Low cost loyalty programs show the love
If you’ve been trying to hire experienced professionals this year – especially in the engineering space – I don’t need to tell you this is a tough market. Colorado is on solid ground and gaining momentum. There simply isn’t enough talent to fill all the open positions.
As a talent acquisition professional let me share a secret with you….your people ARE getting phone calls from recruiters on a regular basis. In the heat of our daily activities, it’s hard to remember to take care of your people. It’s much more costly to replace someone than it is to keep the already high performing people you have. Now is the time (if you haven’t already done so) to make sure they know that you appreciate them. Let’s talk about some low cost and creative loyalty programs that will keep them happy – and refusing the calls from beyond your walls.
1. Spontaneous time off. We’ve all been working long and hard this year. Your best team members (the ones you don’t want to lose) are probably also the folks that have the most vacation time accrued. Why not walk into his/her office and say, “listen, you’ve been putting in a ton of time and I think you should take a long weekend, so enjoy Friday off – no phone, email, do something fun!”
2. Support for volunteer activities. I have a client who gives up to 3 days off per year for their people to participate in their favorite charitable activity. Letting your folks know that you support them in their community goes a long way to gaining their allegiance. Volunteering in a child’s classroom, delivering meals to seniors, reading groups at the library or fixing computers at the community center – try it and see how much good will you’ll spread.
3. Conferences and training. When the economy sank, training/development was one of the first benefits to be cut. This isn’t an entitlement by any means, but if you have great people you owe it to yourself to continue to build their skills – you’ll enjoy the results with increased productivity and your employee will add to their toolbelt – everyone wins!
4. Sponsorship in professional associations. Another great way to infuse your team with new energy is to get them out of the house once in a while. Joining professional organizations gives them an opportunity to talk with other professionals and hear about the challenges they are having. There are a couple of great outcomes that will happen; 1. Your happy people will talk about how great their job is and you may get some new recruits out of it; 2. They will hear about other people’s jobs and appreciate what they have even more. Yes, and potentially talk with recruiters or hiring managers – but if they are happy you have nothing to worry about.
5. Play time. Why not organize a day for your team to purposely think ‘outside their box’? Every team in every company, given the opportunity, can solve some pretty gnarly problems. Maybe your play day is freeform – let them work on something that they have been thinking about, but haven’t had time to work on. Maybe it’s an organized activity – a non-profit who needs a simple database application built. In any case, providing your team the luxury of sitting at work and “playing” for a day can infuse some new energy and creativity into your team.
6. Gifts for their family. Why not reward great work with hockey ticket for the whole family? Buy them passes at Six Flags for the day along with $100 spending money, or a family pack of lift tickets to Keystone while the kids are out for the winter break. This is a great way to get the whole family loyal to you – and loyal families have A LOT of pull.
7. Lunch ‘n learns. The best programs are about personal enrichment – not professional training. Consider bringing in a personal trainer to talk about easy ways for busy people to work out. Maybe a nutritionist to talk about raising healthy kids and teaching good eating habits. Or, a time management expert to do a presentation on getting the most out of your workday so you can go home and NOT think about work. These types of presentations send the message that you care about your team as people – not just cogs in a wheel.
Your employees are PEOPLE. They have emotions, needs and want to feel that they are making a difference. Great people are very hard to find and hire right now, so as a smart and savvy hiring manager, I know you’ll get out of your office and start letting your folks know how much you appreciate the work that they do – each and every day. Happy Retention!
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