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One of the biggest challenges facing business owners right now is how do we find good employees, hire them and get them to stay when there’s all of this government stimulus money out there? According to The Wall Street Journal, there are a million more job openings than there are job applicants (people actively looking for work). This raises the question, what are the big tidal movements that you need to be aware of to really appeal to workers and still retain profitability?
#1 Raise Your Wages. We all ultimately have to face the fact that pay is increasing, and inflation is here. Ask yourself if you can do more with less people. As an example, McDonalds “raised” their minimum wage past $18 an hour, but they automated everything in their stores to where instead of using eight people per store they’re now using three or four people per store. This improved their gross profit margins overall. Another example is Amazon and what they’re doing to revolutionize the warehousing business by picking and packing orders with robots. They don’t even need employees to pack and fulfill orders. While you’re paying increased salaries, you could be in fact saving money overall and driving increased profitability through automation.
#2 Provide Flexible Work Hours. According to various polls, between 30-60% of workers have said that if they are forced to go back to an office, they will quit. This means that having flexible work hours and work from home or remote options are going to be a requirement in the future. As a business owner, you’re going to have to rethink your space needs and your overhead costs when it comes to how much space you need per office. Can you cut your square footage down from 200 square feet per person down to 50 square feet per person? Do you even need an office anymore? There are a lot of options to consider if you create a flexible work environment for your employees.
#3 Improve Benefit Offerings. Healthcare is both costly and highly valued by your employees. When evaluating your health benefits, specifically look at your employee demographic. Do you have mostly young people, under the age of 30, where healthcare is not as important to them? Do you have a lot of young families between the ages of 30-50 years old who really value health care benefits? Or do you have people in their 50s and 60s, whose healthcare might be the most important thing that they’re concerned about? Think about what you can do with your benefits, not limited to healthcare, to where you can align incentives so when your employees perform, they get more.
We’ve covered raising wages, providing flexible work hours and improving your benefit offerings. With all of these new freedoms that you’re going to be giving your workforce, you also have to increase systems and processes to manage, track and increase accountability. If you’re giving something away, you must get something in return. Employees today are demanding, rightly so, more pay, increased flexibility and benefits. It’s possible to give your employees all of these things and still increase your profitability with more accountability, output, efficiency, and automation.
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