Competition is fierce when it comes to finding and keeping good employees. But studies suggest that it isn’t expensive incentives that keep the best workers on the job.
Young but not restless
It’s a common misconception that the only “good” workers are those motivated by major responsibilities, such as a mortgage and having a family to feed. However, there’s plenty of evidence that younger employees are the way to go, at least for entry level positions that offer the opportunity for growth. In a recent New Hampshire Business for Social Responsibility conference, Sheila Oranch from Coppertoppe Inn & Retreat Center presented an argument in favor of targeting teenagers . Her company, she explains, has been hiring young workers for nearly a decade and have enjoyed numerous benefits such as low turnover ratios and less money spent on training. Listing available jobs through your local high school or vocational college is a good place to start.
Of course you should offer training
35% of millennials cite training and professional development programs as one of the top benefits they seek when looking for a new job. By offering your employees the opportunity to refine their skills, you are investing in your business’s bottom line. Training doesn’t have to break the budget to be effective either. There are a number of free programs offered through the General Services Administration , the National Institute of Justice, and other official agencies. Paid online courses are another option for tech-savvy workers. Udemy, an educational provider recommended by Time Magazine , provides self-paced programs on everything from architecture to software development. Prices range from $10 to several hundred, but Udemy runs specials often.
From books to breakfast
If you want to keep your workers happy, you’ll need to look further out than payday. Offer unique benefits that your staff simply can’t get anywhere else. Doughnuts every Friday, a free lending library, and access to on-site fitness equipment are just a few examples of unique job perks that can keep your best workers loyal for the long run. Money is, of course, a major motivator but employees need a company culture that fosters work/life balance, which brings us to…
Being flexible isn’t a stretch
In today’s fast-paced world, a flexible schedule is one of the most valuable benefits you can offer your employees. Information technology professionals are especially interested in having the ability to work remotely. Technical tasks such as software development and database administration require a level of concentration difficult to achieve in the hustle and bustle of a busy office . The Bureau of Labor Statistics has published numerous studies relating to flexible work schedules. You can find links to many of them here .
A fair trade
As an employer, it’s ultimately up to you to decide which benefits you want to offer and to weigh the pros and cons of providing these benefits. You can reduce your potential risk of losing an employee of whom you’ve just invested by crafting work agreements. For example, you can require employees receiving educational assistance to work for you for a set number of years after receiving a degree or repay the cost of their education.
Virtually all industries continue to struggle to attract and retain top talent. Depending on the nature of your business, it may be pertinent to seek specific types of employees. HomeAdvisor, for instance, recommends hiring millennials for construction work . This generation is often cited for growing up in a tech-centric society, which makes them perfect for understanding the subtle nuances of architecture, including blueprints and measurements.
However you elect to lure long-term labor, remember that treating your employees with respect is perhaps the biggest benefit you can offer. A happy staff goes a long way with customers and is one of the most effective tools to grow your business.