Employment Woes: Has the Great Resignation Hit Your Shop?

Thirty-three million folks have left their jobs in the U.S. since the spring of 2021. Why? Some are early retirements; some are staying home with children out of school; and some don’t want to work at your shop if you don’t require masks, or if you do. But the by-far majority are those looking for and getting better jobs. What is a “better job”? One that offers greater pay and benefits, more respect for employees as co-workers and greater opportunities for personal growth.

Keep Your People

Inflation is currently at 6.3% and may hold for a while. An employee’s home expenses are going up. Medical insurance deductibles, food, gas and taxes are increasing. You say you can’t raise your prices this much as you have long-existing quotes to honor. Oops. Did you put an inflation escalator in your quotes or limit their time?

It is hard to understand why members of your team would want to work anywhere else. Most companies are giving raises to new and current employees. You say, “My people are leaving for other industries.” A glazier can become a window installer. Your bookkeeper can work for any company.

Here are some tips that will help retain your crew. First is payroll. Ask around to other business owners you know in other industries and get a sense of what they are paying new employees and the benefits they offer. Take good notes. Ask about the deductibles on medical payments; the co-pay that comes out of each week’s check; the retirement package; and the vacation or paid-time-off schedule.

Think about employee respect and employee growth opportunities. If you constantly yell at your team, berate them and say they are a bunch of no-goodniks, they will leave you.

More Opportunities

If you don’t have opportunities for employees to grow, learn, and earn more, you will find yourself on the wrong end of the Great Resignation. How do you retain your folks? If you give large raises, you pay that every year in the future. How about a special one-time payroll bonus? Set an amount based on years of service, up to maybe $500 per year, with a maximum of $5,000.

Look at your retirement package. Talk to your provider and see how you can sweeten this benefit. If you don’t have this benefit, get one now. Make sure your medical insurances cover mental and emotional health situations.

Pay for childcare. Give a bonus and pay for education that impacts jobs at your company such as increased math skills, computer usage or anything related to construction, architecture or engineering. Pay in full for English as a Second Language classes for your team.

Have regular team meetings asking for improvement ideas. Implement the best ones and then give a special bonus to the people who suggested them. Honor your team when a major project is finished. Stress working safely; supply all the safety gear and training and insist that the gear be worn and/or used.

You definitely need a mix of everyday employees and leaders. It is the leaders who are getting offers and moving on. Leaders stand out from the crowd and, purposely or not, draw attention to themselves.

Paul Bieber has more than 40 years’ experience in the glass industry, with C.R. Laurence and as executive vice president of Floral Glass in New York. He is now the principal of Bieber Consulting Group LLC and can be reached at paulbaseball@msn.com. Read his blog on Tuesdays at http://usgpaul.usglassmag.com

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