Today's post is courtesy of board member Bob Clements, President at Axsium Group, a leading workforce management consulting firm.
Here are three ways to fix your organization's labor shortage:
Fix #1: Increase wages
The first solution is to increase wages. Companies like McDonalds, Under Armor and Bank of America have all announced wage increases to attract workers ”“ moves that have been well received by both employees and the public at large. In principle, it is easy to throw money at the problem, but in practice, it may not be possible. Higher wages cut into profits so you will need to make a strong case that wage increases will pay for themselves, and then some.
Another approach might be to examine the risk of not increasing wages by equating labor shortages to decreased customer service and, in turn, reduced sales. No matter what, you face an uphill battle to get the executive support needed to raise pay.
Fix #2: Increase hours
The second option is to ask your existing employees to work more hours. Giving more hours to your current workforce reduces the need to hire new workers, along with the training and onboarding expenses associated with hiring.
Two big hurdles need to be cleared for this solution to work:
Fix #3: Increase productivity
The third solution is to increase the productivity of your existing workforce. Increasing the output of workers already on staff reduces the need for more workers and the need for overtime.
There are two paths to improving productivity:
One size does not fit all when addressing a labor shortage. Each organization and its workforce is different, and what works for one may work differently for another due to culture, demographics, geography, industry and more. The good news is that each of the solutions outlined above can be used alone or in combination with others. They can be implemented in parallel or sequentially. The important thing is to act because one thing is certain: You won't solve your labor shortage by waiting for more workers to appear.
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