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How to Sustain Your Business Amid a Labor Shortage

“How do I sustain my business amidst this labor shortage?” It’s the topic du jour. 

The ongoing issue of a staffing shortage in our current labor market continues to preoccupy the majority of employers these days. Regardless of what got us into this predicament, the obstacles during the pandemic and its continued financial impact persist. 

Employers aren’t looking for the cause, they’re looking for the solution.

Solving the labor shortage in a pandemic job market

Amid these uncertainties, businesses and organizations of varying size, across multiple industries, are all grappling for help – help from:

  • Economic vulnerability
  • Employee burnout
  • Unforeseen attrition
  • An unwillingness for workers to re-enter the labor market
  • Safety concerns, specifically around COVID-19 precautions
  • Increased operational costs to retain current employees

Given these current variables and challenges, there is no long-term simple answer or remedy. However, companies can consider a plan for the short term. It’s feasible for employers to consider: What are your critical labor needs over the next 30 to 60 days?

What employers need, right now

Here are a few focal points for companies to evaluate to strengthen their teams:

Set your company apart in a competitive market with innovation.

In a market where candidates have their “pick of the litter” when it comes to employers who are hiring, companies are seeing an increased desire and curiosity for what benefits employers are offering. That is why innovation will be key for companies to stand out from other competitors in attracting top talent.

Innovation could mean anything from establishing a hybrid or flexible work schedule, or it could be as simple as being more clear and simple when it comes to posting job descriptions – using keywords like “promotion,” “mentorship,” “development,” “WFH,” “flexibility,” etc.

Of course, it helps to be as specific as possible to the benefits your company offers. Being specific could mean the difference of 10 applicants versus 50 for a single position.

Provide more opportunities for current employees.

While grappling with a labor shortage, it’s important not only to stay ahead in the market and attract available talent, but also to continue to be attentive to your current employees and together, build a culture of trust.

Building a culture of trust takes continuous investment from management, but it pays off in retaining hardworking employees who feel valued in their organization. Here are a few resources companies can offer:

  • Creating advancement roles within the organization to develop a track for employees.
  • Building professional mentorship and development programs for employees.
  • Establishing a greater emphasis and frequency of employee recognition.
  • Building a culture of inclusion where employees have a voice and are encouraged to share their ideas to promote personal growth and learning.
“Divide and conquer” with your team.

If your company has higher turnover and labor is stretched thin, it’s the default that current employees start to take on more shared responsibilities.

The mistake many employers make is leaving increased shared responsibilities as the default. Your employees are already working hard. To give them more work, without any conversation around financial compensation, you’re almost certain to increase employee dissatisfaction, and eventually, increased turnover.

Paired with a discussion of financial compensation, employers can use this as an opportunity for professional growth and team building.

Taking on new responsibilities gives an employee the opportunity to try a role or project they wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to try. Additionally, shared responsibilities can unify employees and leadership, creating cohesion and trust between colleagues, and fostering a “together in the trenches” mentality.

Discover an employment solution in Versique

Overall, as an employer these days it is key to double your efforts around communication and consideration for your employees. Listening to their concerns, and asking for their respective input can contribute to long-term success as we eventually “come out the other side” of this shortage together, stronger.

Whether you’re an employer looking to attract top talent, or a candidate looking for your next role, our team at Versique can help you find your next solution. Contact Versique today.