Worker shortage? It’s been a long time coming and maybe it’s for the best.

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Worker shortage?

Why?

Did anyone consider that maybe 2020 was a wake-up call for many who are tired of working hard to enrich and make life better for someone else especially when they know the company makes millions or billions and the CEO makes 300 times their wage?

Now I know that most businesses are not those giant enterprises with that particular problem, but the worker shortage is real and it is being driven by discontent (as well as some health concerns). And if this discontent is not over what was described above, it may just be the state of workplaces in general.

If you are a business leader and you are worried because you need more employees to get the work done, here is a simple fix. Make your workplace a place where people want to work. And that doesn’t mean just making their paychecks better. Some of you don’t have that luxury but everyone can make the workplace better.

[NOTE: if you are one of those multi-million- or billion-dollar companies I mentioned above, maybe it is time to rethink the millions your executives make and spread the love to those who are doing the everyday work. They are tired of making others rich at their expense, and they are talking with their feet right now.]

Here are some ways you can make your workplace more desirable.

Engage with your employees and give them vehicles for being seen, heard, and understood. Here are four avenues for this…

  • Stand-up meetings – 15 minutes a day for each team member to review what they are doing and ask for any help they need.
  • One-on-ones – a weekly 30 minutes with a manager to ask questions and review project progress …and any other concerns.
  • Town Halls – quarterly group conversation with managers and leaders to ask questions and get updates on where the organization is going.
  • Lunch-and-learn – informal conversations where managers and an employee or group of employees can learn about each other …and not just things related to work.

Empower employees to do the job you hired them for, trained them for, and expect them to do. The key to effectiveness here is that the employee must be given the lead. They must be given the leeway to do things their way as long as it gets the job done to spec and standard, remains safe, and does no damage to customer relationships or other employees.

Encourage your employees with celebration of their successes—even the little things—and by removing obstacles to their success. This obstacle removal can mean dealing with politics or helping to navigate policies or procedural roadblocks. It can mean advocating for team members to others in the organization the team member cannot readily access.

Of course there are more things you can do, but these few are great places to start and they are not that difficult to implement. They are also low or no cost.

So, if you need employees and are finding it difficult, create a place where people want to work. That’s it.

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