This may be the most challenging time in recent history to build a high-performing team and vibrant talent culture. The information shared in the news is conflicting to say the least. Headlines appear daily:
When Everyone’s Quitting….Except You.
Unemployment is at Record Highs.
Businesses Can’t Reopen, They Have No Staff.
The reality of the job market is this:
- Pay rates have been driven up for all positions.
- As companies create strategic growth plans, new positions are opening up.
- Fewer applicants are applying for jobs at all levels.
- To recruit talent that is currently employed it requires more money and more benefits for them to make a change.
The bottom-line is that talent is more expensive and harder to find. And to make matters worse, small businesses are in reactive mode.
They are throwing more money at current staff as individuals threaten to leave. They are compromising on benefits and other non-tangible items such as work from home, operating hours, etc., which is creating inequity within the company.
And the competitive market has driven up salaries and benefits to replace or add new team members.
The result…..internal inequity.
Now you have new employees with higher salaries than seasoned employees. You have an employee who threatens to leave getting perks in order to keep them, that you don’t want to spread to the whole organization.
If you could easily replace someone, you wouldn’t feel leveraged, but that just isn’t the situation right now. Especially with technical positions that require significant training to have a person really add value to the team.
As a small business owner, do you feel stuck?
As a small business owner myself, and a business coach who talks to small business owners as my job, I know that the key is to move from reactive to proactive.
Small Businesses Must Stay Proactive in Organizational Development
Not just for a season. Forever.
The key is to become proactive in all areas of developing a strong team.
You can’t just pay well.
You can’t just provide professional development.
You can’t just have good benefits.
You can’t just have a healthy, employee-centric culture.
You can’t just have challenging work and interesting projects.
You can’t just provide strong mentoring and feedback.
You can’t just have a few extra perks specific to your organization.
You can’t just be always recruiting.
You can’t just higher greater experience and talent.
We have to do it all to some extent. We have to step back and create our own internal organizational development strategies that work together to make a whole talent culture for our business. If we aren’t proactive, it will happen by default, and you may not like the result.
I believe we all need our own individual company culture and the combination of many of these elements will help make your company stand out to the people that will fit with your company.
We all want a dream team, but will we commit to creating a culture attractive enough to attract our dream team?
To Attract and Retain Strong, Talented, Candidates, We Must Commit to an Employee-centric Culture
What does it take?
- Consistently researching competitive pay for specific jobs and skill levels. We can’t do this every 5 or 10 years. Especially in such a changing social, political, and economic landscape.
- Pay your current team competitively. By definition, if you can’t hire a new employee for what a current employee is making, the competitive rate for the job has increased. You need to know this and take care of your current employees, or you will lose them. This will impact your business in so many ways:
- Increased recruiting costs.
- Loss of company experience and knowledge.
- Forced to pay competitive rate anyway to replace position.
- Create the internal inequity we are trying to avoid.
- Risk a bad hire or longer training time than anticipated.
- Invest in the professional development of your team. This should occur across the board. If it only happens when someone asks or if someone is lacking in an area, the most talented may get ignored. These are the people who probably value the training opportunities the most.
- Always be networking with professionals or staff that you may need in the future. This could be in professional organizations, on social media, or even internally developing a talent referral program. When we are short of staff it hurts small companies even more. Losing one person could be anywhere from 20%-100% of a department or job type. When we have a hole, the rest of the team either has to pick-up the extra work, or lose you as a leader, as you are filling in the hole.
- Stay focused on growth and strategic plans. Most strong talent is looking for challenges, opportunities, and growth themselves. If your company is static, there are no opportunities. You hear commonly in interviews that a candidate is looking because there is nowhere else to go in their current employment. You want to provide more than just a step up. True talent wants a path.
- Create a 5–year organizational plan. Where do you expect the company to be in 5 years? What organization will be required to support the 5-year-from-now company? If you are growing and have a strategic vision for your business, new positions and career paths will evolve. Showing this to employees so that they see the opportunity and choose a career path, will help to put together the most impactful professional development plans for your team.
- Create development plans and work with your team to execute them. All of the planning in the world doesn’t matter if you don’t execute the plans. Incorporate each employee’s development into their performance expectations. The employees development helps them, and the company. A win-win.
How Does Creating a Strong, Vibrant, Talent Culture Benefit Your Business?
You may be thinking that all of this just looks expensive and time-consuming. What is in it for the company and business owner? A lot actually.
- Time focused on the business, not dealing with turnover, training, and holes.
- More experience in the team as retention kicks in. Better company performance from a tenured, satisfied team.
- New opportunities to expand services and/or products from the new knowledge and development of your team. This means revenue and growth.
- Happy customers/clients.
Plus……significantly less stress!
Yes, it may cost you more in the short-run. It is the cost of getting unstuck. It is the cost of lower stress. It is the cost of achieving growth and vision.
Actually, it isn’t a cost at all.
It is an investment.
An investment in your most valuable asset.
Your team and culture.