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Recruiting & Retaining a Talented Workforce

Are you delivering the proper E.R. care to your employees?

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During GEAPS North Central Regional Conference Program in Ames, IA, Janelle Thomas, chief human resource officer, Landus Cooperative, wondered if, as a business, you're delivering the proper E.R. care to your employees.

"People are our most important assets," says Thomas. "They're also our best -- and most challenging tools."

Thomas explains that the people who work for us want jobsite security and safety, fair pay, strong benefits, a work-life balance, development opportunities, and a career path.

"Our employees are the face of your business and brand," she says. "They reflect your vision and values."

Our employees are expected to work long days, nights, weekends and holidays. They're expected to adjust to ever-changing demands. They work physical jobs in all weather conditions and exposed to dangerous risks.

"To recruit and retain, you need to know what people are interested in and what makes them stay," says Thomas.

In no particular order, employees want good benefits, fair compensation, to feel valued, recognized and respcted, to believe in company vision, good working conditions, good relationship with supervisors, work-life balance, career growth & development, an opportunity to be mentored, and exciting and challenging work.

How can you help employees reach these goals to feel satisfied with their jobs? Thomas has the following suggestions:

  • Set realistic job expectations -– make it possible for them to be successful
  • Empower them to act –- training, decision making (can they make decisions on the spot?), mentoring and a safe learning environment
  • Respect & trust them –- act with integrity, honesty, ethically; do what you’ll say you will do; communicate openly; value feedback & differences
  • Recognize & reward them –- celebrate accomplishments; provide praise; give credit where due

Thomas also reminds us to have fun and make time to enjoy each other.

So, Thomas asks -- are you delivering the proper E.R. care? Are you setting expectations for employees? Empowering them to act? Do you respect and trust them? And are your recognizing and rewarding them?

This can go a long way to recruiting -- and more importantly -- retaining employees.

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