Becoming a more valuable employer

Sooner or later our crazy, upside-down work world will get back to normal, albeit a new normal that reflects fundamental changes brought about by a pandemic that seemed to come out of nowhere and is slow to leave.

However, some things about the work environment will not change, and that’s the continuing need for effective employee-employer relationships that take into account both the needs of the employee and the success of the enterprise.

Let’s look at some action steps that the employer can take to increase the chances of developing and maintaining a harmonious working relationship

Career opportunities

Employers should lay out to new employees those career paths available to them and the level of performance necessary to bring about promotions.

Many people will have, on the average, three or four employers in their career, mostly because in the past employers found it easier to replace unhappy workers from a plentiful pool of applicants, rather than doing the hard work of making themselves an employer of choice.

Work from home

As the severity of the pandemic subsides, employers often are meeting with resistance as they call workers back to the office.

Management needs to realize that during the past few years a new work environment has been created for the employee and compromise might be needed to keep valuable employees in the workforce.

Recent business studies have found that WFH employees are at least as productive working off-site as inside a cubicle. Savvy organizations will need to find creative ways of designing work schedules and worksites that features the best of both systems and appeal to workers. Far better to create attractive hybrid work arrangements before the flight of valuable talent.

Early retirement program

Developing a soft retirement package offers retirement-eligible employees an opportunity for a seamless transition from full- to part-time work beyond retirement age and a chance to pass on their knowledge and skills to younger workers.

Such a program could include pro-rated benefits, such as maintaining contributions to retirement plans, continuous health plan coverage, flexible workweeks, work hours with a WFH option, vacation leave and significant discounts on an employer’s goods and services.

Many employees retiring from a company do not stop working completely. Instead, they often seek part-time work with another business. Why not keep them in your organization?

Diminishing workforce

A recent Telegraph Herald article reported on a new U.S. Census Bureau report that revealed the Dubuque area is leaking young workers. More native Dubuquers are leaving than replacements are coming into this area.

While not all of the reasons for this worker diaspora are known, or why young people are moving into the Dubuque labor market, one area for improvement that could help both with the retaining and attracting employees would be an area wide recruitment effort that highlights the availability of desirable jobs the Dubuque metro area and the cultural amenities available to newcomers and their families.

A similar effort to highlight the accessibility of continued education and training from local two- and four-year colleges and universities provides an incentive for those seek opportunities to upgrade their competencies with a company. Employers adopting tuition re-imbursement programs will have a powerful tool to attract and retain valued employees.

Those organizations displaying flexibility and creativity as a means of developing a productive workforce will find themselves flourishing in today completive business environment.