The U.S. economy has recently seen a period of sustained growth, even notching its best six-month stretch in decades. It has happened despite the economic headwinds created by the spate of hurricanes striking Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico. While businesses have plenty of reasons to rejoice about the positive news, there’s a potential storm brewing within the data.
Although growth has remained steady, the labor market has tightened along with it. The national unemployment rate reached 4.1% in November, which is close to the level that most economists consider an indicator of near-full employment. This data indicates that businesses will soon be facing fierce competition for workers in a number of industries.
A Changing Environment
The new economic reality means that businesses will have to pay more attention than ever to employee retention and talent acquisition. This is because it’s going to become more difficult than ever to recruit employees with the exact skills needed. Having the right talent in place and keeping them in this type of challenging hiring environment could determine the success or failure of an organization.
There are a number of strategies that businesses can employ to make sure that they keep their existing employees happy and find ways to stay ahead in the competition for new hires. The good news is that the steps that must be taken dovetail nicely on both fronts and can help to make any organization an attractive place to stay and work.
Know Your Employees
To make sure that your valued employees remain satisfied with their jobs, you have to find ways to keep them engaged. The first step in this process is to develop communication strategies that will let managers gauge the feelings of the employees under them. Creating a well-crafted employee satisfaction survey is an excellent way to solicit opinions from employees. Having a structured, formalized way for workers to inform management of their needs goes a long way to making them feel valued.
Turn Data Into Action
Once you have the information, though, it’s crucial to act upon it whenever practicable. Nothing could be more demoralizing than ignoring the request of employees that you’ve deliberately solicited. Take, for example, the information contained in the 2017 Microsoft Dynamics Salary Survey. It found that “27% of respondents were satisfied with their current job, with lack of progression opportunities cited as the main reason for dissatisfaction.” The response provides the exact remedy for the problem. In this case, creating a career development program will help to prevent talent from moving elsewhere.
Adjust Recruitment Tactics
Once an organization becomes responsive to its employees and creates a positive working environment, it’s time to use it as a recruitment tool. This means a top-down recruiting approach that highlights the attractiveness of coming to work for the company. If the common causes of job dissatisfaction have already been addressed, that’s a great selling point. Broadcast the message far and wide, and let your happy workforce represent the business to potential recruits.
Success Despite Adversity
Using the right strategies guarantees that any business can thrive despite an increasingly competitive job market. The best part is that adjusting to the needs and desires of existing and future employees will permanently strengthen the whole enterprise. Retention rates will go up, and it will become easier to lure top talent, no matter the environment. It’s a win-win situation that creates value on both sides of the equation and leads to a thriving, positive workforce.
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