If you’re among the 64% of 2018 MHI Annual Industry Report respondents who said hiring qualified workers is a top operational challenge, now is the time for employers like yourself to completely rethink present business models, says leading authority on workplace culture Eric Chester.
An author who has spent more than 20 years researching and writing about employee engagement and the workplace desires of the emerging generations, Chester shared insights about creating an engaging workplace culture in a Q&A article featured in the second quarter issue of MHI Solutions magazine, “Hiring and Retention: Why Workplace Culture is Key.”
The following is his answer to the question, “Why should material handling and supply chain employers be reconsidering and revising their current employee policies and procedures sooner than later?”
Everyone—regardless of their industry—should be reconsidering their policies and procedures. If you look at Bureau of Labor statistics, there’s currently 3.7% unemployment. But think about it: Who really wants to hire the 3.7% who are unemployed? Not to put a broad label on these folks, but generally these are people who are unable or unmotivated to find work, for whatever reason. They’re not the type of individual companies want to hire anyway. Companies want “good” people, however they define that, and the “good” people already have jobs.
So, if it’s the tightest labor market in 50 years, and it’s only going to get worse, then companies shouldn’t be complaining about having to raise salaries to lure employees to their ranks. Rather, they should be saying, “How can I be the best employer in this industry, or in my community? I’ve got to be the place that everybody wants to go to work.” That’s the goal. Companies certainly want to be the business that gets the most customers and makes the most money, so why can’t they also be the business that says, “We want to be the best place to work.”
And companies have to do that if they want to stay in business. They know why their customers choose to buy from them. But do they know why would someone want to work for them? So many companies are stuck for an answer: “We offer a competitive salary. We have a 401K and we offer health insurance. On Fridays you can wear jeans and we have a Christmas party.” But if they think about their competitors—do those companies offer all those same things too?
What companies today should want is to create a workplace culture where everybody who works there sells it as a great place to work. Because those employees interact every single day with other folks who are potential hires. Don’t leave attraction and retention to Human Resources—it’s not their job, they do policy. Everybody in an organization needs to be an active, vivid recruiter for the company. Everybody. That means everybody’s got to know why this is the best place to work.
To get more insights from the full interview with Chester, click here.