Ways Your Company Can Remain Fully Staffed In A Tight Labor Market

Part I – Increasing Wages

Right now, in the United States, there are more jobs available than there are people out of work. Let that sink in. Every open position in the U.S. has less than one unemployed person waiting to fill it. And that doesn’t mean that each of these 0.9 persons is qualified for one of the open positions. Finally, as if more bad news for employers was necessary, quits (an employee willingly quitting a job) are trending upward as workers look for better situations and better pay.

As the U.S. economy rebounds new jobs are being created every month. While this eventually will translate into an economic benefit for most Americans (wages have stubbornly remained stagnant), employers have begun having difficulty filling open positions. Open positions can hamper a company’s ability to grow, to compete, and to remain at the top of its game.

As a business owner or manager you may be seeing business opportunities sprout during this resurgent economy, but because you have so many open positions you’re not able to capitalize on them. Dealing with this issue is going to take creativity, resolve, and yes, some money. You do want to do what it takes to remain competitive and be positioned to take advantage of business opportunities, right? Well then read on!

First, increase wages- if you haven’t done this yet, what are you waiting for? Americans are quitting jobs at the highest rate in living memory, and the primary reason they are quitting is pay. Increasing wages is a first act, but not the final act, in keeping your people. It should not be done in a broad brush approach, either. Sure, do a little research and compare what your company is paying compared to your competitors, and ensure that your rates are comparable. This basic tactic will help ensure that your company is on an equal footing for the majority of workers. Remember, “if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys”.

Take it to the next level, however, by targeting your MVPs (“most valued peeps”) with real financial appreciation. You know which employees we’re talking about: those people who show up to work on time every day with a positive attitude, need little to no supervision, end up being the ones who train new employees, and basically are the core group upon which you rely to keep your business afloat. Ensure that what you’re paying these folks is a “living wage”. What is a living wage? The simplified answer is; can they afford the mortgage for an average home appropriate to their domestic situation in your geographic region? If not, they will be vulnerable to being poached by your competitors. Your MVPs should be able to live a lifestyle free from poverty or financial instability.  You count on them to provide stability for your company, giving them financial stability in return is a sound investment.

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