Christian Business Owners: Do You Feel Leveraged By Your Employees?

May 10, 2022, Written by Sue Miley

small business employee retention

I for one am getting really tired of seeing all of the articles on my social media feeds about “the great resignation”, the increasing wage rates, and the lack of available talent for jobs.  What is worse is journalists giving advice to the professional workforce to leave their jobs for a buck, demand work from home because the employer has no choice or quit (without another job) and go find yourself, because we were stuck at home for a year or two.  

Those writing this garbage are hurting the workforce in our country, as much, if not more, than they are hurting the business owners and companies.

Have you ever heard of the term, what comes around goes around?  So, let’s say that people keep quitting jobs, driving up wages (more than normal inflation), try to jump into something else to find their purpose, and… one day in the not-so-distant future:

  • Businesses perform poorly because of lack of staff and end up shutting down or putting on a hiring freeze because the demand for their product and services is lower.  (Does this help anyone?)
  • Businesses have worse financial performance because of escalating payroll, and shut down or look for other ways to cut corners, because they can’t afford 20%-30% increases in payroll.  (Does this help anyone?)
  • When employers get the upper hand again (what comes around, goes around) and now they see a bunch of job hopping on peoples resumes and decide they would prefer loyal, strong performers that don’t leave on a whim.  (Does this help anyone?)
  • Employees realize that the grass isn’t greener and wish they had their old job and old career back.  It really was their calling after all.  (Does this help anyone?)

Personally, I don’t think that employers should treat their teams poorly.  

At the same time, I don’t think employees should leverage their employers just because they can.

What Do Business Owners Do In The War on Talent?

As Christian business owners what do we do?  We need qualified staff.  Everyone is hiring.  How can we pay more, allow employees to work less, create environments that lean towards distance not unity, and still provide great products and services to our customers?  

Journalists are fanning the flames to an unhealthy end to all who are involved.

We have to be practical though.  Practical and have faith.

Business Owners Should Do The Right Thing Regardless

God tells us to treat others as we want to be treated.  Keep this at the forefront. Here are my thoughts on the stance business owners should take:

  • We should look at the pay across all roles in our business.  We need to be fair.  We need internal equity.   Even if we can’t always afford the current higher wages to get new people, we still should try to be as competitive as possible.  We don’t want to lose our loyal employees.  Be creative with incentives, benefits, and pay to make your organization attractive and to reward loyal employees.
  • We should evaluate work-from-home and remote options if possible, and set-up policies that can work for our organization.  If the world is moving more remote, then we have to be able to keep and attract talent.  Obviously, some positions cannot work from home, but if it is possible, try to think creatively on how you can incorporate it into your company effectively.  Everything doesn’t have to be all or nothing.
  • Don’t begrudge the changes you make.  It won’t help the team morale, engagement, or performance if you add bonuses and work from home options, but you’re mad about it, and everyone knows it.
  • Be clear and communicate effectively and frequently about policy changes and expectations.  Many times we get frustrated on how something is being played out, but never take the time to communicate, and don’t understand why things aren’t improving.  If we never say anything, our team may think all is okay.  Meanwhile, we are about to blow a fuse.

Maintaining A Strong Team Will Maintain and Grow Your Business

You may be thinking, “how am I going to take this advice without going broke or hurting our service?”

Even though I have not been on the cutting edge in embracing remote work, and certainly need to manage budgets, I believe that these suggestions are still the wisest direction to take.  The outcome for our businesses and team will hopefully be:

  • Retaining our teams better than other companies.  Which means avoiding recruiting costs and cost of training new hires.
  • Hopefully building stronger ties with our team as we want to help meet their needs and meet the needs of the business.  Hopefully we grow our relationships to be one of mutual respect and consideration.  Our team will see we are trying.
  • We will be able to attract new talent to our team when needed, hopefully for growth purposes.

Over the past 18 months, I have heard of businesses closing for more days because they can’t staff a full week.  Closing their doors permanently.  Having terrible service, response time, etc. because of staffing issues and supply chain issues. (Many supply chain issues are our vendors and manufacturers having staffing shortages.  It’s circular.)

Our expenses may go up, but if our service remains strong and our quality stays at the top, we will continue to grow and beat out our competition.  We will be able to afford the higher costs.  We can adjust our prices too because our competitors are raising prices.  But we are keeping our commitment to the client.  Not lowering service, lowering quality, and raising prices.

As business owners, we need to do the right thing for our team and pray that God will direct our paths through these transitions.  We need to be open about what we can do and what we can’t do and why.  We need to be upfront about our expectations.  And we need to keep our team focused on delivering quality, timely, goods and services to our customers.  Many companies are not doing this.  Service is at a new low.

This is an opportunity to grow market share, and create a challenging, fun culture that attracts the best talent around.

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Sue Miley

Sue Miley MBA, MA, LPC helps small business owners build successful businesses on a foundation of Christian values. After 20 years in business, and 10 years as a Christian counselor, Sue uses a combination of faith, business and psychology to help clients in business and in life.

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