Two things related to people seem to be more consistent than ever before. These are:
- The available workforce for our industry is shrinking and
- Wages are growing
While we may not be able to impact the tide of rising wages, there are things we can do to secure our share of the available workforce and it begins with the environment we create and maintain within our business.
Memorable moments are those moments that can leave a lasting impression on our employees, either negatively or positively. Let’s imagine a possible scenario of a new employee starting with your company.
New hire Doug is greeted by his manager and is given a tour of the building so that he knows his way around. During the tour, he is introduced to other employees and they give a brief example of their roles with the company. His manager sets general expectations for the first week on the job and Doug is taken to his work area where his uniform, tools and other resources are waiting. His area is decorated with a WELCOME sign and a welcome basket, which contains his favorite candy (which he listed during a pre-employment conversation with his new manager). Doug is taken to lunch by a co-worker on his first day. The co-worker has been given freedom in their current week’s schedule so they can be available to take breaks with Doug and answer any questions he has as he settles in to his new role. At the end of his first week, Doug has a scheduled meeting with his manager to follow up on any unanswered questions, discuss how his first week went and clarify ongoing expectations.
But it doesn’t stop there. A new co-worker meets with Doug at the beginning of each of his first four weeks to ensure he is set up for success and answer questions. The same co-worker has a scheduled meeting at the end of their assigned week to discuss issues that arise and answer questions.
Three months (as well as at six and nine months) after his start date, his manager meets with Doug to provide feedback and coaching on his performance. Five months into the job, Doug has a birthday and the team celebrates with him by giving him a card and his favorite candy. Several times in the following months Doug is recognized for his contributions in the company newsletter and two weeks before Thanksgiving Doug is given a gift certificate for Honey Baked Ham.
At his one-year anniversary, his manager meets with him to provide feedback and coaching on his performance as well as notify him that due to his performance, he is receiving an increase in pay. Doug’s co-workers celebrate his first year with the company with a cake and balloons and the company itself sends a card and restaurant gift certificate to Doug’s family.
Does this sound like your company? Do you create memorable moments during the employee’s first day and week? Do you invest in making them feel comfortable in their new roles? How about holidays, birthdays and anniversaries? Do you give cards, candy or gift certificates to help memorialize these memorable moments?
Let’s imagine one more new hire scenario. New hire Mary shows up for her first day and no one seems to know that a person is starting that day. She is asked to wait until a work station can be found. She is eventually taken to her new work area but no equipment, tools or resources are there so she must wait until these can be located and provided. No co-worker invites her to lunch or is available for questions so she must get up and wander around asking different people questions until she finds the correct employee for the issue. She does have a meeting scheduled with her manager at the end of her first week, but it is postponed because of something that came up. That is the end of the scenario because Mary does not return to work the following week.
Is your employee experience closer to Doug’s or Mary’s? If your answer was Mary, start looking at your employee experience now and identify moments you can make memorable. These can be low or even no-cost ideas, they simply need to be memorable. Wages are growing and the available workforce is shrinking. Create memorable moments for your team and you will be much more likely to keep them!