Last week we mentioned some of the impacts related to the labor shortage and employee recruitment and retention challenges. With less-than-full staffing, employers pressed to maintain operational, production, and service demands are employing a variety of strategies to these ends. Our experience in helping deliver profitable business outcomes centers around comprehensive programs that develop and build sound engagement, recognition, and safety strategies.

During Covid and continuing through the post-pandemic environment, companies with sound strategies for engagement, recognition, and safety in place have been able to leverage those established programs to maintain positive business outcomes. If there is a positive takeaway from the past three years, it is that companies and organizations without such strategies have come to realize their importance and value.

The Retention Challenge

The continuing labor shortage presents many challenges, with recruitment and retention at the top of the list. One contributing factor to the retention problem is the additional burden placed on employees. As this article by Gallup’s Ryan Pendell points out, over half of employees say their organization has asked workers to take on additional responsibilities. These employees were polled during the first quarter of this year.

Almost half (48%) of employees reported that their organizations had undergone restructuring or reorganization because of less-than-full staffing. As employees are asked to do more with less, the risk of over-stress and burnout continues to mount. As Gallup’s survey shows, employees are:

  • 2.5 times as likely to feel burned out at work – very often or always
  • 55% more likely to seek a new job
  • 39% less likely to be engaged at work
  • half as likely to think their employer cares about their well-being.

With stress and overload come an increase in sick days, a decrease in engagement and buy-in, and the likelihood for departures.

The Recruitment Challenge

With recruitment challenging enough, attracting new employees to join an organization in this kind of disarray becomes even more so. This scenario has produced an environment in which employees have lost trust in leadership, and many see no end in sight. Pendell points out that when new responsibilities are structured carefully and communicated clearly, the result can be positive in terms of career development – when roles and responsibilities align individual talents with organizational needs.

The Safety Challenge

With fewer employees pressed to do more, and open positions being filled with inexperienced, younger, and/or temporary employees, the potential for injury is on the increase. The impact of increased stress, low engagement, employee burnout, and inexperienced employees contributes to a negative workplace culture. Consider a comprehensive strategy that includes engagement, recognition, and safety initiatives that can demonstrate your care and concern for employees. You’ll see an increased potential for positive business outcomes.

As Vice President of QIC, Jeff oversees daily operations as well as the company’s strategic marketing initiatives. He has 20+ years in the incentive and recognition industry with prior lengthy experience in retail marketing/advertising and consumer loyalty.

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