Companies are saying that recruitment has never been so difficult, and they are probably right. For example, the retail industry represents nearly 300,000 workers in Quebec. However, due to the labour shortage, more than 20,000 jobs remain unfilled. What are the solutions available to us?
Retailers are considering a variety of solutions, such as retaining employees. What are the levers that promote employee retention, despite the current economic climate? Just like the concept of customer experience, creating a memorable employee experience must be on the agenda.
This was the subject of a webinar given for Détail Québec on September 22nd. To watch the replay (only in French – available for 30 days) :
Here are the highlights:
Get your employees involved
Rather than taking all that weight on your shoulders, rely more on your existing teams to overcome labor scarcity challenges. Can they increase their availability? Would they be able to perform better? Can they eliminate non-value added tasks? Can they recruit knowledge and create a core of ownership? Ask them to think of solutions and give recognition for their ideas. Don’t fear that they will be demoralized by the search for solutions to a problem. Instead, the common goal will mobilize your people, and they will become ambassadors with a mission.
For employees to achieve their goals, they must have your trust, as well as the latitude to exercise their professional and decision-making autonomy. Recurring problems can be analyzed so that solutions can be automated. Employees must be able to make certain tactical decisions without requiring much management support. In a similar vein, some strategic decisions need to be thought through by management rather than escalated directly to the executive level. This autonomy gives a lot of meaning to the work and develops a sense of purpose, which are crucial levers to retain employees.
Be inclusive and prioritize transparency
As you may have noticed, employees are even more hungry for ethics, respect and procedural fairness, and that’s good. While they may appear individualistic at times, if your decisions, words and actions are not inclusive, they will have a devastating effect on morale. Your employees will have a front row seat to witness the suffering of the excluded, and they will judge your leadership harshly. Stay firm and fair when making decisions, and explain your reasoning. This will be engaging and inspiring because it is authentic and representative of your values.
In other words, executive leadership is a fundamental driver of the employee experience. I invite you to begin an introspection on the employee experience you currently offer in your company, and to identify areas for improvement that you can quickly implement. For more transformative and longitudinal projects, a good idea would be to create a working committee, as you would directly tap into the 3 levers named above!
By Julie Tardif, Co-Founder & Partner, Speaker, Certified Trainer and Human Resources Consultant
HR Blog Editor – Iceberg Management