Expert Offers Tips for Retaining Workers During Labor Shortage

by WOHe

Expert Offers Tips for Retaining Workers During Labor
Shortage

While the prospect of spending years trying to hire skilled
workers during a labor shortage may not appeal to most employers,
the task can be made easier by developing strong personnel
practices. So says Linda Leigh Francis, who presented a seminar at
this year’s Kitchen/ Bath Industry Show in Chicago based on her
book, Run Your Business So It Doesn’t Run You.

Although experts estimate that the growing demand for skilled
workers will exceed the number of new people coming into the trades
by two to one, Francis notes that certain personnel practices such
as offering clear and accurate job descriptions, competitive wages
tied to skill levels and honest appreciation of an employee’s work
can benefit employers in their search.

Other key strategies include:

  • Keep who you have: Run a company that values
    its people, one in which the employees know it. Make sure that the
    company meets more than the financial needs of its employees. They
    also need to share the company’s missions and goals. If you are
    only keeping people with money, there will always be a higher
    bidder. Go beyond the dollar and meet the other needs of your
    employees.
     
  • Grow your own: You can teach someone to learn
    a skill, but you can’t teach them to be nice. When hiring, keep in
    mind the attributes that the company needs in an employee. You also
    should offer people a career path within your organization, both in
    terms of new skills and increased wages.
     
  • Attract people from other companies: Use your
    reputation to attract reliable employees. If your company is known
    for being a great place to work, the word spreads. The building
    industry is small, and workers talk. They know which companies are
    worth working for, and which ones are not. Good workers want to
    work for good companies. So, when you advertise for employees, make
    sure the word on the street about you encourages people to
    apply.
     
  • Seek non-traditional workers: Hire unskilled
    workers who need training, and then make the investment to train
    them. This could include training in English as a second language,
    or in a technical area. This will help to create good and loyal
    employees. Word travels fast, and your employees will be great
    recruiters for you. Make skills training a requirement of ongoing
    employment.
     
    Finally, Francis notes, for long-term solutions, you, your trade
    associations, local schools and politicians should put time, money
    and effort into training programs to ensure the production of
    qualified, skilled workers..

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