Maximize the Ones You Have

Tips on Maximizing your existing workforce

The Great Resignation!! Everybody is talking about it. Everybody has a theory about why it’s happening. Salaries are too low, the migration to remote workforces, people dropping out of the workforce because of COVID are all valid reasons. I’m sure there are many others. The other unique dynamic is that there are 10 jobs for every 1 candidate. People who were hesitant to to leave their position before are now more willing than ever to see if the grass is greener on the other side. Unfortunately, this puts organizations in a tough position and they are forced to choose between

  1. Recruit more people than ever before out of a candidate pool that is almost non-existent. or
  2. Maximize the workforce that you currently have.

Unfortunately, a lot of organizations have chosen to do a whole lot more of #1 and not enough of #2. I would like to propose that we flip the script and start doing more of #2. Now don’t get me wrong, plenty of organizations have very robust training programs. That is not really what I am talking about. I would like to suggest 5 tips to help you maximize your existing workforce.

  • Help your leaders become better leadersWe have all heard the phrase “People don’t leave companies, they leave leaders”. Develop your leaders to be aware of their leadership style and how that comes across to the people that work for them. Understanding that information will help them become better leaders and go a long way to help make their teams feel more valued and might keep them from jumping so quick. Using a normed behavioral assessment or 360 degree feedback system to gather the information makes it a pretty easy process.
  • Know as much as possible about your workforce and help them to know themselves – Information is power. The more you know about why someone does something helps you leverage that individual’s strengths to both the organization’s and their advantage. A well-designed behavioral assessment combined with an Individual Development Plan will help you maximize their strengths, manage their gaps and help them understand why they do what they do and how to change what they need to change. That information will help you help them become more successful and more productive.
  • Upskill Your Workforce – Automation is changing the workforce at a faster pace than ever before. Because of automation and innovation, many of the jobs that are available 10 years from now haven’t been thought of yet. Because of that, it is more important than ever to upskill your workforce now so that you are prepared for the next wave of innovation. Spending resources to make your employees more skilled in the things to come make your employees feel more valued but also insures that the employee is more productive now and prepared for future roles in the organization.
  • Say Thank You – This one sounds so easy but many organizations do a very poor job of it, taking the approach instead of “You should feel lucky to be working here”. Telling our employees Thank You in tangible ways makes them feel like the organization values their work. A written thank you card or a gift certificate is a small tangible way to say thank you to your employees but goes so far in creating loyalty. An employee that works for an organization that values their work is less likely to jump to another organization at the drop of a hat.
  • Have a Flexible Workplace – If there is not a reason why a job can’t be worked remote, let an individual work remote. Just put a good reporting structure in place to manage that person.

If you do all these things, does it mean that you won’t lose anyone? Definitely Not. Does it mean that you won’t ever have to recruit people from the shrinking workforce? Definitely Not. However, if you don’t do these things or at least some of them, you will be riding a slippery hamster wheel needing an never-ending flow of people to keep operations going.

Take the time to put the microscope on your organization. Are you taking the appropriate time and investing the appropriate funds to maximize your workforce? If not, what more could you be getting from your workforce if you did? Tools are used to maximize the effectiveness of machines, why not implement tools to maximize the productivity of your employees?