Have you checked out our popular “Leadership in the Labor Shortage” video series? Otherwise known as “No Suits, No Slides!” it features casual conversations about today’s competitive labor market and what organizations can do to retain their best people while recruiting more top talent.

Series co-founders John Frehse, senior managing director of labor strategy at Ankura, and Dave Gilbertson, vice president at UKG, have spent years studying the economy and what it means for employers. They draw from that expertise, as well as monthly jobs reports from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and ongoing workforce activity data from UKG, to analyze the current situation when it comes to talent across industries.

Hear their hot takes on what’s really going on out there and what companies need to know to be on the right side of the Great Resignation, all in a laid-back, impromptu, and informative style — no fancy business suits and no prepared presentations necessary!

Whether you’re new to the No Suits, No Slides! series, or you just want to catch up (or re-watch) past episodes, you can check them out below.

Episode 1: Hiring, Turnover, and the Economy
Episode 2: Where Did All the Workers Go? How Can We Get Them Back?
Episode 3: How Meaningful ESG Drives Performance: Part One
Episode 4: How Meaningful ESG Drives Performance: Part Two
Episode 5: Showing Gratitude for the Frontline Workforce
Episode 6: What Can Organizations Do About the Ongoing Labor Shortage?
Episode 7: Why Organizations Should Care About Belonging, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Episode 8: The Three Biggest Trends Impacting the Labor Shortage
Episode 9: What to Make of the Monthly Jobs Report
Episode 10: The Latest on the Labor Shortage
Episode 11: Top 5 Ways to Recruit (and Retain) Talent in a Tight Labor Market

Prefer a playlist? Watch the entire Leadership in the Labor Shortage series via Ankura’s YouTube channel.

Want more of Dave’s analysis on the economy and current labor market? Check out the UKG Workforce Activity Report and register for a monthly live market briefing. The next briefing is scheduled for Tuesday, August 2, at 10 a.m. ET.

Today's post is courtesy of board member Bob Clements, President at Axsium Group,  a leading workforce management consulting firm.

Most organizations are experiencing a labor shortage. While pundits debate the causes (or if the shortage even exists), the problem is very real at many organizations and needs to be fixed.

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:

  1. Your employees need to be willing to pick up more hours. Some may be happy to do this others will not or cannot due to childcare, other commitments such as school, or lifestyle. Therefore, offering more hours can soften the labor shortage but may not fully eliminate it. It is helpful to provide your employees with technology that allows them to see what shifts are available and let them choose the shifts they want to work.

  2. Those most likely to take the extra hours will do so to get paid overtime. For many organizations, overtime is a four-letter word and something to be avoided at all costs. The fact is that overtime can be less expensive than hiring new workers. This is due to recruiting costs, benefit costs, and the higher productivity of experienced workers. Fellow Workforce Institute advisory board member John Frehse talks about this in his white paper ”œThe Overtime Lie”. Organizations that are able to overcome their hang-ups with overtime will be well-positioned to keep operations running during a labor shortage.

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:

  1. Productivity gains can come from big ideas like eliminating tasks, reducing the frequency with which certain tasks are performed, or redesigning tasks entirely. The bigger the idea, the more time it may take to implement. So, recognize that this path may not have an immediate impact on your labor shortage but should have a large, sustainable impact when implemented.
  2. Big gains can come from small changes. Unlike the big ideas mentioned in the last point, small changes can often be implemented quickly. To find such opportunities, look for tasks that are performed frequently. Eliminating just one step in a frequently performed task or moving a piece of equipment closer to where the task is performed to reduce travel time can have an outsized impact on productivity. Saving a few seconds may not seem like much but when that savings happens thousands of times a day in each store across your entire portfolio, it begins to add up quite quickly.

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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