Article: How to overcome labour shortage: Elevating employee value and celebrating milestones

Employee Engagement

How to overcome labour shortage: Elevating employee value and celebrating milestones

The labour shortage has spared few industries and threatens economic recovery – but it also makes every worker more valuable.
How to overcome labour shortage: Elevating employee value and celebrating milestones

Job openings are on the rise, which means competition for top talent remains at an all-time high. Recent data shows 8.8 million job openings in the country but only 6.3 million unemployed workers. If every job seeker found their desired job tomorrow, there would still be millions of vacancies.

The labour shortage has spared few industries and threatens economic recovery – but it also makes every worker more valuable.

For businesses that need to keep seats occupied, investing in employees' well-being and recognizing their achievements is no longer an option but imperative because creating a positive and engaging workplace culture is a primary helper in worker retention efforts. Finding a way to retain employees is essential since more available jobs mean more opportunities for employees to leave in search of new opportunities.

READ MORE | Reimagining employee well-being

Understanding worker turnover is an essential first step for any HR team that wants to reverse this trend. So, with this in mind, what are some of the most common causes of turnover that companies sometimes overlook?

Lack of recognition. Failing to recognize employee achievements and celebrate successes will make employees feel undervalued and disconnected in today’s hybrid workplace. Research shows that companies with established workforce recognition programs experience a substantial 31% reduction in voluntary turnover compared to those lacking such initiatives. A recent poll of our customers unveiled that 98 percent of people would be happier if they were celebrated at work. 

Impact of company culture on employee loyalty. Employees today quickly discern a toxic company culture, and their loyalty falters when employers fail to address these issues, as organizational culture significantly underpins the employee experience.

The crucial role of managers and leadership. Managers set the tone and wield substantial influence over overall workplace engagement, serving as the primary drivers of workplace culture in today's professional landscape. For a business to thrive, it hinges on every team member's trust in the leadership team and sense of value, as employees will otherwise seek opportunities elsewhere. If leaders don’t lead with gratitude, employees often depart.

Boosting morale. Keeping morale high has become more complex than it was back in the day of office pizza parties. With teams operating in far-flung locations, finding new ways to show appreciation—and to do so in a genuine way—has become imperative.

Below are several recommendations that any HR team can implement: 

Consistent feedback and recognition: Establish a culture of constant feedback through regularly scheduled performance reviews. Use these to recognize achievements and offer constructive feedback for improvement. 

Milestone celebrations: Recognize work anniversaries, promotions, completed projects, and other milestones with personalized celebrations, certificates, or tokens of appreciation.

Regular check-ins: Conduct regular one-on-one check-ins between managers and employees to discuss progress, challenges, and growth opportunities. Use these check-ins to address concerns, provide feedback, and align with organizational objectives.

Open communication and employee involvement: Encourage an open-door policy where employees feel comfortable sharing their ideas, concerns, and feedback. Involve employees in decision-making processes related to their roles, projects, and company initiatives.

Tools in place: Today’s workforce and generations forward have completely grown up in the digital age. They have higher expectations for easy-to-use tools. They expect leadership to select and implement good technology that connects employees, drives a sense of belonging, encourages appreciation and a strong well-being. 

READ MORE | Pay raises and salary trends for 2024: What you need to know

While salary and benefits always wield tremendous influence in recruiting and retaining top talent, recognition and appreciation demonstrate that the organization values its employees. This recognition is what today’s employees demand. 

Engaged employees are more committed to their work and less likely to seek opportunities elsewhere. When employees feel appreciated, they also tend to develop a sense of loyalty to the organization, encouraging them to stay longer term, thus reducing turnover and mitigating the effects of labor shortages.  

You may already be engaging and appreciating the employees who help your business run, but you could likely be doing more. And with the talent competition as fierce as it’s been for years, you should be.

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Topics: Employee Engagement, Culture

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