Becoming an Employer of Choice

As I write this message, the unemployment rate in the state of Iowa is 3.7%.  Basically, anyone who wants and is able to perform a job is employed.  The 3.7% that aren’t (which is the lowest in some time), have chosen not to work or are unable to perform critical job functions.

So what does this mean to us as leaders of organizations?  To start, it means that recruiting candidates to fill open positions is going to continue to be a challenge.  There just isn’t a strong pool of candidates from which to choose.  Secondly, it means that once we get them hired, we better do everything we can to retain them.

As leaders of organizations we want to become an “Employer of Choice”, but how do we do that?  Here are five things you may want to consider:

  1. Be a Values Based Organization.  This means that you not only identify your corporate values…but you communicate them and most importantly, live them.  Today’s workforce want to belong to organizations that operate and understand a set values that match who they are and how they want to live both personally and professionally.
  2. Know Your Finish Line:  Employees want to feel successful.  This starts with defining what success means, establishing milestones on the journey and celebrating the success of crossing the finish line.  Once accomplished, a new race is identified but think about how it would be to be told to start running and not know how far, how long it should take or anything else.  You can help people be more engaged and motivated by helping them succeed.
  3. Provide a Full Tool Box:  We all know that any job is easier when you have the right tools.  Some of the candidates we bring into our organizations may not have a full set of tools to be successful in their roles.  It’s our job to fill their tool box and guide them in how to use them most appropriately.
  4. Treat People Fairly:  Believe it or not, most people don’t want to be treated as someone special.  Of course, they enjoy it and won’t pass on it, but ultimately they just want to be treated fairly.  Audit your practices to determine if you are giving all parties a fair opportunity to succeed.
  5. Stand for Something:  Today’s workforce wants to be linked to organizations that stand for something bigger than themselves.  Consider what your organization is doing to contribute to your community, your profession and society overall.  If you can share the story of how you are impacting lives it will entice others to join your mission.

Are there other ways to be an employer of choice?  Absolutely.  But you’ve got to start somewhere and you’ve got to start sometime.  Today might just be that day and these ideas might be something you can do.

By Todd McDonald, ATW Training Solutions


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