Posted on / Updated on / in Blog & HR Strategy & Human Resources & Management /

 

 

Amy Letke, Founder and CEO, leads a conversation with Karen Hamilton, Vice President of Consulting Services, on one of the biggest HR challenges of today: managing retention in recessionary times.

Listen to the conversation above to discover the steps to success in only eight minutes, or follow along with the transcription below.

Amy Letke - Integrity HR team

Amy Letke:

Hi, everybody. Amy Letke, and with me is? 

 Karen Hamilton - Integrity HR team

Karen Hamilton: 

Karen Hamilton. 

AL: 

Your Integrity HR team here, ready to speak with you about another important topic on your HR calendar. And what would that be, but how can we manage HR in a recessionary time. So with me today, as you know, it’s Karen. We’re going to talk to you about five tips to retain employees, and we’re going to help you conquer some of the HR challenges that you’re facing today. 

So real quickly, let’s talk about five tips that we can help our clients and friends with right now. So Karen, before we jump into those five tips for success, let’s address what the real issue here is. 

KH: 

Well, Amy, as you know, inflation keeps going up and employees are saying, “Hey, I’m making less money. Things cost more, prices are increasing. Gas prices, groceries, going out to eat, everything.” So folks are saying, “I need to have a little bit more money. And if you’re not willing to pay me more money, I might go somewhere else.” 

AL:

Yep. This tough economic environment has really got us thinking as employers. Right, Karen? 

KH: 

Absolutely. 

AL: 

Wow. 

KH: 

Absolutely. 

 

Challenges facing human resources management in the 21st century

 

AL:

Well, let’s think about the challenges that we have ahead of us. We’ve been through a couple of years of the pandemic and working from home and bringing people back to work. So there’s been a lot of past challenge. We probably have some things that if we’re a smart employer, we can get ahead of. Right? 

KH: 

Yeah. Hopefully. Yes. 

AL: 

All right. Well, let’s talk about what number one is on our tips. Karen, let’s talk about what you see. What should we be doing? 

 

#1: Ask your employees how they are feeling

 

KH: 

I think, first of all, we just need to ask our employees, how are they feeling? 

AL:

Yeah. 

KH: 

You know, what is stressing them out right now? We have been so focused during the pandemic and really being in tune with our employees’ mental health. That has not gone away. 

Now there’s another challenge. So I think we should ask whether it’s in one-to-one meetings, team meetings, maybe even pulse surveys, what are the things that they’re worried most about? What are those things so that we don’t make any assumption as an employer, but let’s figure out how they’re feeling today and what we can do to help them. 

AL: 

Yeah. That’s super important. So whether it’s informal, doing some kind of survey, know where your people are. Because engagement, this is one of those critical things. We want to stay connected with our people so they stay with us a long time. Moving right along. Number two, Karen? 

 

#2: Reflect on employee feedback, and explore creative solutions

 

KH: 

I think we have to get creative. I think looking at ways we’ve just been kind of talking to some of our clients, and we’ve been doing things here at Integrity HR. But think about some of those things that can help offset maybe what people say in their surveys, right? 

AL: 

Yeah. 

KH: 

So maybe encouraging carpool. 

AL:

Wow. 

KH: 

Maybe people live next to each other and if they carpool, we’ll give them gift cards for gas. 

AL: 

That’s a great idea. 

KH: 

Yeah. I mean, I think why not ride to work with somebody, with a buddy or something? But I think also looking at… Do we have corporate memberships to some of these large buying clubs, grocery stores, things like that, that we can extend to our employees. We could maybe buy in bulk, split it up. Again, because grocery costs are so much higher. 

AL: 

Right. 

I think that’s probably one thing the pandemic has taught us, Karen, is being creative. And what we used to say, ‘Oh, there’s no way we can do that.’ Well, that’s out the door.”

KH: 

I think even getting creative and doing cookouts for employees, right? You know, give them some food. Encouraging, maybe going back to some remote work. I know a lot of us were really anxious to get back into the office. But if your employees are commuting a long distance and maybe saying, “Let’s go back to home for three days, in the office two days.” But really take a look at that. And then finally, maybe just some flexible scheduling. 

AL: 

Yeah. 

KH: 

Maybe four day work weeks, maybe something like that where folks can have maybe less travel time, less gas costs, things like that. So, just trying to get a little creative. 

AL: 

Yeah. And I think that’s probably one thing the pandemic has taught us, Karen, is being creative. And what we used to say, “Oh, there’s no way we can do that.” Well, that’s out the door. 

KH: 

Right. Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. That’s out the door. 

AL: 

Well, those are awesome suggestions. Let’s take a look at a couple of other things too as an employer that we might do just to really help ourselves, as we are thinking about retaining key people. What’s our number three, Karen, that we really should be focused on?

 

#3: Review your compensation plan, and analyze how it compares to the market

 

KH: 

I think we really need to understand our compensation philosophy as it relates to the market. Now there’s a lot of people who are going to be out there that say, “I can go somewhere else and make a lot more money.” I’m not always sure that’s true, because not everybody in the market is increasing people’s base pay by 5, 6, 7, 8%. 

AL: 

Yeah. 

KH: 

So I think understanding your market, understanding how your pay rates reflect in the market, and then also looking for those creative ways to offset. Maybe we can’t do a huge increase, but we have comprehensive benefits or we have more paid holidays. 

Or we have these creative gas cards, job sharing, flexible work schedules. It’s not all about money, but it really is all about how we package things and how we really accentuate the positives. We need to be aware of the market, but we don’t need to go out and increase all of our new hires a bunch of money, because then we have paid compression issues. 

We can’t have people who’ve been around the organization for 5, 6, 7 years making the same amount as our new hires. If you do, then that’s a pay compression issue, and then people get very disgruntled. So you got to be careful with that as well. 

AL: 

Yeah. That’s a real challenge. And a lot of organizations are facing that right now, just because of the market demand. So, definitely something… If you need some help with that, let us talk to you about how we can help you fix that. But before I move on to number five, we got to get to number four. So Karen, what’s our fourth suggestion for our clients and friends? 

 

#4: Look at opportunities to promote from within

 

KH: 

I think look at opportunities to promote from within. People want to see job progression. It may not have to have this huge increase, but really look at can we change people’s job responsibilities? Can we create opportunities where people see a succession plan, a career path, something that’s going to make them want to stay with us as an organization to say, “Gosh, I clearly have a place to advance within the company.” 

So take a look at your promotion opportunities. Take a look at existing jobs. Is there an opportunity to change something and reward somebody with a new title and a promotion? 

AL:

That’s great. And even bringing in talent, where you can provide them with training and education to learn a new career. This could create a lifelong opportunity to have a new team member who’s loyal to you. 

KH: 

Absolutely. 

 

#5: Call in the HR experts – contact us for customized services to suit your business’s needs.

 

AL: 

All right. Well, number five is, “Hey, we’re here to help you solve these challenges in HR now and in the future.” So if you’re a client, we’re here to help you manage through the recessionary times. We want to be a thought leader so we’re ahead of the pack in helping you stay competitive with your employees overall. And if you’re not a client, you’re just a friend of ours, this is why you should outsource HR to us. Right, Karen? 

KH: 

Absolutely. Absolutely. 

AL: 

So let us know. If we can review our benefits and trends on outsourcing HR, benefits of recruitment outsourcing, how outsourcing HR for business can yield really solid results because everybody’s going to be tightening their belt over the next six months to a year. 

That’s what we’re anticipating, but we are here to help you solve those biggest HR challenges, providing great results. Karen, thanks so much for being with me today. I hope that you enjoyed our five steps to help you through this recession. We’ve got more to come to help you run your business. Thanks for joining us today. 

KH: 

Thank you! 

Budgets are tight. What are you doing to help your bottom line?
Top 5 Reasons HR Outsourcing Improves Your Bottom Line

Our team talked to business leaders who have taken the step to outsource HR and provided real world insights and learnings in this free resource. Learn more about how HR Outsourcing can impact your bottom line, and see if it is a good fit for your business.

New call-to-action

about the author: Integrity HR

Integrity HR's human resources blog is filled with expert advice (and sassy commentary) on those everyday employment issues that give business owners and managers HR headaches. From tips on how to retain key employees to how to write your dress code policy, our blog has all the HR resources you need. Problems we solve: HR Outsourcing, HR Consulting Projects, Professional Recruiting Services, HR Audit & Operational Review, Employee Training Programs, Compensation Consulting, Leadership Development & Coaching, Succession Planning.