What it takes to attract and keep great employees
How does a printing company find and keep great employees? Meet them where they are — who are currently feeling burnt out, financially unstable, and overwhelmed — and offer solutions that make choosing your company the best decision for their career.
The PRINTING United Alliance research team’s “State of the Industry” report predicted that business will grow in 2022. Yet print service providers (PSPs) are feeling the stress of being constantly under- workforce, which affects production times and deliverables. Meanwhile, potential workers are taking advantage of a shift in the labor market that offers them the opportunity to be selective in where they work. The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified changes in worker expectations and reinforced the importance of prioritizing family over work.
The number of workers making up the future workforce is shrinking, which will exacerbate recruitment difficulties. According to the US Census, the number of children born has decreased every year since 2008 except for one year. Additionally, the Pew Research Center reports that the number of immigrants entering the United States is falling, further tightening the labor market.
PSPs that successfully recruit and retain adapt to the changing priorities of the modern workforce. The shift in work preferences is not new, having confounded employers since millennials entered the workforce more than two decades ago with a new set of employer expectations around job satisfaction. work and work-life balance.
The change continued with Gen Z, which started entering the workforce about five years ago. This new generation of workers has demonstrated an intolerance of inhospitable and dangerous work environments. And notably, Generation Z currently comprises 27% of the American population. It is essential that companies adapt and create workplaces where Gen Z wants to spend their time.
Consider family responsibilities
The expectation that employees will unfortunately skip the work week just to get to the weekend is as much a relic as the three-martini lunch. The old paradigm that a stay-at-home parent (usually a mom) covers the three “Cs” of babysitting, cooking, and cleaning is also a relic. A quarter of underage children in the United States live in single-parent homes, up threefold from 1960, when many executives entered the world.
And in two-parent households, both parents work in 64% of them. The composition of the modern family makes planning extremely important. Additionally, allowing employees time off from work for smaller periods to cover school activities, doctor’s appointments, and other parental responsibilities has become more necessary than in the past.
In a recent survey conducted by a major child care provider, nearly half of working parents said they were at their breaking point to balance family and work responsibilities. Creating a welcoming work environment for working parents would be a starting point for both recruitment and retention. The importance of flexibility around childcare issues, if not providing childcare services, is worth considering.
Even if potential employees do not have children, future plans to have children may affect a potential employee’s current choice of employers. In addition, the adaptation of the workplace to childcare issues demonstrates that the company’s management takes an employee-centric approach to the work environment.
Create a supportive work environment
The most important way to retain existing employees is to identify toxic people in your company and either fire them or eliminate them for toxicity. Training is particularly important for managers who need to master the “soft” skills of interpersonal communication and demonstrate empathy. A recent Revelio Labs study, published by the MIT Sloan Management Review, looked at 38 industries and determined that toxic culture was the top reason people quit their jobs.
This bolsters an earlier Gallup study from 2019, which found that 52% of employees who voluntarily quit said there was something their organization could have done to prevent them from leaving their job. Better managers will mean happier employees, less turnover and a reputation as a great place to work.
The cost of training will be offset by reduced employee replacement costs, not to mention the potential liability associated with lawsuits that may arise from untrained managers unwittingly violating employment laws. The cost of replacing an employee can range from half to more than double an employee’s annual salary. Using this formula, the cost for a company with 100 employees that has an annual turnover rate of 10% and an average salary of $50,000 will be $250,000 per year to replace departing workers.
Celebrate current employees
Companies that make the effort to recognize the hard work and milestones of their employees help counter any toxicity in the workplace. Employee recognition sends a meaningful message to current employees that they are seen, valued and appreciated for their work. This will boost morale, help with retention, and create engagement.
An effective recognition program can also inspire people to excel in their jobs and be recognized. These programs also send a message to potential employees that the company is a great place to work. Create an employee recognition program that provides meaningful recognition with desirable rewards for ambitious, yet achievable goals.
Offer competitive salaries and better benefits
An employee’s desire for higher pay and better benefits has not changed, but changing power dynamics in the employer-employee relationship are putting pressure on employers to be more sensitive to these issues. Taking on these extra expenses can seem impossible in the midst of a broken supply chain and paying more for paper and substrates.
But the financial instability created by the pandemic and the resulting increase in the costs of groceries, cars, fuel, medicine and other goods and services have placed significant financial pressure on the working class. Find a way to pay at least as much as companies in your area competing for the same workers.
When salaries are competitive, benefits can make a difference and encourage potential employees to choose your company over competitors. Offer excellent health insurance. If you choose a high-deductible plan, deposit money into each employee’s health savings account each year.
Offer generous retirement account contributions. When the stock market came alive during the pandemic, only people who had enough money to have investment accounts benefited. Help employees plan for their future when they otherwise couldn’t afford to pay the equivalent payroll deductions. Generations that reject the grind also reject the idea of working until their senior years.
Long-term success matters most
The effort to redo your work environment will pay dividends long into the future. Recruitment will improve as word spreads about your company’s excellent work environment. Retention will improve because employees will feel important, which will make them happy and retain them.
For a long time, employers had a “plug-and-play” method of bringing in workers who didn’t conform to existing company schedules or who didn’t seem to enjoy the work environment. As the competition for potential employees increases, a much more considered approach will be the only way to create long-term success in recruiting and retaining existing employees.