Face it – we are all struggling. Talk to any CEO or business owner today, and they will share that business is good, in some cases booming. They have the customers, they can deliver the sales, but finding the talent to fill the orders is where the challenge continues to lie.
So why can’t you find the talent, and what is driving the labor shortage?
It is a strong mix of events in perfect timing that have created the perfect storm; we have the Great Resignation in full swing, boomers running towards the door of retirement, a declining birth rate, and more young people opting out of traditional jobs just to get us started.
Add to that the years of lack of investment in trade schools, the encouragement that everyone needs to go to college, and everyone must have a four-year degree, rising government subsidies, and oh yes, Covid 19. You can see why these events created that perfect storm.
Nevertheless, it may be the greatest labor shortage we have seen in decades, but if you own a business or lead an organization, you still have to solve the problem. You still have to figure out how to find, attract, retain and develop the talent you need to serve your customers and grow your business.
And in today’s marketplace, if you want to attract and retain talent, then you need to begin by understanding today’s talent. Everyone seems to think it is a generational issue, like something is wrong with this younger generation.
While I will admit that every generation has its challenges, the truth is we have been complaining about the younger generation since the age of Socrates. So, your issues with attracting and retaining talent are not generational. Remember, this labor shortage is happening partly because retirees are getting out, many are leaving the workforce sooner than expected, and people of all ages are voluntarily leaving their jobs, not just young people.
Understanding this labor shortage
You need to put strategies in place to solve your challenges; it comes down to understanding what today’s employees are looking for. Think about it, more than 4.5 million people left their jobs in November not to go home and sit on their couch; they left because they believed there was something better. In other words, those employees left looking for something more.
A place where they feel like they can make a difference, where they feel valued, and where they feel they have a future. Start there, begin with solving those problems for employees, and you will be well on your way to winning this war on talent.
Older people leave the workforce because they don’t feel valued or important anymore, younger people leave because they don’t see a future for themselves, and those that stay on the job never really engage because they don’t feel they are making a difference or that what they are doing is important.
As a leader, the good news is that you have the power to solve all of that with one simple strategy.
The One Strategy You Need to Attract, Retain the Employees You Need
That one simple strategy is feedback. That is right – simply feedback! You ask your employees every single day to invest in your company, but you need to be asking yourself as a leader if you are investing in your employees.
Feedback does not have to be complicated, overly involved, or even done in a formal setting. Just by simply giving those that are working for your input and ideas on what they are doing well, how what they are doing (specifically) is making a difference, an area or two where they can improve tells employees you care, that they matter, and that their contributions make an impact.
According to WEEKDONE, employees who consistently and routinely receive quality feedback stay two times longer on the job. More than 86% of employees consider feedback to determine whether they are successful. Check out the survey here – the impact of feedback on employee engagement and retention is powerful.
So, what are you waiting for? Create a culture where feedback is the norm, an everyday occurrence. Remember, if you invest in your employees, they will invest in you, and you can win this war on talent.