It’s a weird job market, to be sure. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are faced with a set of hiring circumstances that we’ve never seen before. Because of this, employee retention is more important than ever before.
We keep hearing how the pandemic has caused so many people to lose their jobs. We see businesses closing their doors and we hear story after story of the need for job creation.
So, why are we also hearing about the struggle to find employees?
A March survey by the National Federation of Independent Business found that 42% of owners had job openings that could not be filled, a record high. Ninety-one percent of those hiring or trying to hire reported few or no qualified applicants for the positions they were trying to fill.
The Wall Street Journal reports that many of the small businesses that have survived the pandemic are looking at big growth projections in the next year. But that won’t be possible if they can’t fill open positions. Because places like Amazon and McDonalds are raising their hourly wages to attract more workers, small businesses are forced to follow suit, hoping that increased salaries and hiring bonus will help.
In fact, according to a Vistage’s survey, 62% of small businesses that have had trouble hiring are boosting wages for employees, 59% said they were refining their recruiting strategies, and just under a third said they were shifting to allow staff members to work remotely.
All of this points to an even stronger need to retain employees.
It’s a job seekers market. There are a lot of options and potential employees are able to negotiate like never before. That means that you need to hold tight to your good employees.
Sure, you need to take a look at pay levels and make sure you are competitive. But it’s more than that.
A 2019 Gallup survey named the four key characteristics that employers were looking for — problem solving, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration. You’ll note that these all relate to EQ, not IQ.
Now, as we roll out of a rollercoaster year and are working hard to establish new norms, these skills are more important than ever.
The best thing you can do to keep employees is to tap into their EQ and nurture it!
Practically speaking, we are talking about specialized training, coaching/feedback, and development that supports the aspirations of your employees.
Theoretically speaking, we are talking about creating happier people who love their work.
Let’s take a look at the connection between each of the four key characteristics and a person’s happiness at work.
Can you train for EQ?
YES! Like most other things in life, different skills come more naturally to some people. Just look at the Everything DiSC model. It shows that those who, based on their assessment, identify as a “D” are naturally more direct communicators. Those who land in the “C” quadrant are oriented more toward problem solving through analytics.
We each experience these four key characteristics through our own lens, so it is important to go deeper than what comes naturally and do some intentional work to develop these skills.
At The Conversations That Matter, we do a lot of work helping those we serve be more aware of their natural skills and weaknesses. By being aware of these things, we are better equipped to nurture the things that we want to improve upon and be in relationship with others who might be different than us.
Everything DiSC Agile EQ is an amazing option to serve you. If you are an Everything DiSC user and on the Catalyst platform, you can already access this tool. If Everything DiSC is new to you, this is a foundational program for building your leaders and teams and having a common language with a proven communication framework.
Download the Ideas for Training & Development so that you can start to imagine new ways to support your employees’ happiness (and subsequently, keep them around longer).