Companies are offering sign-on bonuses and increasing wages to entice people to work for them. However, it will take more than one-time bonuses and small paycheck increases to keep people at your organization for the long term. If you want employees to invest in your company, invest in their financial well-being. Here are six strategies to consider.
Become an employee-owned company
Employee-owned companies may very well be the wave of the future. Companies such as Publix Supermarkets have been majority employee-owned for many years. Today, other smaller organizations such as Walt Churchill’s Market in Ohio and a group known as A Few Cool Hardware Stores (13 Ace Hardware stores in the Washington DC and Baltimore area) are jumping on the bandwagon. Employee-owned means the employees own shares in the business so that when the company wins, everybody wins. Traditionally, these entities see greater productivity, higher profitability, increased revenue, and better employee retention.
Moreover, it helps workers take ownership of the company’s success and, as a result, build their personal financial foundation. A recent study by John Zogby Strategies found that people who worked at employee-owned S corps fared dramatically better financially than those working for non-ESOP corporations. Perhaps it’s time to give your people a more significant piece of the pie.
Get religious about promoting from within
One of the main ways you can make people feel valued is to see their potential. Companies that religiously look for undiscovered talent, involve people at all levels in projects, and offer mentoring, coaching, and development opportunities not only make employees feel valued, but they spend less time and money in recruitment. Make your goal to quickly promote people from low-wage positions into roles with more responsibility and larger paychecks.
Be a great company to come from
Some companies have high turnover because it’s the nature of the beast. If high-school or college students make up most of your team, you expect them to leave. However, organizations can help themselves and their employees by becoming a company known for excellent learning and development opportunities. In other words, create opportunities for your employees by teaching them so much that other employers will want to hire and promote them because of their history of working with you. When you do, it makes you a more attractive entry-level employer as well, so it’s a win for everyone!
Get them a financial coach
Invest in your employees’ futures by hiring a financial wellness coach to work with them. Typically, we don’t learn money management skills in school, and most hourly workers don’t have the resources to hire a financial advisor. They don’t necessarily have the wealth-building skills and knowledge that those in power have. Lift people by providing one-on-one coaching in budgeting, goal setting, investing (beyond your 401K), and other activities that will build their financial wellness and freedom.
Be transparent with salaries
Companies like Buffer are leading the way by making their salaries completely transparent. You can go to their website now and see what every single employee is making. While you may not be willing to make those numbers available to the public, there are good reasons for salary transparency. By showing people the exact formula you use to calculate salaries, you hold your organization accountable and build trust with your employees. If you use a recipe like Buffer’s, for example, you also give your team a clear path to earning more within your company.
Reallocate resources and pay everyone well
Finally, if you haven’t yet raised wages, it’s time. The conversation about increasing the minimum wage isn’t going away, and if you want your company to be relevant in the future, you’re going to have to jump on the bandwagon. While you may or may not want to follow the lead of Dan Price, CEO of Gravity Payments, who lowered his own salary to $70,000.00 and raised his employee’s pay to the same amount, you can probably find the money somewhere. Start by putting real dollars against your statistics related to employee turnover. Looking at those numbers alone will more than likely show you that you do have the money. You’re just spending it looking for new people. You might consider flattening your organization, offering commissions, or reassessing the positions that contribute the most to your company’s bottom line. Either way, to compete in this job market, wages will have to go up.
When you get innovative about contributing to the financial well-being of others, those who work at your company will feel respected, less stressed, and more committed to the purpose of your organization.
Written by Donna (Bouchard) Cutting.
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