Perspective

Put On Your Gloves -
Fighting To Retain Your Best and Brightest
By Sally DeVito, VP, marketing communications CORESTAFF Services

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has already warned us that we are at the beginning stages of a serious shortage of skilled workers. Why? Because millions of baby boomers are going to start retiring beginning in 2008, with a peak between 2015 and 2025. And, to add insult to injury, there aren't enough GenX, GenY or Millenia workers to replace them.

Retaining star players in the face of a worker shortage is going to require a diversified strategy unlike any you've seen or tried before. How will this transition shift your business capabilities and what you can do now to prepare for it? Consider these innovative ideas:

1. Reward and Recognition Programs - While some of these programs don't have such a hot reputation lately, effectively measuring performance and sincerely rewarding employees for their efforts and results provides the tactile feedback that anchors people to your company. Managers take note - your employees want to hear positive feedback and praise from you, most importantly, not just from the president or a program.

2. Community Involvement - Provide flexible work arrangements so that your employees can take the opportunity to be more involved in the community. They'll enjoy the time off and believe it or not, this community-focused activity provides goodwill, free advertising, and attracts more talented employees to you.

3. Power Purchasing - Extend your vendor discounts (paper products, computer equipment, etc.) that you receive for the company, to your employees. They'll appreciate getting Back-to-School supplies or a new computer at a reduced price and feel confident they've made a good purchasing decision.

4. Work/Family Balance - Respect the many dimensions your employees operate in and assist them where it makes sense. Develop programs that help employees achieve a good lifestyle balance - this business sensitivity continues to fuel a positive attitude.

5. Job Shadowing/Mentoring - Take the time now to call upon the Boomers to share their talents, knowledge, passion and wisdom with less experienced workers. The transfer of these skills will create a powerful business legacy that instills energy, greater motivation, and spotlights your up and coming leaders. Delegate key projects that can provide real success but may also be coupled with some risk. By providing the opportunity for learning, you also allow them to take responsibility and ownership. Let them walk on the edge to experience the potential for failure, but don't let them fail.

Your employees are looking for a healthy, growing business with a strong foundation, a leadership culture, and the ability to contribute to the success of the company. Implementing a strong retention strategy today may have your brightest and best employees excited when they kick off their day and feeling as if they've made a difference for the company at the close of business.






























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