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By now, we all know the ongoing labor crisis intimately, either because of the constant media coverage or because you or your business are feeling the effects firsthand. No industry is immune to scarcity – employees and job seekers from all walks of life have forsaken job opportunities due to burnout, low wages, overwork and underwork. estimation, or simply the desire to change careers.
But in a high productivity, high stress line of work like digital marketing, losing one or more employees can mean missed deadlines and unhappy customers. An agency environment is not an environment where just anyone can walk through the door and excel. Once you’ve managed to build a competent and effective team, it’s in your best interest to keep them intact.
The labor shortage is not welcome here. So here’s how I avoided it.
Be generous with your staff
My agency has been working virtually for 18 months, since the start of the pandemic in March 2020. While this was not the ideal work situation and resulted in various communication errors that would not have occurred in the office, it was was the best decision we could have made.
Being generous, allowing your team to work the way they work best, and eliminating the rigid structure of nine-to-five offices has been a key factor in employee retention. If you meet people where they are, they will usually meet you too.
At the end of the day, I want a job done right and on time. How it works is up to my employee. If they need help or resources, they ask, but for the most part I count on them to be self-sufficient because they are all adults. The era of desktops working (at least a few days a week) from the comfort of their living room is on the horizon. So really, getting your team used to working virtually is more than just a good practice for keeping your employees around; it’s helping your business adapt to the future.
However, being generous and understanding is not the same as lowering your standards. Communicate carefully and often that you always expect the same quality of work no matter where your staff is.
Related: How SMEs Can Attract Talent in a Squeezed Labor Market
Play on the strengths of your employee
Labor shortage or not, these are just great tips for keeping talented, hardworking, and committed employees on your team.
People want to focus on the tasks they love and feel they are good at. Yes, a little challenge is usually needed to keep even the best of your staff on their toes and help them avoid becoming overly complacent in their abilities. But if the job seems difficult, or if they don’t feel like they are appreciated enough for a job well done, your valued employees will start looking for a job that will give them that.
Here is what I recommend: First, always be available to be a mentor. Your employees will feel taken care of and you will be able to train them to perform the tasks the way you want them to. Second, write down the areas your team members are good at and what they want to learn in the future and assign roles accordingly.
As long as the other factors are respected (i.e. the work environment is not toxic and they are paid fairly), they will stay.
Related: Workers ‘Raging’ Quit Jobs in Tightening Labor Market
An easy way to avoid losing talent is to always have new potential talent in your favorites.
Always have jobs posted on LinkedIn, Indeed, and ZipRecruiter. Always take the time to look at the applications and portfolios sent to you, even if you aren’t looking to hire the candidate right away. The point of this is not to assume that your employees are going to quit soon or to say “go ahead and walk, there are a million people who want this job!” No, the point is, whatever the circumstances, sooner or later a place will open up in your business.
It’s also possible that the need for a whole new role will become necessary, and one of the nets you’ve cast with your job postings may attract the right person. For example, I used to think that having an administrative assistant was the same as having a secretary – not necessary, as I could distribute these tasks among existing team members who had the bandwidth to manage them.
I was absolutely wrong. Bringing in a new hire to research potential projects and lead important tasks that were neglected has eased a huge burden on the business. Tackling the workforce shortage isn’t just about keeping your employees or finding new ones – a bigger, more sustainable solution is to identify why employees leave in the first place and eliminate those issues. .
The reason so many companies are suffering from the workforce is that they treat their workers like garbage and offer unattractive wages and benefits. It’s hard, but true. At some point the rotation ends and there will be no one left in line for the role you are trying to fill.
When you treat your employees like they are consumable and your business doesn’t look attractive, you turn away good employees and limit the pool of people you can replace them with. So if you are lacking in talent, ask yourself if maybe the reason is in you.
Related: Labor shortage? Depends on who you ask.