Despite all the disruptions employers face from supply chain to economic swings, recruiting, hiring, training and developing staff still tops the list for many. Why? Because the workforce itself has changed. The burgeoning population of millennials and Gen Z workers are both the current and future workforce. If we are not speaking to them in terms that resonate, appeal and delight them, we are losing our potential staffing base.
What will it take to get them on board and keep them engaged? According to a blog from Benchmarkone.com, millennials want:
- A company with a clear, socially responsible mission
- A collaborative and innovative culture
- A management team committed to employee success
- A flexible schedule and remote work opportunities
- Healthy work-life integration
While you may not always be able to check all five of the above boxes, making a proactive effort to include as many of them as you can, will pay off in the long game.
The changing face of the workforce has implications for workplaces of all levels. For example, employees at Revamp Engineering were surveyed and 99% rated their employer as a best place to work – compared to an average U.S company employee ranking of just 57%. (a global survey conducted by greatplacestowork.com revealed that an important contributor to worker satisfaction was providing employees with opportunities for development; this resulted in 100% reporting the following:
- Management hires people who fit in well here.
- Management is honest and ethical in its business practices.
- Our facilities contribute to a good working environment.
- People avoid politicking and backstabbing as ways to get things done.
- When I look at what we accomplish, I feel a sense of pride.
How would your staff rate your company on the above items?
Often, it comes down to treating your people as individuals and understanding what motivates and excites each of them. Sometimes the smallest things matter. Acknowledging their dedication, the quality of their work product, their learning and growth is just the beginning. Take the time to learn who they are. Find common ground. Perhaps that early quitting time on Friday so they can attend their child’s ballgame or dance recital means a great deal to them. At the same time, take the time to let them know who you are as a person as well as a boss. When they learn that you also adopted a shelter pet, they just may raise their opinion of you—and be more inclined to give that extra effort.
Have you truly made the effort to assess your company culture? Does it need to change — and most importantly, does it align with both your own values and those of your workforce?
Examine everything. how you treat employees, how they treat one another and how they treat your customers. Do you ask your customers to rate you on your performance? At Exothermic Molding we solicit customer feedback regularly through customer satisfaction surveys. Our “report card” tells us how they see us in terms of our responsiveness, our professionalism and our work product. Excellent customer ratings can actually help you to recruit employees. They speak to your company’s commitment to both its quality of work and to how it values people. If your company values its customers, it stands to reason that it will likely value its workforce as well.
Feedback is paramount. Consider asking your staff to rate your company’s performance as well. Encourage an open forum for dialog to learn what is on their minds. They may not only tell you how to satisfy them better, but also how to improve your processes. Look at your physical plant to determine whether it needs refreshing. We modernized our shop floor with better lighting and windows, as well as an improved HVAC system. Comfortable, safe employees perform better.
Once all of the programs have been tuned and the physical plant made the best it can be move forward with the most important element of making for a great workplace – treat employees with respect.