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Greg German, President, German-Bliss Equipment, Inc., Princeville, Illinois

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DEALERtodealer: Employee Turnover: A Huge Post-Pandemic Reality

You have all experienced it before. You are working away in your office, simply minding your own business when there is a knock at the door. In walks one of your dependable and proven staff and they ask the question, “Can we talk?”

They close the door and that sinking feeling begins to ball up in your stomach as you silently tell yourself, “This is not going to be good.” Over the next few minutes, your fear becomes a reality and your formerly dependable staff member gives you the reasons why they are leaving your employ to seek greener pastures elsewhere. Your mind quickly scrambles and tries to come up with sound reasons why your team member should not leave and why you are their future. But the reality begins to set in that this situation is not salvageable and in a couple of weeks, years of knowledge, customer goodwill, and some of the structural integrity of your business, will be gone.

For me, this has been a recent experience that has happened multiple times. Sometimes the employee loss is a simple inconvenience, other times it is a gut punch that has major ramifications for both my business and me.

In a recent article by Johnny C. Taylor from July 23, 2021 in the ChiefExcutive. net publication, Taylor states that, “More than 50% of all workers plan to look for a new job in 2021.” In addition, “Turnover costs U.S. companies over $223 Billion in the past five years.” There is no hiding from the fact that turnover of employees is going to hit your business too. It could be that turnover may be as high as 30% per year in many businesses in the future. The fast food industry has dealt with this for years, but now much higher turnover rates may be hitting businesses that traditionally, like the power equipment industry, have been fairly low.

Are you prepared? I can almost see your heart rate increasing and the sweat begin to develop on your brow as you ponder that kind of potential chaos in your businesses. HR was not something that most of us concerned ourselves with and our solution to keeping a key employee was to just pay them a little more money than they made before. In doing that, we were simply kicking the can down the road.

Yes, financial compensation is important, but to most workers today, that is not necessarily at the top of their list, but is sometimes the easiest answer to give their employer as to why they are leaving. Usually compensation is ranked down the list a few places. Today’s workforce values things differently than our staff members from 20 years ago.

So what are some of the “new values” that are becoming more important to the workers of today?

PERSONAL TIME

The days of staff members wanting to work 45-60 hours per week are quickly becoming extinct in many career choices. Many younger workers place much greater value on having their weekends and evenings available to participate in their hobbies, spend time with friends/ family, and volunteer in their areas of passion. Getting paid overtime has often lost its luster as the value proposition is much higher for workers to enjoy their lives in different pursuits from their parent’s generation.

FLEX TIME

Today’s staff members often don’t buy into the idea of fixed hours of 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. They would much rather have a set workload that they can complete at times that are more convenient to them, thus giving them more free time to follow their passions.

MAKING A DIFFERENCE

Ask most Gen Z, Millennials and Gen Xers and they will tell you that they want their jobs to make a difference in this world. They don’t want to pour their best years into a job that they feel isn’t helping to make life better for themselves and others.

REMOTE WORK

The pandemic has proven that many jobs have components in them that may allow for workers to complete all, or at least some, of their work from a remote site. Remote working allows them to live where they want to live and to spend much less time commuting to the brick-and-mortar business.

The power equipment business demands that we have competent and hands-on staff members that can help our customers. Knowing that, are you investigating what changes you can make in your business model to keep current staff members that are likely looking at online job opportunities and not giving you the smallest of hints that they are dissatisfied? Each of us have steps that we need to begin taking today to encourage our current staff on why your company has a future for them. Begin a dialogue today with your team members in one-on-one discussions and ask them how you can better add value to their lives through their jobs. Show that you are concerned at that you are willing to investigate with them how you can make tangible changes to their job in order to give them greater personal satisfaction in their contribution to your business.

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