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Resetting your Labor Force for 2022

As we close out 2021 using terms such as “great resignation” or “quitting contagions,” SEWN would like to focus on the ways in which businesses can start 2022 with a Great Reset.


According to S&P, 45% of individuals who left the job market (around 1.4 million) in the last year were prime-age workers (24-54). They are essential to many businesses and their return is key to stabilizing this lopsided job market. Companies need to understand these workers care about more than their wages.

  • 57% have quit because of bad bosses

  • 90% want upskilling access

  • 50% feel they would improve if their bosses were more understanding managers

  • 84% experienced burnout

RETAINING YOUR WORKFORCE

So where do you start as a company owner or manager? Let’s begin with the employees who have been with you through it all. The troopers who came in masked up, worked long hours, socially distanced, and showed up every day.


Give them a pathway to greater success. Create in-house employee apprenticeships or mentoring programs. Upskilling and reskilling are essential. Education fueled pathways for growth can be accomplished with self-paced training (MasterClasses, LinkedIn Learning, YouTube channels). Create written or visual instructions so workers can develop new skills (it may sound painstaking but think of future training time it can save in the long run). Promote from within wherever possible.


Create a sense of community amongst employees. Host open group meetings where topics can be addressed without repercussion. Stop with the old-fashioned “team building” exercises. Weekly coffee and donuts go a long way to generate camaraderie. Offer cell phone stipends or company issued devices. Remote workers? Offer bi-monthly virtual meetings and Uber-eats gift cards.


Become transparent, empathetic, and authentic with your employees. Employees don’t want to feel like a cog in the machine. Avoid employee surveillance – no one wants big brother over their shoulder. Measure employee worth in outcomes, not hours. Create a workplace where people feel they are treated with fairness and respect. Generate a positive work/life balance for your employees.


Recognize and address burnout. Do you have an employee who used to be your star but now barely makes it to work? That’s a sign of burnout. Encourage employees to take breaks/lunch. Be agile/flexible with remote workers and by allowing flexible hours. Offer variable shifts that coincide with school or child-care windows to lessen that stress.


RECRUITING NEW EMPLOYEES

Unfortunately, there is no one-size fits all when recruiting new workers. Every company has their own culture and needs. Too often though, companies will pigeon-hole their jobs with titles and overly specific terminology. Sometimes you need to look outside the box for non-traditional workers.

  • Don’t discount retail and restaurant workers who can multi-task and are quick on their feet.

  • Veterans bring wide skill sets, strong communication, and work discipline.

  • Women bring new ideas and different perspectives which can boost problem solving

And don’t just throw a posting on your website and let it sit. Include links to your website highlighting unique projects. Create a simple 2-minute welcome video to create a positive first impression of your company and to accentuate the benefits of why they should work for you. Feature your technology and how your company makes the world a better place.


NEED HELP?

SEWN can help your company devise high performance workplace strategies whether on the assembly line or within administration. Our staff can evaluate all aspects of your company or serve as a project manager to restructure operations. Contact your local director to setup a no-cost consultation to help your company with a Great Reset for 2022.


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