- Business Retention & Expansion (BRE)
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic came the Great Resignation, when employees left their jobs for a variety of reasons, including wage stagnation, few or no opportunities for career advancement, and the lack of benefits.
I regularly speak to C-suite executives from companies of different sizes all over the country as part of my job and many of them have expressed concerns to me and my colleagues about people not returning to work after pandemic restrictions were lifted. What some of these execs have found is that one of the reasons workers have not returned is that their companies did not offer the incentives and opportunities that help employees feel like they are valued within the workforce.
What Types of Incentives are Offered to Workers?
That is one of the many questions asked by people who want to go back to work but need something more than just a paycheck and (maybe) some health insurance to do so. Feeling valued and respected as more than just a cog in a machine is important to most (if not all) workers. If they don’t get that from their employers, they may feel like it doesn’t matter if they leave. And what critically understaffed companies are learning is having a reliable, happy workforce actually matters a lot.
To prevent employees from resigning and attract new employees, companies need to offer more than just standard incentives and benefits. Here are some examples of what some companies are doing to stabilize their workforce:
- Lack of childcare has become a major concern for working parents and is one of the most common reasons cited for not returning to the workforce. In response to this need, some companies are now offering on-site daycare centers for their employees.
- Providing a better work-life balance through shorter work weeks for the same pay is very appealing to many workers. Companies in several countries, including the US, are now testing four-day work weeks (28-32 hours per week) with no reduction in salary with positive results.
- Hiring bonuses have been used by companies to attract new workers for a long time. However, more recently, some companies have told me they have had to increase their regular hiring bonuses by $500-$1,000 to make them more attractive to prospective hires. Some of these bonuses are paid upfront whereas others are paid half at the start of work and the other half after a certain amount of time has passed.
- Higher wages are also an important incentive as the cost of living in the US has increased dramatically in the last few years. Those still only offering minimum wage jobs will find it difficult to fill open positions.
- Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) are another appealing incentive publicly traded companies can offer employees. ESOPs give all employees stock shares in the company, not just the C-level staff. This can improve employee morale and loyalty because they are literally invested in the success of the company. It can also help supplement employees’ retirement savings or benefits.
I and my coworkers at Camoin Associates have seen a number of small to mid-size companies go out of business in the last few years because they were unable or unwilling to do what was needed to attract or retain employees. With nearly 3 million fewer Americans participating in the workforce today compared to 2020, many companies will need to get out of their own way and start investing in employee incentives to survive.
Offering these types of incentives can help foster greater workforce stability and a return to normalcy, and perhaps even prevent the next Great Resignation by giving employees more reasons to stick around.
Camoin Associates engagement staff speak to C-suite executives by telephone and email every day as part of the lead generation, business attraction, and business retention work we do for our clients. Learn more about our lead generation and business relationships services.