Chris Patton, Founder of GoalPoint Employee Planning, advises small businesses to rethink their employee planning strategy during this unprecedented shortage of workers. Patton states, “It’s no secret that the U.S. is facing an employment crisis. For the first time in recent history, small businesses all over are closing their doors, not due to lack of sales, but because of lack of workers.
Patton advises small business owners to focus on keeping the employees they do have and find creative ways to fill current vacancies. “While it’s understandable small businesses are nervous about the lack of help, they will begin losing the employees they do have if they stay focused on being short-handed,” Patton says.
It’s more important than ever for small businesses to retain the employees they do have. Patton offers actionable retention strategies to keep their current workforce. Taking care of their employees should always be top priority for small business owners, but it’s more important than ever now. It goes beyond offering a gift card here and there, or giving them a half day off after they’ve already worked 45+ hours. Employees need to be committed to the business, and a gift card here and there won’t cut it.
Patton suggests taking a long hard look at things like company culture, employee engagement and motivation, and work/life balance. In order to keep employees long term they need a long term commitment from the business. A business committed to keeping their employees happy and healthy will create a workforce willing to walk through fire for them.
Patton also advises small businesses to fill vacancies using virtual contracted workers when possible. While online entrepreneurs have been doing this for years, it’s somewhat less common for small brick and mortar businesses.
Patton also encourages reaching out to other local businesses and seeing if they are able to “share employees”. It takes a great deal of trust to share employees, especially during these times; however, desperate times call for creative measures.