Sometimes small changes can bring about big changes in the long run, and an idea outside the box may be just the tool you need to get to next quarter with the people you’ve got today.

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