Employee Satisfaction in 2022 and Beyond

Employee Satisfaction in 2022 and Beyond

Guest writer Alex Weaver continues the year-end reflections with a look at employee satisfaction in 2022 and beyond…

Recently we looked at measuring our business / commercial performance around four metrics:

  • Financial Performance
  • Market Share
  • Customer Satisfaction
  • Employee Satisfaction

In October, we discussed some factors influencing Customer Satisfaction and today’s marketplace.

At year end, let’s look at Employee Satisfaction. There is a lot of press recently concerning people of all ages and skills, leaving the workplace and not returning.  Also, some younger potential employees are choosing not to enter the workplace.

In today’s challenging economy, the norm appears to be that dealers are continuously struggling to fill 10%, or more, of their jobs.  And it doesn’t appear to be improving. 

“Employee retention is important to any business: the expense of hiring and training new employees can be very costly. Another cost lies in the productivity lost while seeking to replace the employee who’s no longer there. In blue collar jobs, which are generally labor-focused, employee retention is often lower than in office and executive positions. High turn-over rates in blue collar occupations typically occur when employees feel they are under-appreciated, undervalued, and over worked. These perceptions can make employees feel unfulfilled and send them searching for better-paying jobs.”- IDI Workforce Management

Several factors or keys are frequently mentioned in employee retention.

Five Traditional Keys for Employee Retention

  1. Competitive Compensations and Benefits – Pay employees what they are worth.
  2. Provide Professional Development
  3. Promote from Within
  4. Improve Working Conditions
  5. Provide a Positive Company Culture

Given today’s labor market we should look beyond the above core.  What is our ‘Humanness” factor.

  1. Listen to our employees – provide opportunities to listen, be an approachable communication culture.  It is not all about formal surveys.
  2. Prioritize Action based on Employee Comments / Suggestions
  3. Provide a menu of additional Perks and Benefits.  One size does not fit all.  
  4. What about flexible working hours or schedule?  
  5. What can we learn from the Covid Pandemic?

Where does our industry fit in today’s changing labor market?  How do we recruit “human resources” that are interested in our industry? How are we viewed by younger persons regarding our industry, our machines, and the work those machines perform? 

Does our industry provide a bright future for young and / or first-time employees.  Is our workplace attractive?  Do young workers seek a career or a job?  Many of our grandfather’s sought careers and the gold watch recognition at retirement.  Some worked for the same company their entire work life.  At one time our industry was an attractive recruiting opportunity. I know of construction equipment career individuals that started out with a Tonka toy, or a scale model of a bulldozer.  Transitioned from the toys to the real thing.  A child in a sandbox to a career in our industry.

That was then, this is now.  Looking to the future provides opportunities for creative career opportunities for all employees. 

Provide incentive for employees that recruit new hires.  The recruiting employee can serve as a mentor of the new hire. Both the new hire and recruiting employee receive incentives for career longevity and performance. Offer 10 year and 20-year incentives for recruiting employee and their new hires.

Be more flexible in determining new hire career paths.  Think out of the box.  I remember one company I worked for allowed a secretary to transfer to performing work on cylinder heads in the component rebuild shop.  From desk and typewriter to bench and torque wrench.  She was a successful supplier of shop labor.  

Expand on traditional employee and community Open House events.  Offer information on machines and performance characteristics.  When possible, offer a machine demonstration.  Inform and sell the “public” on the positive nature of what we do and how we do it.  Host career discussions at Open Houses.

Involve employee family members by offering summer or vacation jobs to employee’s children.  Create Intern Programs in all facets of career opportunities. 

Today and tomorrow are more of the same, but some change and additions to how we view our family of employees.  Employee satisfaction is fostered by a sense of inclusiveness and belonging to something important. 

Last thought:  Of the items discussed above, I think the best opportunity for quality recruiting is leveraging your current employees to assist in your recruiting efforts.

Happy Holidays and Best Wishes for a prosperous New Year.

Alex Weaver

Co-Founder – agiltiONE.com

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